If you are leading a remote digital workplace, you must know the struggle of making internal communication more inclusive and engaging. Despite the company’s best efforts, your team may treat the internal communications like yesterday’s news. We understand that it can be frustrating. But fear not; there is a creative solution for this issue. Let’s discuss some innovative strategies and practical tips to turn the tide.
Challenges of Remote Communication
Managing a remote team has its unique challenges – information overload, multiple channels for internal communications, and the risk of team members feeling disconnected. Let’s discuss these challenges in greater detail.
1. Most Available Tools are Designed for In-Office Setups
While it is ideal for remote teams to communicate with each other to have a seamless process, the digital tools available to them matter the most. Popular platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet facilitate communication challenges in remote work setups. However, they might not be enough to ensure effective collaboration for your team. In that case, you can choose a virtual workspace that combines video conferencing and other relevant features remote teams need to communicate effectively.
2. Easy Access to Information is a Struggle
Effective internal communication begins with easy access to essential information. Unfortunately, most remote employees find themselves drowning in the sea of files and often ask colleagues for help. Hence, it is crucial to create an environment where remote employees have access to everything they need to excel in their roles. A virtual workspace or intranet can be the solution to wasted time and frustrated employees.
3. Using Multiple Communication Channels
Juggling multiple communication channels can be overwhelming. Your team probably uses different communication channels like email, slack, project management, video conferencing, and document management systems. The chances are losing important information in the shuffle. We often find ourselves in a situation where we know someone said something important in a meeting or a conversation but can’t remember who. This is what using multiple channels does. To avoid this, you will need to have a unified and organized communication strategy.
Steps to Improve Remote Internal Communication
Every problem has a solution, and just like that, every internal communication challenge has a solution to overcome. We’ve curated a few simple and practical steps that can help you transform your remote communication game.
Step 1: Define Clear Goals
Specify your internal communication goals. Whether you want to share rewards and recognition, have an informal discussion with the team, alert employees about a crisis, or distribute any company-related information, your goals should be clear.
Step 2: Select the Right Tools
Choose tools that align with your team’s needs, considering integration capabilities, ease of use, multi-purpose functionality, and scalability. It should easily fit with your existing systems.
Step 3: Implementation
Share your implementation strategy with your team. Keeping your team in the loop will showcase transparency within the organization. Announce changes through engaging methods, like a video tutorial. Understand that changes take time, especially when onboarding new software, but the effort is well worth it.
Step 4: Continuous Evaluation
Regularly gather feedback and refer to KPIs to assess the success of your strategy. You can also conduct tech audits and team surveys to see if your strategy aligns with the team’s needs.
Step 5: Collect Feedback
Collect and act on employee feedback consistently. Insights driven by their feedback will help you improve communication and create a workspace that attracts and retains top talent.
Best Practices to Follow
Now that your strategy is in place, keep the momentum going with these best practices.
- Set a consistent schedule for team meetings, check-ins, and updates. This will help your team members plan their workday effectively and efficiently.
- If possible, set aside a dedicated time for informal conversations. Whether it’s a virtual coffee break or a casual chat channel, providing a space for non-work-related interactions helps maintain the social fabric of your team.
- To make virtual meetings more productive, circulate agendas in advance. This way, everyone can come prepared and know the purpose of the discussion.
- Encourage team members to update their status on collaboration tools. Whether it’s indicating they are ‘available,’ ‘in a meeting,’ or ‘taking a break,’ status updates will help them know each other’s availability.
- Outline how and when to use communication tools. Clear guidelines will streamline the communication process.
- Define clear boundaries between work and personal life. Encourage team members to establish “office hours” and respect each other’s time away from the virtual workspace.
- Encourage active listening and open discussions. Dedicate channels for team discussions, creating a culture where team members feel comfortable raising concerns and contributing ideas.
As remote work becomes the norm, the need for a thoughtful internal communications strategy is undeniable. It’s usually normal for remote teams to feel isolated. Hence, as a responsible organization, it is your duty to make them feel connected, productive, and engaged. Internal communication is the solution when you combine it with the right tools and a little bit of creativity. Strong connections and clear communication are the secret weapon for a successful workforce.
Featured image provided by Alex Andrews; Pexels; Thanks!