Team communication. If saying that out loud at work feels like a misnomer and you’re cringing at the memory of your latest interaction, you’re not alone. Teams across the globe all tackle the issue of maintaining effective, happy, healthy, and productive team communication at work. While there’s no perfect workplace, or a one-style-fits-all approach that will work, there are lots of businesses that forge through a tough situation to nail down the traits of a team that can communicate with trust and a little love while GSD (getting sh*t done).
Maybe you’ve read Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” If so, you may have noticed the theme of lack showing up quite a bit. Lack of trust, commitment, and accountability. These attitudes are groomed and turn into beliefs about the company. These beliefs then morph into the company culture. If your individual contributors aren’t aligned, feeling satisfied at work, and aren’t getting the support they need, they’re building a toxic culture. Everyone has a role to play in building company culture (a set of beliefs). Individuals need to recognize that they have a responsibility to themselves and their organizations to build a company culture they’re over the moon to work in.
How Job Satisfaction and Communication Work Together
The connection between job satisfaction and communication is being studied and replicated with obvious results. People that experience higher job satisfaction are more likely to share their knowledge and are eager to learn from others. This correlation between job satisfaction and communication does seem relatively obvious, but the effects – when these two are disconnected – are disastrous. Lencioni notes that the first dysfunction is a lack of trust. To build trust in any relationship, you have to communicate. No matter what size your team is, it can be tough to address and disassemble pre existing barriers to effective communication skills within your organization. Where do you start?
Building a Better Team
No matter how dysfunctional your team is, starting to change the course is the first step. The ones that are on board with you will stay on board, and those that aren’t, they’ll move on to a place that they are better aligned with – and everyone benefits. Eventually. Yes, this is a long process, but little habits become a big part of life. Here are a few ways StringCan keeps the lines of communication open while creating shared experiences, one of Lencioni’s first tips for overcoming the first barrier.
- We recap our performance reviews. Together. In public. We share what we learned about ourselves in a group setting so we can help each other actually take action on the feedback we received that is meant to make us better individuals and a better team.
- We distribute our “Working with the Team” book to every new hire, and re-distribute with updates. Our book covers personality test results, leadership test results, how they best receive praise and feedback, among many other items. Each person gets about 3 pages and it’s a great reminder that keeps the feedback loop productive.
- We offer time for reflection in team meetings. During each team meeting everyone has a chance to reflect on their work, their life, and their team members. Just offering this space where we have time dedicated to reflect is great. The slide states “Spend the next 2 minutes to pause and think about the last month and reflect upon your positive, negative, and other interactions with team members. Feel free to write them down to share as part of the next Peer/Performance Review process.”
We might not be company therapists (is there such a thing?), but we love doing our part to help businesses like yours do their best work. If digital marketing isn’t in your wheelhouse of best work, you’re in luck. That’s our forte and we’d love to help you; contact us today!