While remote work has many benefits, one disadvantage is reduced access to crucial communication cues, such as facial expressions. The lack of information can lead to miscommunication and conflict. To counteract the negative effects and better manage your remote team:
Have regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.
Conduct all-hands meetings, where you gather your entire organization into one online space. This is the time to celebrate milestones, go over the next steps, hear updates, and bond as an organization.
Use a shared online workspace to keep everyone on your team informed on assignments, project progress, and deadlines.
Do team-building activities, such as book clubs, pop quizzes, game nights, etc.
It's probably safe to say you've left at least one meeting, call, or customer visit and thought to yourself, "What the heck was that person even talking about?" Clear and effective communication is one of the easiest ways to reduce workplace stress, boost productivity, and build better relationships with your coworkers.
Effective communication is at the heart of every successful business, no matter the size or industry. In fact, everything in your business resolves around good communication, both internal (with your employees, associates, co-workers or team members) and external (with your clients and customers).
It helps to create effective brand messaging. It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
Customer service relies on good communication."60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience." Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
It enables positive team relationships. Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.
Observe if those you’re speaking to are moving toward or away, by asking what that person wants.
If they start listing things they don’t want (they don’t want to fail, they don’t want to be stuck in the same dead-end job) or talking about what they do want (a family, to succeed at their job) then you’ll know how to direct the conversation.
When trying to communicate effectively with someone who has an internal frame of reference, appeal to the things they know about themselves. Tie your communication to a personal fact you already know about that person.
Those with an external frame of reference want to hear more about what their peers thought about a given program or decision.