4 Signs That Communication Between Teams Is Breaking Down

Jack Gill

05 Nov 2021 · 5 mins read

4 Signs That Communication Between Teams Is Breaking Down

Even in today’s ever connected world, breakdowns in communication still occur. A lack of communication brings with it distrust, disillusionment and a disregard for success.

Oftentimes, employees are very aware of these issues. According to Queens University research, 39% of employees around the world believe that their coworkers don’t collaborate sufficiently. 

The prevalence of remote working poses further challenges to this landscape, with teams now under pressure to maintain open communications both virtually and in-person. Gartner’s Digital Worker Experience Survey shows that nearly 80% of workers will be using collaboration technologies for work this year — an increase of 44% from the beginning of the pandemic.

To benefit from these tools, IT leaders should ensure that teams are already working together effectively. Together, teams are stronger and better suited to working through projects. Although this statement is somewhat self-evident, leaders too often ignore a lack of communication before it’s too late. 

Identifying the warning signs is the first step to reconnecting teams and ensuring streamlined operations in the future. Here we look at four of the main signifiers of a breakdown in communication between teams. 

1. No single source of truth 

Multiple sources of truth can lead to indecisive actions and poor decision-making. Data which is inconsistent or worse yet, incorrect, signifies that teams have not reached a consensus about their working processes. 

Indeed, most organisations’ biggest problem today isn’t a lack of data but, rather, how they can harness such information to aid their operations. Technology can play a significant role here. 

Spreadsheets, for example, are notoriously incapable of supporting team collaboration. Unable to trace the most recent copies, teams will often share different versions of these documents, which causes setbacks and leads to further confusion. Combined with their liability to human error, spreadsheets pose a significant risk to team communication. 

No single source of truth is both a signifier and an enabler of bad communication. Without the right tools to facilitate communication, teams will not be able to collaborate sufficiently. From this point, employees are doomed into insular operations where they do not communicate with colleagues. 

To avoid this scenario, leaders should lead with clarity and ensure that their team has a clear idea of where data is being stored. 

2. Errors become more frequent 

What happens when your teams do not have a single source of truth to derive data from? For one, the frequency of avoidable errors that happen is likely to increase. Indeed, according to previous research, 88% of spreadsheets contain some type of mistake. When employees are dealing with multiple versions of documents, it becomes difficult to discern which is the most accurate. 

Pair this with a general lack of communication between colleagues and you have a recipe for disaster. Employees quickly lose track of what each team is accountable for when communication is hampered. 

As a result, work may be duplicated, resulting in poor time management. By building an open and transparent communication culture, teams can nurture the exchange of knowledge and reduce errors.

3. Lack of visibility 

Communication is aided by visibility and accessibility. According to recent research, 13% of employees rank visibility as their top concern in the workplace, while 83 percent believe it is critical to their team’s success.

While you may not be able to see your teammates in person, you can ensure that they are visible throughout tasks and projects. The larger the project’s scope, the more critical visibility becomes. By making assignments, progress, and wins visible, you can help your team connect and collaborate.

All this only emphasises the importance of using tools that have the capacity to visualise project data in a clear and accessible manner. For employees, visibility aids in the development of tighter ties with colleagues, which ingrains a sense of purpose and impact in work. Overall, this means that teams can work more efficiently and collaborate more effectively.

4. Silos emerge

Silos are inherently caused by a lack of communication between teams. When employees stop exchanging information with one another, silos emerge. Companies should try to avoid silos as much as possible since once a silo attitude has taken hold, it can be difficult to break. 

An initial examination of your current procedures and culture will help you identify and resolve any pain points. The results of this assessment will disclose any  threats to your teams’ communication. 

With research showing that companies with greater alignment have 36% higher growth over poorly aligned competitors, overhauling your organisational silos has never been more vital to successful operations. 

A no-code solution

No-Code tools are quick-to-setup and easy-to-use platforms that don’t require any coding experience. These systems may be established fast and scaled to meet your business needs with a small amount of training.

As a cloud-hosted platform, Gridfox is a no-code tool that puts communication at the heart of its functionality by enabling teams to stay connected no matter where they are. 

Visibility, too, is a central tenet to Gridfox, which provides a complete audit trail of all modifications made to a record. The audit maintains complete transparency for all modifications, including the date on which a record was updated, the user who made the change, and the field on the record that was altered. 

Unlike spreadsheets, which require new copies to reflect any changes made to a document, no-code tools guarantee that data is always up-to-date and accessible. By providing a single source of truth, these tools keep teams on the same page and reduce the potential of any silos. 

To best support these tools, it is advised that leaders take the time to put together a plan which details the tools that will be used to share data and insights. Managers, too, should lead with openness to ensure that teams are not only connected, but that they feel comfortable sharing insights with colleagues. 

Enabling your teams to communicate more effectively doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With Gridfox’s large catalogue of templates, managers can ensure visibility and critical oversight for responsibilities such as content research and team meetings.

By marrying these elements of inclusive leadership and no-code technology, teams can begin to strengthen communications once again. 

Want to find out how Gridfox can empower your teams? Get started with Gridfox for free here

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