Every company’s target and vision is to reach global standards. This allows companies to serve more people. That’s why enterprises will do their best to reach international standards. Thus, organizations will increase the team members for their remote teams. With this, a challenge regarding how the team members communicate arises. This is why it’s vital to develop effective distributed team communication systems.
The distributed teams can vary in size, financial capability, and other resources. This can pose a challenge in coming up with a uniform method to control communication. But there are policies that enterprises can implement to ensure effectiveness. So here are essential rules for a distributed team to use.
Rules for effective communication in a Distributed Team
To make sure the distributed systems facilitate effective communication by teams here are measures to implement.
1. Plan for all possibilities
Planning before choosing a preferred mode of communication in a distributed environment will avoid inconveniences. This will ensure you consider all factors. What if the system is down? What if the team leader can’t attend a meeting? And what happens when there is an emergency? Come up with solutions for these questions. We recommend coming up with a policy document. You can later add rules to issues that may arise.
2. Design effective ways on distribution of information
Ensure the team members are ready to share knowledge and information with others. Through this team members will open up. Make sure no opinion is overlooked. Even if it’s a junior giving an opinion, team players should be ready to listen. Moreover, you can make it a policy for all team members to give reports. Even if the workers are working remotely they should not feel lonely.
3. Create a schedule
Having a schedule is key for proper communication. You don’t want to call for a meeting when team players are working on projects. That’s why you need to create a schedule. Include the meeting days and the days the member should submit reports. Communicating such information will help effective compunction around the distributed teams.
Here are tips to create functional schedules:
- Consider the time zones for the workers.
- Involve the team members in the scheduling process.
- Ensure everyone takes part.
- Use tools like google calendars to give meetings alert.
- Communicate earlier in case of any changes.
4. Formulate reporting procedures
When the team players provide reports after some weeks or months. It will be easier to resolve any information that wasn’t understood during the onboarding. Make it easy for them to present the reports of their work. Let your virtual team know when, how, and where to deliver their reports. Moreover, communicate in advance the procedures to use when reporting. For example, it’s different how a UX/UI Designer will report in comparison to a Freelance writer.
If possible, communicate such information during the onboarding and training sessions. This will help the enterprise achieve more.
5. Incorporate Decision Support systems
Communication in a distributed system needs to allow the stakeholders to make the right decisions. A member of the team may not be sure whom to contact for a given issue. This is where the decision systems come in place to help them make such choices. It will
also help them choose alternatives to achieve a certain goal. This helps them communicate effectively. For example, the system should help them decide on questions to ask a Human resource manager and those to an IT Expert.
Key Feature to Include in this system:
- Solutions to most common questions
- Alternative for team players to use when one solution fails
- Offer immediate support after the user makes a decision
6. Send frequent meeting reminders
Ensure you communicate earlier and send reminders for meetings. In case there are any changes be sure to send Mail to the team. This way you can achieve 100% attendance. This is a great thing because moving forward you will communicate effectively without leaving others behind. It’s a huge limitation organizing a meeting with most members not available. This is even worse when it results from failure to communicate with your distributed team.
7. Use a common communication channel
Unity is a great virtue in a team. That is why you should use the same channels for communication. Make the right analysis with your team and consider your needs. Then choose the most effective channel. If possible you can add an API of the channel you choose to your website. This will ensure the team members communicate effectively at the exact time an issue arises. So you can consider the communication tools below:
- Slack for regular updates;
- Google Drive for sharing documents;
- Google Meet for virtual meetings;
- Use Trello app to track tasks by members.
8. Encourage feedback from the stakeholders
Letting the distributed team member share their feedback is very essential in communication. This shows that you value their opinion. In this process, you will learn about the areas to improve. They can also give feedback on how convenient the system allows them to interact.
For efficiency, you can hire team leaders to receive the feedback. Then they can report to you on crucial feedback. How about introducing sessions for receiving feedback.
With the above measures communication in your distributed team will be more effective. Regardless of the size of the team or the finances in place, the above measure will work well. For more information please feel free to contact us.