While many people might like to work alone, work is usually more productive when done in teams. Every individual can bring a unique gift of skill set to a particular project that, when combined with others on the team, results in an efficiency that could not be accomplished singularly. At the same time, teams are not very effective if members are not open with one another. With that in mind, consider the following five ways to help you improve your workplace communication.

Implement an Open Door Policy

Every team needs a manager, and that person needs to be accessible to all team members. Rather than closing off communication and leaving team members to fend for themselves, managers need to have an open door policy. This encourages communication by enabling every person on the project to feel that they have a voice.

Accept and Handout Regular Feedback

There should be regular feedback taking place across the team. This heads off potential problems before they become serious errors. This also enables team members to brainstorm new ideas and work to perform their duties even more effectively. Feedback, both positive and negative, should be encouraged as a regular part of team meetings and duties.

Account Management

Find someone to represent you to outsourced work. For example, construction management services often make use of an owner agent. This is a way of ensuring that all of the needs of the company are being met within the project that is being completed. An outside firm will represent the owner at all stages of the building project, working to ensure that proper communication takes place amongst all teams involved. This brings about positive results and productivity is improved as a result.  A similar account manager represent you in a firm when you send work to be translated, or have a graphic design firm work on brand management. The key is finding the right liaison.

Put Technology to Good Use

You no longer have to rely on face to face communication within your teams. Put technology to use by utilizing project management software. This will provide continual updates to all team members relating to the progress of each individual task, leading up to the successful completion of the project. This is a way of instantly communicating with everyone on the team without having to call a meeting.

Have Team Breaks

There are times when the team just needs a break. Schedule these in. Provide some downtime when team members can work on other items beneficial to the company, while giving their mind a rest from the project that has consumed their working days to this point. Casual conversation that’s not work related can lead to stronger relationships that will translate into more comfort with workplace communication.

These are five ways that will help improve communication across your teams. As each individual member feels valued and is able to contribute their thoughts and ideas openly, positive teamwork will be the inevitable result. This is will lead to increased productivity and efficiency, which is of course the ultimate goal.