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people-woman-coffee-meeting-mediumAs you’re keeping your team productive this month, you’ve probably spent a good amount of time wondering how you can avoid scheduling yet another meeting, right? Because that’s all anyone needs more of this month: another meeting and more buzzword bingo.

So short of creating a tally list of the times that a presenter says “uh..” or “um..,” what can you do to keep your team on point this month?

Communication is key to keeping your team productive

I know – I just begged you for no more meetings, right? Well, who said you had to have a meeting to have effective communication?

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, there are these other things you can use to avoid meetings while still communicating:

  • Email
  • Text or a phone call
  • Internet based communication programs
    • Slack – it’s like a big group text message that your whole team can see
    • Insightly
  • Webinars for a prerecorded communication that your team can watch when they have the time

The point is, it’s okay to get creative. If you’ve got your whole team on slack, they can check the messages for each project and keep up to date. Or, if you can prerecord a webinar presentation, fantastic! Let your team catch it on their time. Meeting avoided.

Sometimes, though, meetings can’t be avoided. That’s okay. Just keep them short, sweet, and valuable. How do you do that? Well, make sure your team sees the whole picture, too. Because if they can see both the whole picture and all of the grainy details, they’re going to know where they need to go without you having to point out every mile marker to them.

Then let your team have downtime together

Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos

Once your team sees the big picture, it’s important to let them have some downtime. We’re not robots, so we need time to process, talk, and relax. Plus, if your team gets the chance to have some fun together, they’re actually going to work better together.

Think about it: who do you work best with? Your BFF that you’ve worked with on a bazillion other projects? (the one that you know so well you can finish each others’ sentences) or the new guy six cubicles down who doesn’t speak your same dialect of geek?

You’re going to want to work with your BFF, I can guarantee it (unless you’re single and the new guy is super hot and you don’t mind learning about the intrinsic workings of the holodeck on Star Trek, that is).

Of course, the only way to get a BFF at work is to spend time together. And the best way to spend time together at work is to take breaks together: whether that means a quick cocoa break in the back room or going out to lunch as a team. Crazy, I know. But building that camaraderie will only make the communication and productivity (and inside jokes) get better.

So as you set up your team building skills and meetings this month, why not keep a focus on helping your team to be more productive this cold wintry month? Why not go bowling or catch a quick lunch together? Or just hang out at your computer and watch some epic fails on YouTube. Take five minutes to build the skills and tools you need to better communicate so you can work better together as a team.

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