Communication in a work team is the fundamental basis of each part of a business. Without effective communication between people it is impossible to send and receive the correct information, which becomes more and more complicated as the company becomes larger. The process of exchanging information between team members is not only what you say, but how you say it, how it is interpreted and how effective (in terms of results) that message becomes. Communication and teamwork in organizations is a chain.
There are within Management theory a series of desirable characteristics that apply to all types of information: from the simplest and most everyday, to the most complicated and bureaucratic.
Concrete . Communication must be concrete, with examples and written data in many cases. So that clients and workers do not feel confused, it is best to be as specific as possible regarding their tasks, obligations, objectives... etc. Let's not forget that we are all people and subjective interpretation due to lack of information is one of the things that causes the most problems in the team's chain of command.
consistent . It seems like common sense, but communication is not always consistent. Let's take the example of international teams: you have to make sure that all parts of the chain understand the message, using the appropriate language in each case. In this example it is very clear, but on a day-to-day basis, it is not so easy to discern if we have been consistent in our communication. A logical, well-planned and understandable message is essential.
Clara . That nothing has to be interpreted, that the data is not opaque, that there is no need to understand between the lines. The purpose of the message must be very clear and that all parties can see it in the same way. Clarity and uniformity go hand in hand.
engaged . Group morale and team feeling are closely related to this point. If there is a good company culture, which in turn has been clearly shared, we will be on the right track to show commitment. In our transmission of information, we must show ourselves to be committed and interested in the process at all times, in an authentic way. It is not appropriate to release the messages as if they were a burden that we have just got rid of, but knowing that at any time it can come back to us, because we are a team.
Consistent . Choosing the right way of saying things is important. As the previous points have already been saying, clarity is essential. Consistency is more about matching words and actions, which is why this point comes after commitment. If we are committed to the message and the chain part of the workflow, what we will do from then on will be consistent with what we have communicated, making communication more reliable. Consistency builds trust in the team and maintains morale.
complete . It is important not to leave half messages or processes. All communication processes must have closure and logic, without leaving others thinking about how to close it. It is not correct to leave others with the feeling that something else is coming or the information is incomplete. That way, they couldn't continue with their workflow until the information is complete, and that would stop the whole process.
courteous . Obviously, all information must be communicated in a polite and correct way. Which does not remove the clarity or the concreteness. Some people get confused at this point, leaving vague messages, so as not to fall into the conflict. It is important to know how to maintain manners, even when carrying complicated messages.
Really, if all these conditions begin with C or not, it is not relevant, it is a mnemonic trick sometimes used in the context of Management, but the important thing is to apply these principles in any type of communication in the team to avoid misunderstandings; nurture transparency and let the power of delegating tasks flow well.
The power of good communication is undeniable.
If we are able to have fluid communication in our IT team, the team feeling will be stronger and will be built in a more stable way. Good communication builds trust. Communication and teamwork in organizations is directly related.
It is also important to let everyone have a voice and vote and communicate freely, so they will feel part of a whole. Also, when putting your ideas into practice is not possible, as is normal, since we cannot apply all the ideas of all the members of the team… it is also important to communicate why. In a calm and courteous way, since this generates the closing process we are talking about, leaving the person without the feeling that something is pending.
Good communication generates greater commitment and engagement for the company's culture, which generates more productivity and long-term retention of talent. Eliminate as many misunderstandings, ambiguities and unanswered questions as possible, creates greater job satisfaction and establishes a place that feels safer, where creativity grows and team feeling is much better fed, also making management more efficient. people internal.
As we have just explained, there are several guidelines to improve communication in teams in general, but in the IT sector we must take into account a series of things.
The first is that, in other sectors, most of the processes can be more or less controlled by the leaders. In the case of the IT sector, it is impossible to know and understand all the technologies used during a process or a work cycle, so knowing how to delegate will be the real key.
To somehow rank these priorities, let's make a list.
There are six ways to exercise good IT leadership:
Choose the right staff . It's not just about making the right selection, but about making the right teams. It is not enough to bring together several people who know the same technology (a very common mistake), but to find like-minded personalities who can work together. That there is also an alignment with the company's goals is essential, since the objectives, deadlines, project goals, etc., are important things for a team. However, you can learn from an already consolidated team, trying to transform its weaknesses into strengths, and taking into account the personal goals of each member, to make them more productive for the company. The question is to become aware of the characteristics of the equipment.
meet deadlines. In IT, meeting deadlines or deadlines to complete projects is an undeniable part of the work process. It is important to set the objectives and times well, often creating the so-called milestones (intermediate points) to have medium-term objectives before reaching the end. The expectations of the workers, those of the company and those of the client must be aligned, since in this chain it is important that none fail. Therefore, correct and transparent communication is essential. If we do not speak clearly with the worker about the goals that he has to meet, he will hardly be able to arrive on time. It is important not to cover up the truth in difficult processes or when there is a rush, as this could result in staff breakdown, emotionally and morally. If we are clear from the beginning, it is easier for them to make an effort at a given moment, than if we have adorned them from the beginning with a complicated process. Sometimes it is necessary to review deadlines and times, as a final resource to make all parts of the work cycle comfortable.
