In your position as team leader, one of the things you want to be concerned with is how well the team members get along with each other. Poor relationships can be detrimental to your organization, but good communication and a unified approach can help in achieving success.

People have different beliefs, backgrounds and social skills that can make it difficult to get an effective work flow going.

Here are some effective ways to improve your team’s communication skills:

  1. Institute a courtesy policy. When employees know where their organization stands on treating each other with respect, they usually follow the same protocol themselves. Insisting on common courtesy is the most direct way to improve dialogue among colleagues and ensure that organizational values are upheld.

    • Outline your expectations about how they address others and respond in various situations.

    • Establish consequences for not being courteous so they come to understand its importance.

    • Engage them in discussions about the positive impact it has on their jobs when they’re courteous and respectful to others.

  2. Cross-train staff. A great way to improve communication among co-workers is allowing them to see and understand the elements of other people’s jobs and responsibilities.

    • Having an all-round understanding of the dynamics that go on will inspire your team to communicate without prejudice.

    • Cross-training allows team members to experience each other’s challenges so they can communicate with an educated perspective as opposed to ignorance.

  3. Incentivize effective communication. Incentives for team members encourage them to work harder, which in turn brings back benefits to you. For example, when you see your team members offering excellent customer service, it's important to do something about it - like recognizing their effort!

    • It could be rewarding to make a point based system for the different elements of communication. Some examples are: Courtesy, Respectfulness, Changes in task related expectations and Honest Feedback.

    • Announce recipients of communication incentives so other team members are inspired to improve their level of communication as well.

    • Remind team members that, although you are incentivizing effective communication, it’s still their responsibility to participate in that level of discourse even if you’re not there to see it.

  4. Have regular team meetings. Group meetings are a great way to let your team share ideas and hear each other. In addition, it gives your team members a chance to have direct, open communication with each other.

    • Ask members of the team how they feel about upcoming changes in the organization.

    • Find out from them the issues they are having with others and encourage them to relay the details directly so openness can be achieved.

    • Try to determine if there are areas of the organization’s operations that aren’t as effective as you would like and discuss how strengthening communication can turn things around.


Team communication is a crucial dimension of team success and without it, the team may find themselves uninspiring. To prevent your organisation from experiencing that, make sure you place significant importance on how your co-workers communicate. Otherwise, it can impact the functionality and sustainability of the organization.