5 Tips to Improve Remote Communication
Taking all or part of your business remote, could be one of the best things to help build trust, accountability, and more effective communication within your team and organization.
Like any business, a remote business will have its own set of problems. Focus on communication, accountability, and trust, and you’ll set your business up for success.
Communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal. The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent) could present its fair share of challenges with the team. Sarcasm, irony, frustration, excitement all can be mistaken through the lens of the reader.
Read the following out loud. There are only a few minor changes to the grammar, punctuation, and spelling, yet they can be taken by the receiver in very different ways:
- “I need that deliverable ASAP.”
- “I need that deliverable ASAP!”
- “I NEED that deliverable asap.”
- “I nedf the dlevierbl asp”
- “I need that deliverable ASAP?!”
What happens when things are out of context? Feelings are hurt, people are misunderstood, trust starts to falter, and what needed to be communicated might not actually be communicated. Tone and how you deliver the message are critical to getting your team fully remote.
If your organization follows the long, ineffective path to communication, where there are multiple emails, meetings, and follow-up meetings to get something communicated, working remotely will help you improve your current method for internal communications.
Remote teams use knowledge and tech tools to assist in the communication workflow. Establishing weekly and if needed daily standups and check-ins with your team can help turn that long monthly meeting and overuse of email into a communication workflow where tasks are clear and people are empowered.
1. Audit the current communication workflow
How is the current communication workflow in your business? How are things getting communicated throughout your organization?
How often does the team meet, and for what purposes?
What is working in the current workflow and what is working well and what is causing communication stagnation?
2. What are the needs of the team
Sometimes we follow a process that has long been established, without really considering WHY? This is the opportunity to establish what the team and all key stakeholders need to be the most productive and effective in their job.
3. Create the communication structure
From the results of the audit and the needs of the team, you can map out the remote communication structure. Are google hangouts or zoom meetings going to be used for weekly sprints and 1:1 checkins?
Is Slack going to be used for all internal communications?
What happens when someone just needs to talk to their boss? Is that a text?
A direct Slack message? Or an email.
Create a communication structure that meets of the team as whole.
4. Get Buy-In
You worked so hard to create this fantastic structure, but does the team buy in? You’ll want to assess team buy-in before you launch anything internal. This is a great time to have a conversation about tone, create your communication agreements, and get the team excited about the new workflow. If the team is pumped to use this new communication tool, that the team will use the new communication workflow. If they’re hesitant, they will likely and quietly resist.
5. Appoint a Champion
Organizational change takes time and consistency. Appoint a communication champion to monitor the communication workflow and the team.
Going remote, cuts down the unnecessarily long meetings and standardizes communication workflow. Here are five actionable steps to get started on the remote journey. If you have any questions about building a remote team or meetings in general, please let me know!