How to improve team communication

Setting clear expectations for your team

Why is your team important to your business? What does your team do every day? If your team can’t answer those questions, it might indicate communication issues. Setting clear expectations is important to make sure that regardless of personal differences, each member can agree about their goals.

Create S.M.A.R.T. goals

Just like your organization has milestones for the year and quarter, your team should have goals as well. These goals should be clearly defined, understood by each member, and have some connection with the organization’s overarching goals.

These goals limit confusion. They also let team members see how they impact the business, which helps them feel engaged and successful.

One common way to do this is to create SMART goals for your team. Check out the interactive below to see what SMART goals are. Afterwards, we’ll test you on the difference between SMART and non-SMART goals.

Make the purpose of each meeting clear

Meetings are supposed to create understanding. In practice, they’re one of the biggest sources of miscommunication. One of the most common causes? Not setting an agenda. 

Without an agenda, invitees can’t be sure if the meeting is important or not. People may attend meetings that don’t impact their job. Even worse, they might skip important meetings and miss out on key details—which could also spark sour feelings among the team.

We recommend that all meetings at your organization have an agenda that clearly states:

  • Why the meeting is important.
  • What will be communicated.

If it’s a recurring meeting, you might also consider keeping running notes. No matter what your approach, you should always set clear expectations for everyone on the team.

Celebrate communication wins

Celebrating communications wins might seem small, but it’s important if you want your team to continue to set clear expectations.

If you don’t recognize people who set clear expectations, they may not continue to do so. Likewise, if you reward or celebrate those who don’t set expectations, your team may get the wrong idea.

You don’t need to go wild and throw a party every time someone sets an agenda. Instead, simple affirmations and shoutouts can go a long way.

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