All Articles
How to streamline communication on your team: 9 actionable strategies

How to streamline communication on your team: 9 actionable strategies

min read

A hidden (or sometimes not-so-hidden) cost many businesses deal with is unneeded, difficult, or time-consuming communication. This comes in many forms, such as:

  • Unnecessary or overly long meetings
  • Emails sent to everyone that might only be relevant to a few people
  • People being left out of the loop that could benefit from being included
  • Unclear assignments, such as ones without goals, timelines, or specific tasks
  • Unclear roles for updating documents, disseminating information, or leading teams

In fact, 65% of employees feel that their time is regularly wasted in meetings. This is a problem worth solving. It's time to streamline communication once and for all.

What does it mean to streamline communication?

To streamline communication is to foster effective communication within your organization. Your employees need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely without waiting eons for follow-ups and clarification — especially in today's work environment with remote communication.

A company with streamlined communications doesn't waste its employees' time. Everyone knows what's expected of them in terms of tasks, timelines, and goals. This often takes a bit more effort upfront; it requires things like putting more thought into emails, setting meeting agendas before they happen, or implementing project management software to keep track of everyone's tasks.

Companies with great team communication work to simplify collaboration. Communication within a department usually isn't difficult, but messaging and working on cross-departmental initiatives often isn't so simple.

Benefits of streamlined communication

Companies that establish streamlined communications are generally more productive, efficient, and profitable. Here are a few additional benefits of a more unified communication strategy.

Better use of resources

Forbes recently released a report titled The State of Workplace Communication in 2024 and found that nearly half of workers report their productivity being affected by ineffective communication. Thankfully, the majority of workers are using digital communication tools for up to 20 hours a week to align on initiatives and get work done across in-person, hybrid, and remote workplaces. Better digital communication especially is helping people use their time more wisely, prioritize their efforts, and work toward KPIs that impact the bottom line of the business.

Improved access to information

Many boil streamlined communication down to mean "how your employees talk to each other." However, an important form of communication in many companies is accessing data, documents, and reports.

For example, if the CMO is the only one who can see important marketing information, other marketing teammates will be less effective. Or, if information is stored in poorly organized Google Drive folders, an employee might use an outdated style guide instead of the current one.

Happier employees

Have you ever heard about employees who love their jobs because they're always sitting in unproductive meetings or have vague tasks with no follow-up? We haven't either.

In fact, some of the most common reasons for unhappy employees all stem from ineffective or wasted communication:

  • Frustrations with leadership
  • Too many meetings
  • Unsupportive culture
  • Boredom

The truth is that most employees want to feel useful and like they're contributing to meaningful work. Poor communication methods unnecessarily bog down entire companies. Happier employees are generally more productive.

Faster growth

If a company has poor team communication when the company has 20 employees, what will happen when it grows to 50, 500, 5,000 employees? You must establish efficient communication practices right from the start, or you'll waste more time with each additional hire.

9 ways to streamline communication for your team

Let's explore a few practical ways you can improve team communication across your organization or within your department.

1. Set a team lead

Projects that require several employees to work together need a point person to steer the ship. Whether this project includes contributors from the same department or across many different ones, someone needs to be in charge.

If you're a more senior leader, delegate this leadership to someone else and task them with holding (quick) meetings, defining timelines, setting tasks, holding others accountable, and taking responsibility for the project's results.

2. Define roles

Everyone's role in a company must be defined, from their day-to-day responsibilities to their tasks for a temporary team project. Clearly communicate what you want from people, and often they'll rise to the occasion and do great work.

Make sure they know answers to these questions, at a minimum:

  • Who do they report to?
  • Who reports to them?
  • Are they expected to prepare for a weekly meeting with someone each week?
  • What KPIs are each employee directly responsible for?
  • Who's supposed to update key company documents or send out company-wide communication?

3. Use project management software

Project management software (PMS) is an incredibly effective way to streamline communication. Many departments love to use a PM tool to set clear tasks and timelines for employees. A weekly meeting is often set to discuss the prior week's assignments and set new ones for the following week.

