Communication is one of the crucial factors that can either make or break a project. Don’t believe us, let us take a look at the following statistics and figures:
- 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures
- About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important
- Less than half of survey respondents said that their organizations discuss issues truthfully and effectively
From the above-mentioned points, we can easily make out the need to have proper communication strategies at a workplace to double our success rate.
How important is communication?
At a workplace, teams are in a constant state of communication via email, video conferences, phone calls, texts, and face-to-face meetings. If project goals and objectives are clearly communicated, you can increase your chances of achieving those goals.
With the increasing number of failed projects, the need for implementing effective communication strategies is increasing day by day. Before we go ahead and discuss various methods to implement a communication strategy, let’s first understand what it takes to develop a kickass communication strategy.
A communication strategy can be both short and focused or long and detailed depending upon the outcome you’d like to achieve. Whatever be the case, you need to define the following things first:
1. Understand your needs and requirements
Before team members start working, make them understand why the strategy exists in the first place. A communication strategy should be made so that it serves a business or an organizational goal. Figure out the problem, seek solutions, and define roles accordingly.
2. Involve people
While the formulation of a strategy is taking place, involving others is a great idea. Bringing in other team members means getting more inputs which increase the chances of an effective communication strategy being made.
3. Know your audience
Knowledge of target audience is a must to successfully execute your strategy. Figure out your audience – local, national or global. Understand their needs and requirements by putting yourself in their shoes.
4. Define clear objectives
Whether it’s a marketing campaign or an organizational goal, well-defined communication objectives will take your strategy to another level. Clear objectives lead to increased focus and clarity which results in quality communication.
Evaluate as you go to check what’s working and what’s not. Even if you’ve been successful with your strategy, keep checking, improving, and refining it. This evaluation will help you to figure out whether tactics should be changed or not, resources should be added or not, and new plans should be implemented or not.
Here are some tips for communicating effectively during the course of a project:
1. Daily meetings with team members
Daily meetings are an effective way to get everyone together and know how things are progressing. It could be a daily huddle or conference-room meeting to have a discussion regarding tasks and projects. Such meetings give team members an opportunity to voice their concerns and share project updates.
Remember that a good meeting always begins with an agenda in mind and involves only those whose presence matters. Encourage others to speak and listen diligently to what they have to say.
2. Emails are also useful
We know emails have a bad rap of being a time-waster but hear us out before you make any judgment about them. At times, when teams are at remote locations with no reception, it’s better to send them an email about meeting details and other important matters. This way, team members can be in the loop and follow-up once they get back.
You can also CC multiple team members so that you don’t have to rely on one person to pass the important information as it is forwarded to other people in the CC as well.
3. One-on-one meetings
Many project managers are a great fan of one-on-one meetings or face-to-face communication. Sometimes, things need to be talked in private as they might not be any concern for others. That’s when one-on-one meetings come to your rescue.
As you’re talking directly to someone, you can observe their facial expressions and take cues from their body language, in case you’re discussing something serious. For project managers, one-on-one meetings are also a great way to hone your communication and leadership skills.
4. Use online communication tools
Online project management tools are helpful in facilitating the process of collaboration among project members and stakeholders. They not only provide you a centralized platform but also streamline tasks in the workflow.
Start investing in online collaboration tools that eliminate the need for investing in multiple tools. Choose the one that offers a variety of features such as Gantt charts, online proofing, reports, time-tracking among others. One such tool is ProofHub which is already being used by more than 85,000 teams for effective communication and robust project management.
Bring remote team members and clients together at one place. Try ProofHub!
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Whatever be your preferred style of communication – written, verbal, or telephonic – do it more often to make the most of it. It’s better to over-communicate than to under-communicate in business. Not only it reduces any chances of miscommunication but also makes way for more clarity and focus.
Communication Isn’t Easy, But It’s Worth It
It is evident that solid communication is the foundation of smart project management. Using the right tools might provide you with a platform that makes way for seamless communication but in the end, it’s how effectively you use them to your advantage for good communication.
Another effective way to communicate is by having a good communication tool that facilitates the process. ProofHub is an online project management software that provides a real-time platform to communicate with people en masse or one-on-one. Feel free to check out its features to make way for better workplace communication and productivity.