Many companies focus most on their communication with their external audiences. They’ll go to great lengths to connect and converse with their current and potential customers to ensure growth. But what about the communication among their internal teams?
Internal communication is what drives excellent customer relationships. It’s what moves projects forward and keeps a business evolving for years to come. If your internal communication is lacking, chances are projects and integral parts of your company are too.
If you’re ready to improve your internal communication to have more project success, here’s how to do it:
Improve Interdepartmental Communication
Your company has multiple departments, and much of the time you’ll need teams in various departments to work together to ensure the success of a project.
For instance, let’s say you’re developing a new product. In that case, you’ll have a product development team. But they’ll also need to work with marketing, sales, and customer service to ensure the product does well in the market and among your customer base.
So, it’s integral to prioritize improving interdepartmental communication. When there’s good communication across teams in different departments, you can ensure projects get done on time and to the highest quality. Interdepartmental communication also creates more harmony and happiness throughout your entire operation.
You can enhance your interdepartmental communication by first ensuring everybody knows each other. Hosting company events to bring every department in your company together is an excellent way to do this.
Then, be sure all teams meet at the start, middle, and end of every project. Doing so will help everyone understand how important each department is to complete every project successfully. It will also help finetune the workflow as the project progresses.
In addition to improving interdepartmental communication, you must master intercultural communication.
Master Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication is the ability to communicate with individuals across various cultures and backgrounds effectively. As the world becomes more diverse, so will your team. Therefore, you must ensure everyone feels respected, valued, and honored regardless of their cultural background.
Connecting and communicating with people of various cultures and backgrounds starts with an internal appreciation and admiration for diversity and inclusion. There should be no tolerance for racism, discrimination, harassment, or mistreatment in the workplace if you want everyone to feel like they belong.
Then, encourage everyone to learn about the various cultures in the workplace. Make space for individuals to share their backgrounds and represent their cultures through dress, communication, and so forth.
Access to a better brand reputation, a broader range of knowledge and perspectives, and a global talent pool become available when you intentionally break down cultural barriers through communication.
Enhance Communication Within Project Management Teams
Aside from improving intercultural and interdepartmental communication, enhancing communication within project management teams is vital too. It’s essential to establish best practices for working together on an individual project.
You must create details for every project to distribute to each person working on said project. Name each person on the project’s team, including the project manager and their contact information. Document what their roles and responsibilities are. List deadlines and project goals as well.
Furthermore, make it standard practice for the team to come together at least once a week to discuss how things are going. Encourage each person to grow individual relationships with one another. That way, conflict resolution, communication, and collaboration will be more natural.
Use Suitable Digital Communication Tools
Enhancing communication within your project management teams, interculturally, and across departments relies on suitable digital communication tools as well. As much as many of us would like to communicate entirely in person, that isn’t always possible nor reasonable.
So, you must put the right tech tools in place for your team and learn how to navigate digital communication. Doing so will help facilitate effective communication and collaboration regardless of an employee’s location.
Project management software is a must. And so are video-conferencing tools, collaboration apps, communication tools, and a central place to store additional team information.
Also, each team member is unique, which means their learning styles, pace, and comfortability with technology will differ. Factor this in before making any permanent decisions about tech tools to ensure your choices enhance the way your team works together rather than distract from it.
Create Communication Guidelines
In addition to suitable digital communication tools, you must create communication guidelines to improve internal communication for more successful projects. These guidelines will help you build a culture of open dialogue and information sharing because they outline your unique team's most effective communication practices.
Define how each person communicates best and standards for team communication. Then, compile what you learn into one document and distribute it to everyone on the team.
Your communication guidelines should include:
Best times to make calls
How to receive an immediate response
Each team member’s contact information
Notes on each person’s communication style
The cutoff time for communication each day
What to use each communication channel for
Each person’s preferred communication methods
The team’s digital communication tools and how to access them
Facilitate Group and One-to-One Meetings
Your communication guidelines can also be especially useful in group and one-to-one meetings. Whether you’re hosting them remotely or in person, you’ll know how to converse and connect with each person most efficiently and make it more comfortable for everyone to share in group settings.
Every meeting should have a clear purpose, and it should be valuable for your team. For instance, holding a post-mortem meeting once a project is complete is valuable and purposeful. They help teams review a project in full, celebrate wins, determine what didn’t go so well, and how to make the next project even better.
Facilitate an ongoing conversation with each person in your organization about their experience through intentional, relevant meetings. Encourage them to be honest and use their voice in group meetings to ensure you all are working as cohesively as possible.
Ask for Feedback Often
Of course, you want to solicit and implement the feedback you get from your team in your group and one-to-one meetings. However, asking for and listening to feedback from your employees shouldn’t start and end with meetings.
Actively listen to what your team is saying in informal conversations. Pay attention to what they’re saying on social media. Use your communication channels to send out “feelers” for different things you want to try.
If you genuinely want to know what good internal communication looks like to your team, ask them and actually execute what they suggest.
Internal communication should be one of your biggest priorities because it can better team workflows, help employees become more engaged, inspire better products, and improve customer relationships. Use the tips above to elevate your internal communication today.