A once-steady rise in remote working has hastened pace around the world in response to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
And right alongside the eruption of teams working from home, businesses’ needs for better communication tool stacks have blown up overnight.
(So much so that video-conferencing giant Zoom could barely keep up with demand!)
No matter where your teams are working from, effective communication is a make-or-break factor in their success. Your team’s ability to have high-quality conversations — both on and offline — drives high-quality ideas, connections, and performance at work.
But sourcing a fresh heap of instant-messaging, video-conferencing, and other collaboration software doesn’t equal effective communication.
To get the best out of your tool stack and your people, outlining a series of communication agreements is a must.
For savvy business leaders, creating communication agreements with teams carries an added opportunity — a chance to develop working dynamics that make it possible for colleagues to become friends, which is significant.
Research from LinkedIn says that nearly 50% of working professionals find that having friends at work is essential to their overall happiness. (And happy teams consistently outperform competitors — shocker!)
While there’s enormous scope for what you can include in a remote communication agreement, there’s absolutely no shame in starting small.
Depending on the unique size and qualities of your team, you’ll perhaps find more value in using team agreements to drive culture, rather than define explicit tool purposes and various comms procedures.
###Impala’s Approach: Lead With Community Impala’s approach has been to focus on how we want communication to influence team dynamics and strengthen our community.
We emphasise a seeking mindset and a high degree of intentionality in our Remote Communication Agreements — asking our team to “assume and assert good intent,” to “respond, [not] react” and more.
We’ve shared these below to inspire you in the creation of your own.
Go forth and create communication agreements that speak to your organisation’s unique people and culture!
Especially on remote teams, developing a meaningful set of communication guidelines can drive better team engagements — resulting in improved collaboration, experience, and performance.
But the best communication agreements will always share at least one common attribute; they’ll be iterative.
Just as your culture and teams change over time, your written policies, procedures, and team agreements should too.
Your company culture is constantly evolving (whether you want it to or not), so don’t miss an opportunity to ensure any team agreements are inclusive, relevant, and authentic to the way your company operates.
Revise your communication agreements at least twice a year; and more if your workplace undergoes any significant changes.
By reviewing team agreements on a recurring basis, you’ll create more opportunities to reinforce your organisational culture and community.
By treating communication as a powerful force for creating and fostering culture, you’ll lay an important foundation for more intentional and authentic comms — enabling your entire team to better understand, connect, and collaborate with each other.