As companies across the globe settle into remote or hybrid working environments, many find themselves faced with new challenges that hinder productivity and collaboration efforts.
One challenge that can significantly impact the team’s workflow, teamwork, quality of work, and delivery value is communication.
With remote working, there are fewer opportunities for employees to feel more connected to one another.
Sure, there are various communication platforms in the market that you can leverage like Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams and so on. But those are more effective for quick chats and to spread informal group messages in the workplace.
When employees see one another as just another name on the screen, they can end up feeling detached from the organization, which isn’t ideal if you want to solidify teamwork efforts.
Continue reading to discover communication barrier scenarios in the workplace and how to effectively remove them.
Communication Barriers in the Workplace
Modern-day communication barriers arise when employees feel restrained and unmotivated to get in touch with fellow colleagues.
Fragmented or siloed means of communication also lead to problems. Below are several scenarios that indicate communication barriers in your workplace and some tips on how to solve them.
Employees Can’t Identify the Right Contact Person
Whether you’re in a medium or a large-sized company, it can be pretty tricky for employees to keep track of current field experts.
As positions change and job scopes evolve, it’s highly likely that they can’t identify and contact the right person to ask questions and get guidance from.
If everyone’s in the office, they can immediately tap a colleague on the shoulder and get directed to the experts, but with remote working, it can take longer to get directions.
New Remote Hires Struggle to Get to Know Colleagues
Next, with remote working, you also have remote hiring and onboarding. If you’re using Jira, then you could have set up key processes to help them get on track with their tasks.
Similarly, if you’re using Confluence Cloud, then new team members can swiftly understand their roles and the nature of the business through the knowledge base.
However, it’s a bit of a hurdle to get acquainted with the rest of the team if they’re not provided with much information about their colleagues.
The people make the business, but are your people central to your business?
Employees are Unmotivated to Maintain Communication
According to PMI, teamwork quality decreases with decreasing team member proximity .
As mentioned earlier, when coworkers are just another name behind the screen, employees might feel unmotivated to communicate with the team.
Often, it’s “easier” for them to do their own research and get their answers, rather than reaching out to get information or start valuable dialogues.
This sense of detachment can tarnish collaboration efforts and disrupt productivity.
Removing Communication Barriers across Your Team
Here are three ways you can remove the barriers mentioned across your team.
#1 Set Up a Dynamic Employee Directory
In any growing company, there’s a need to record and display your employees’ expertise, experience, and position so that everyone knows who to direct their questions to.
Setting up a dynamic employee directory where your employees spend most of their time, for example, on Confluence Cloud, is the best way to do this.
A simple contact person display on project/product documentation pages can help your employees instantly get in touch with the person in charge and gain answers almost immediately.
You can leverage comprehensive apps like User Profiles for Confluence Cloud to help you enhance user profiles and display the right experts on the right documentation page.
The app can integrate with Microsoft Teams, so employees are truly one-click away.
If you’re using Jira, then you can gain the capability to display the issue reporter’s information by leveraging User Profiles for Jira.
#2 Create a Clear Organizational Chart
Whether your organization is large or medium, the biggest hurdle to effective collaboration is not knowing anything about the people you’re working with.
This is even more pressing for new remote hires. Sure, a virtual ice breaking session can help them feel welcomed, but they definitely won’t be able to remember everyone until much later.
Having a clear organizational chart resolves this problem by delivering a central information hub for new hires (or even current ones) to refer to.
Organizational charts also help define the business structures, the roles of every team player, and their responsibilities.
You can also add fields like location and contact number to every profile displayed in the chart using the app that was previously mentioned.
#3 Adopt a People-First Approach
While platforms like Jira and Confluence can already help you deliver some level of digital connectivity, it can still evoke a sense of detachment if people don’t feel valued for their presence.
Despite operating remotely and having a more digital identity, you can still adopt a people-first approach by personalizing your employees’ experience in their workspace.
First, you can allow employees to customize the information displayed on their profiles. For instance, they can add a couple of interesting facts about themselves or highlight their personality traits.
Secondly, you can also deliver blogs and crafted news that are specifically for certain teams or groups. The use of Metadata and User Profiles for Confluence Cloud allow you to personalize your employees’ feeds.
Increasing Communication Accessibility for All
Communication barriers won’t be an issue if you can provide an engaging and connected digital environment to help your employees thrive.
There’s so much that you can deliver to your employees to help them assimilate into new working norms when you understand the importance of having a holistic digital team workspace.
Learn more by reading “The Ultimate Guide to Building a Confluence Cloud Team Workspace.”