Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Agile Payments Blog


5 Ways to Improve Team Communication in The Workplace

There’s no collaboration or teamwork without communication. Even if it didn’t improve efficiency and team cohesion (which it does), with an inefficient communication system, even the simplest task can be made incredibly difficult. Finishing a task without having a clear way to report that you’re done can make someone else miss a deadline waiting for you to finish your part.

Still, the fact that communication can be a problem does little to nothing to tell you how to improve it. Well, for all those who are determined to be proactive on this issue, here are the top five ideas (and tools/methods to help you do it).


1) Establish official communication channels and tools 

Before you even start talking about collaboration, you need to acknowledge two things. First, it’s ludicrous to even talk about improving communication if you don’t have the basic infrastructure set up. 

Second, most communication (even in on-spot workplaces) is online. People are not walking up to the whiteboard to check the schedule or looking at the pins on the drywall to see the next task on their plate. People communicate via IM with their colleagues (just a few desks away).

Whether or not this is good is debatable, but no one can deny it’s efficient. It’s quieter (reducing distractions in the office) and quicker (reducing the need for foot traffic). 

So, to start setting up this field, you need to establish a couple of software and structural categories through which all of this communication will take place:

  • Collaboration tools: This is the backbone of your company and any project you work with. Here, you’ll assign tasks, share files and update your colleagues on your work. This is also where you’ll place all your inquiries. 
  • Instant messaging software: You can’t ask people to use their personal Viber for work. When chats with colleagues get intertwined with personal chats, sensitive corporate IP will be shared with outsiders by default. Also, getting 99+ notifications from your kid’s kindergarten group is incredibly distracting.
  • Reports and official feedback channels: People need an outlet to tell you exactly what they think about your organization. This needs to be formalized and standardized. You must also provide them with complete anonymity to be as honest as possible.
  • Regular team meetings: You need to give people a structured but semi-formal environment where they can fully express their opinions in front of their peers. 

You can proceed to the peculiarities only after you handle these issues. 

2) Showing appreciation via employee engagement platforms

Sometimes, the importance of a message requires a specific tool or approach to the situation. This is especially true when you’re trying to show appreciation for your staff without giving out outlandish bonuses. 

People need to feel appreciated in your organization. Now, regarding appreciation, the most efficient method is the good old “show, do not tell.” The most efficient way to handle it is through a good employee engagement platform

Most importantly, employee engagement platforms have specific data regarding employee performance. It’s far more meaningful to praise the specific achievement that an employee did than to give them a generic “Thanks for all the work you’re putting in; we appreciate it.” The first feels earned, the latter… not so much.

These tools also track personal milestones, which allows the enterprise (and members of management personally) to show their appreciation in action. Celebrating work anniversaries, personal records, and professional triumphs is what this is all about. 

This is not a strictly top-to-bottom concept since you can use these employee engagement platforms to deepen bonds between your employees. Since the mutual interest is not as strong, these bonds develop more organically. 

While we lack specific statistics on this, many people avoid leaving their current place of work because it would mean abandoning their coworkers (not out of loyalty to their boss). These engagement platforms can make peer-to-peer recognition much simpler and smoother, especially with the use of social and interactive features.

3) Centralize scheduling through event staffing software

Previously, we’ve mostly focused on improving communication in everyday use; however, what about special events? Some companies generally organize conferences, trade shows, and corporate events. You don’t want these occurrences (that are regular but not day-to-day) to interfere with your regular day-to-day communication. Why not move it to a whole different platform?

This task will be much easier if you find the best event staffing software for your enterprise. This way, you can track work hours during these events (which may be paid differently than standard hours), track schedules (which deviate from the norm), and rapidly communicate (via an independent channel). 

It gets even better. You see when hosting an event, it’s never the entirety of your staff that’s involved. This is why, with event staffing software, you get a centralized staff database from which you’ll easily pick the most qualified members. 

Previously, we’ve mentioned communication via an independent/separate channel. This is important for many reasons. First, you don’t want to intermingle regular work communication with these event-specific messages. Once the event passes, you’ll have to return to the standard format, and picking off where you were will be much harder. Also, people not involved in the event shouldn’t be distracted by unnecessary notifications and messages. 

Evaluating performance during an event is difficult on its own. You need to gather feedback from attendees and partners, most of which have no idea who they’re talking to 99% of the time (even with tags and avatar names). You must also track time and attendance, manage multiple timesheets, and process this through your payroll. Needless to say, you have a lot on your plate and a specialized 

4) An efficient payment system

Keep in mind that there are parts of communication that are actively handled through the payment system. All of this is information, data, and non-verbal communication processed through myriad communication channels, without which your business would just cease to exist.

Paying your staff on time is not just mandatory and good-mannered – it communicates respect. If their salary is missing by a week, no amount of affirmative speech or praise will convince them that you’re sincere. 

You’re communicating your corporate efficiency by making all your payments on time. Just think about it, as a business, if you’re late with a payment, people automatically assume the worse (you’re either insolvent or irresponsible). The thing is that people talk, and while people from your accounting department have likely signed an NDA, the word will still get out.

It won’t be long until people from your staff get panicky. 

  • Why did you fail to renew the license on their daily software? 
  • Why isn’t the new material arriving? 
  • Is this just a simple accounting-related hiccup, or is there enough ground for them to look for a new job?

By making all the payments on time, you’ll communicate that everything’s running smoothly. This is so important that it’s worth hiring financial experts and closely following the most efficient and innovative payment trends.

Then, you have the invoices and purchase orders. These are communicated to your partners and strategic vendors. By sending accurate and practical invoices, it will be a lot easier to establish a simple financial flow between the two companies. It’s not just metaphorical to say that companies communicate through numbers. 

5) Foster active listening in the workplace

The biggest obstacle to inefficient communication is a scenario in which parties aren’t listening to each other. Instead, they’re either waiting for the other person to finish so they can speak (completely zoned out so they don’t forget their own talking points) or speaking over each other.

It wouldn’t be that far-fetched to say that, in most cases, a mediator (or a therapist) makes people listen to the other party’s words.

If true, wouldn’t it be more efficient to avoid waiting for the problem to happen and start fostering an active listening culture in the workplace from the get-go? 

You need to lead by example. As a leader, you should show people what it’s like to show an active interest in other people’s words. After all, you’re the one with all the authority. If you wanted, everyone else would stay quiet when you speak. Actively choosing to listen instead sends a powerful message. 

Encourage open dialogue so people know concerns, criticisms, and disagreements won’t be sanctioned.

Lastly, active listening is a skill, and it can be learned. So, why not consider a course in active listening for your staff?

Improving communication leads to a positive culture and higher efficiency 

As you can see, we’ve deliberately touched on as many different aspects, forms, and interpretations of communication as possible. After all, communication is a broad term. Sometimes, you need a basic infrastructure; at other times, you need a tool specially designed for the task. Not all communication and the idea that money talks is not always metaphorical. Lastly, everyone should listen more and talk less.

By Srdjan Gombar

Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.