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4 tips on Effective Communication to Improve Online Teamwork

Whenever we imagine an ideal workplace, we always see people working together in a friendly way. Keeping such environment is difficult because all of the team members belong to different cultures, countries and have variant believes or disbeliefs. These hurdles increases if we talk about handling a virtual team.

Techniques are different for dealing with online projects and there are many ways to tackle them including Kanban and Scrum Board etc. On the top of all these tools, effective communication between all the members of team and client should be your priority. I’m sharing few tips here in hopes that you will follow them and take their full advantage.

Two-way Feedback
Let’s start with an example, you have been handed in the draft of the project and it isn’t up to mark. You send it back with a note “improve it” and do not mention what specifically do you want to be improved in this draft. This is what creates an issue for the next teammate as he will start wondering on how should I do this? What should be the improvement in this draft? In the end, he will do what he feels right and again send you the wrong draft. This is a communication gap and to eliminate this problem, it is important to encourage two-way feedback between team members.

You should write a constructive and proper feedback mentioning what you really expect from other team member. On the other hand, he should feel free to ask questions if he is still confused about your feedback. It isn’t a one, time job or it isn’t restricted to the initial stage of project, a good practice is to continue this two-way communication throughout the final deployment.

You can use task management systems for written feedback especially in case of handling online teams. Feedback will be visible to all team members which help in increasing the overall productivity. Moreover, an online feedback usage as a medium of communication to online teams is shown in Research to enhance performance, satisfaction and motivation.

Open door policy
There comes an effect of psychology which states that if everyone is working separately, it creates an atmosphere of secrecy. It is also outlined in an article on Forbes, you are directly communicating that everyone is the part of same team with encouraging an open plan environment.

This helps in creating an effective atmosphere. Your team should also know that it is okay to come up with their problems and feel free to discuss them with you. If you let them work in relax environment, they will definitely try their best to perform extraordinary so you can enjoy tension free work. Moreover, it encourages open communication on regular basis which is better than speaking out at once in a meeting with cluster of information and problems. Also, it is easy to resolve any issue on its initial stages otherwise it may cost you high and you will suffer the consequences like conflict between teams and more.

Clarity of roles and responsibilities
It is important that each of your team members is clear about his roles and responsibilities. It will make it easy for them to tackle any difficult situation (just in case) without any sense of dependency on any other. On the other hand, if they are not clear then they will fail to complete the task and always seek for opinion of others before taking a decision regarding his own work.

There are techniques for setting each task with respect to the most appropriate person which will help to clarify the conception, behavior of every role and expectations such as Responsibility Chartering (RACI).

Communication Training
We think that sales and technical knowledge is the most important thing for any business success. I do agree that they are important but without effective communication, you may not be able to deliver your knowledge in efficient way. In fact, it is communication which can bring big changes so why not consider investing in training for communication?

Any good communication training course should include that how should you improve your speaking ability, presentation, and managerial abilities. In case of online training, you may arrange a live session which everyone can join and learn. You may hire a certified trainer for them who can train everyone virtually. Trust me, it’s worth it! Remember to prioritize your trainings with one session for communication as well.

For us, smooth communication with our clients and employees is priority, feel free get in touch with us if you're looking for supportive IT partner!