Use a control and measurement system. There are today many work cycle control systems, within internal or private tools. For example, in the case of IT Support, incident ticketing tools such as Service Now, also control whether the agreements with the client (SLAs) and the monthly, annual objectives (KPIs) are met, etc. There is a control panel that ensures that each agent has a good average that allows them to meet the team's objectives. It is just one example of how measurement tools are a good way to quantify things in order to control them. Even so, it is important to maintain communication with the workers and not just limit yourself to numbers, as there may be many personal factors that worsen these results at a given moment, but that does not make anyone a bad worker.
Communicate often . As we have been saying, it is difficult to control all the parts of a work cycle and all the projects that an IT department entails, so communicating often and clearly is essential. Above all, to maintain morale in difficult times, since in this sector you work a lot with machines, and personal treatment is sometimes necessary. Today it is not only face-to-face, but through apps and meeting tools (such as Microsoft Teams ) moments can be created to share all concerns as a team. The key is that not only is official communication important, but also to stay there, visible and accessible in case of doubt.
keep creative. It is impossible to have a good work team in the IT sector if the workers cannot develop. It is a very active environment, which requires constant training, and very often looking for solutions on one's own. Therefore, having a space to give an opinion, to create and to browse, is something that an IT team cannot miss. There are many cases of people who stayed in a position for years doing the same thing, until they left for another company. This is one of the main causes of brain drain. We cannot consider people with such great mental capacity, such as IT professionals, as people who will always keep doing the same thing. By definition, their mind is logical and creative, and it is important that they feel good, and that they feel that they are growing with the sector and with the company.
Be natural . Many IT leaders think too much, since they try to control (without delegating) all parts of the process and that is impossible. This is especially the case when the leader is an expert in various technologies. The point is that the human factor remains the most essential, so leaders have to learn to trust their employees, even if they don't do things the way they would. The important thing is to reach the goal and the achievement of objectives, and being an excessively fussy person in IT is something that often only delays projects. Delimiting and prioritizing the objectives is crucial to not constantly have doubts, and above all to know that you can trust your team, so having a good company culture is also very important.
In conclusion, it only remains to give some common sense advice to improve the exchange of information between all parties.
Pay genuine attention to the conversation. Although we are all very busy, being attentive at the right time saves a lot of time in the immediate future, since, if we close the information process well, the problem will not come back to us and we will not have to review it. Let's not forget eye contact, whether in person or digitally. It is a form of commitment and to show our attention, body language is important. The so-called active listening is very valuable, since it transmits confidence and gives us a lot of information at the same time.
Communication apps are our allies, not our enemies. Even if face-to-face meetings are possible, it never hurts to have a digital channel in which to exchange things. We are not only talking about the company's official tools, such as those that record the achievement of objectives, but about somewhat more informal channels such as a simple chat. Both have shared official documents somewhere, or consultation tools, for example. But also have informal channels where people can be more natural and talk about things that make a team, like vacations, Christmas parties…etc. Some IT companies have set up a chat channel just for memes and jokes, which is quite successful in letting go of day-to-day frustration. It may seem silly, but these types of solutions,
Staying inspired is important. Transmitting and talking about how things are going in the IT sector is essential. Know what the latest certifications are, the latest programs, updates... etc. In short, stay informed and keep others informed. Not only does it create a meeting point of things to talk about, but it also maintains a bit of illusion in one's own work and belief in the future. There's nothing better than feeling like you're making progress and being inspired to do good work. The future is something that should never be lost sight of in order to maintain faith in one's own projects and results, especially in long processes.
Finally, choosing the right communication medium is also important. Communicating something in writing is not the same as communicating in person or by phone. Depending on the person and the company culture, some things will sound more serious and a priority than others. And it is important to clarify which ones they are at the beginning of the employment relationship, since each one has some experiences (the age factor also has an influence) and some previous work references. It should not be taken for granted that what happens in the company in which we are, happens in all companies and that it is the most common system. In this way we can choose the most appropriate form for the message.
In conclusion, there are many things that make up good communication and specifically in the IT sector, several factors must be taken into account. But without a doubt, what unites all the parties is the transparency and clarity of the message. That will be the key for communication and a good work environment to flow.