Better Communications Make Better Teams
Working and managing a team that’s dispersed across cities and continents is both challenging and rewarding. For businesses looking to reach global markets having a local perspective on your team can make a huge difference in reaching that audience. But different languages and time zones can cause frustrations either with delays or unclear communications. Here are NYNJA recommendations for better remote team communications:
Hold regular meetings
Good communications start with having everyone on the same page. Whether that’s understanding your overall business objectives or specifics of a current project, plan to over communicate and on a consistent schedule. If you have people working in multiple time zones chances are they have to join meetings outside regular work hours, so it’s important to keep to regularly scheduled times.
Make personal connections
Using video calls is an important way to build teams that bond and communicate well. As personal as our voice is, meeting your colleagues visually and seeing facial expressions makes a big difference to communications.
Build those personal connections further by taking a minute to check in on weekend plans and family events. The more colleagues on remote teams build relationships 1:1 and trust each other, the better they can communicate when dealing with stressful work situations. You are much more likely to reach out and call that colleague to clear the air on an issue if you feel you know them. That call can save a lot of grief from impacting project timelines and success. You can use video calling on a one-to-one basis now within NYNJA, and soon for groups!
Embrace your internal jargon
Communications experts always say, “avoid jargon.” But the truth is that all companies have their own internal jargon words, whether that’s a process or product name or acronyms. Why not get everyone involved and post your own ‘team jargon dictionary’ for quick reference? This can be a fun team building exercise and a way to get new members up to speed fast.
Even though you can use Google Translate on the web, having tools embedded within your communications suite saves time and keeps original messages filed with their translation so you can find them later. This is why NYNJA offers automatic translation for your messages going out and coming in, as well as transcription and translation for voice messages.
Because things can be missed, have a rotating meeting chair take notes and note action items with the right person’s name attached. Include a list and contact info of all those who were in the meeting for fast reference. If your team is on NYNJA you can attach your meeting notes as a file to the group so that they are available, or you can post them in a message and have it automatically translated. Following up on action items to make sure they are clear is a good tip, too, for managers or co-workers. Depending on the culture of individuals on your team, they may not want to call out errors or feel embarrassed to ask for clarification. Encourage colleagues to help each other be sure they understand their action steps.
Everyone likes to be part of a winning team, and a strong team encourages all to raise their game. It’s another team building opportunity and strong teams make for strong communicators!