Streak is one such software that allows for assigning tasks and setting deadlines. Its easy integration into Gmail makes it simple for employees to see all of their to-dos, right from their inboxes.

4. Provide more thorough details upfront

For many companies, the primary methods of communication are email and direct messaging rather than phone calls and in-person conversations. Often, these written messages lack certain details and require follow-up from recipients.

In many cases, managers and C-suite members send quick messages to avoid wasting time. However, this results in vague tasks for employees. They'll spend valuable time trying to get clarification or muddling through an assignment.

Before sending a message, take a few seconds to read it over to ensure that all necessary details are included. In the long run, this will save an incredible amount of time and result in more effective internal communication.

5. Organize information and folders

As mentioned before, most workplace communication isn't happening in face-to-face interactions. Often, it looks more like one employee reading a document created by another. In even small organizations, the number of shared documents can reach a staggering amount.

Many organizations use solutions such as Google Workspace for quick emailing, chatting, and document creation capabilities. Whether you're a manager, individual contributor, or somewhere in between, there's nothing wrong with emphasizing the importance of naming structure, folder hierarchy, and the roles of different employees in organizing and updating files.

(Pro tip: Streak can layer on top of your Gmail instance within Google Workplace to act as a CRM, centralizing data and associating files with different clients.)

6. Have a clear hierarchy of communication channels

Larger companies are usually better at establishing who should talk and report to whom. It's common for smaller companies to have CEOs give assignments directly to the lowest-level employees and for those employees to report back to the CEO.

However, this undercuts department managers who often have other tasks and priorities for their team members. When a CEO (or other high-level employee) reaches out, the employee feels the need to drop everything else.

7. Define the preferred modes of communication

One of the biggest communication challenges for teams is the multiple channels that can be used to communicate. It's wasteful for a team to check email, direct messages (in systems like Slack), project management software, voicemails, and more to ensure they're not missing important information.

Many companies today prefer a direct messaging system, so employees can check one central place for all messages. This especially makes sense for communication between remote employees.

In short, reduce the number of communication channels your organization uses, and make it clear to employees when to use which communication method.

8. Set a clear purpose and timeframe for meetings

No one likes to attend pointless meetings, so first, you must decide if a meeting is actually necessary. Employees don't enjoy preparing and showing up to a meeting, exchanging pleasantries, and then realizing that the meeting could have been an email.

Whoever is setting the meeting should define a clear purpose for it. Then, set a timeframe and agenda, keeping brevity and plenty of time for questions in mind. Rarely do meetings need to be an hour or more. At the end of each meeting, ensure that everyone understands any tasks resulting from the discussion.

Did you know that with Streak's software, you can schedule meetings that sync directly with your coworkers' Google Calendars? Plus, Streak AI can help you instantly create productive meeting agendas to keep the conversation on track.

A digital illustration from Streak with a notification for a "Meeting with Toast Enterprise," an agenda being prepared, and the text "Prep-less meetings: Use an AI-suggested meeting agenda template based on your calendar and previous notes." Beside it is the text, "Put your pipeline on autopilot.

9. Regular company-wide communication

One way to improve the camaraderie of a company is to send regular updates to all employees. This could come in a few different forms, such as a:

  • Newsletter
  • Company-wide message
  • Quick weekly all-hands meeting

Employees who feel included and part of the company's fabric are more likely to support its vision and stick around.

Streamline your team's communication with Streak

Effective team communication is the cornerstone of a productive and efficient organization. However, many businesses struggle with unnecessary or ineffective communication practices that waste time and resources.

Implementing the strategies above can lead to improved employee satisfaction, better use of resources, and ultimately, increased company effectiveness. By setting clear roles, using project management software like Streak, and establishing preferred modes of communication, you can create a more cohesive, productive team environment.

Want to see how the all-remote Streak team uses Streak to simplify communication? Read this blog post.

Want to demo Streak for yourself? Request a free 14-day trial.

Related articles

We're hiring

Come build something great with us.