As work uncouples from location and remote work becomes the norm, it is crucial for business leaders, communication directors, and project managers to improve their communication management skills, processes, and tools.
With efficient communication management, you increase chances of project success, enhance employee engagement, and improve resource capacity across the organization. In the world of remote work where most communications happen asynchronously and through screens, the ability to communicate effectively with employees, customers, and other stakeholders is a vital skill that cannot be overstated.
What is communication management?
Communication management is the deliberate art of planning, executing, monitoring, and improving communication processes within a team, project, or organization.
Good communication management does not only revolve around employees and internal projects. It also includes clear and proactive communications with external stakeholders like customers, communities, investors, partners, and regulatory bodies.
A communication manager's role includes improving the organization's communication strategies, designing team collaboration processes, and managing the flow of information between stakeholders.
Why is communication management important?
Communication management is essential for success at the personal, team, and organizational levels. It can drive project success, build reputation and goodwill, and communicate the stability and clarity of an organization.
When deliberate communication management is a part of a company’s culture, it fosters team closeness and a shared sense of vision that allows employees to collaborate easily and meet project goals even when working remotely.
In addition to the benefits above, effective communication management is important for the following reasons:
- Fosters an environment of trust
- Enables remote collaboration by setting the rules for where, how, who, and when to communicate in different aspects of the organization's processes
- Ensures public accountability within teams, whether in-office or remote
- Maintains the company culture with clear documentation
- Enhances team morale as feedback is given and received positively
- Maintains quality and standards in leaders, managers, and employees
- Sets clear expectations for every new project
What are the most common challenges of communication management?
As crucial as communication management is in project management and other aspects of an organization’s operations, it is beset with challenges usually regarding interpersonal relationships, cross-functional collaboration, and poor communication practices.
Weak communication management gives rise to problems like low-trust environments, reduced productivity and employee engagement, information hoarding, and lost files and messages.
Effective communication management tips for remote working
To position your organization for success, you must adopt the right communication management techniques to improve remote collaboration and encourage ownership of tasks between teammates.
Here are several practical communication management tips for remote working.
- Create avenues for team integration
Remote working may lead to feelings of isolation in employees, which can cause lower productivity. Good communication management nips this in the bud by creating opportunities for collaboration and virtual activities to engage employees and keep them integrated in the work environment.
- Keep employees updated
Remote teams and employees benefit and work productively when they understand clearly how their work ties into the organization's goals. Effective communication in remote teams provides necessary information about how the organization works remotely, the tools and techniques they use, and how each person's role connects to the organization’s goals.
- Act on employee feedback
In remote work organizations, non-verbal communication can get lost in interpretation. Employees may not know how their work performs if they don’t receive actionable feedback. Likewise, management may be unaware of employee feedback and suggestions, which could lead to reduced morale and productivity. Good communication management opens an information flow between employees and management and keeps the remote work environment positive.
- Implement the right technology
The most effective tip for remote work organizations is finding and implementing the right communication technology for your organization. The tools you choose can make or break your team's success. Wrike's team project communication tool makes it easy to unify communication management and project management on one platform for all your team members.
Communication management skills you need in project management
In summary, the most important communication management skills you need in project management tackle communications management planning, communications management execution, and communications monitoring and reporting.
Using a communication plan within a detailed project plan, project managers capture the audience, objective, channel, content, and communication frequency between stakeholders and team members for each project.
Essential communication management skills you need in project management include:
- Active listening to team members and stakeholders who are indispensable to various aspects of ongoing projects within the organization, e.g., subject matter experts and project sponsors
- Creating organized processes for team members so they know who is assigned to specific tasks, who reviews those tasks, when the due dates are, how to compile and deliver work to supervisors, who sends reports, and other important details
- Sourcing, passing, and implementing feedback from employees and leadership
- Maintaining proactive and timely communications within the organization (internal communications) and outside the organization (external communications)
- Conflict resolution and mediation in cases of issues between teammates on a project
- Maintaining communication consistency with the brand voice and organizational marketing assets and messages
Why Wrike should be your project communication tool
Today, there are many software tools for remote project communication management. It's wise to work with IT personnel to determine the best fit for the organization’s needs based on company size, work type, and employees' tech-savviness.
It's beneficial to choose a project communication tool that caters to both in-person and remote collaboration, as well as project management, so that you can easily monitor, create, and send relevant updates to teammates.
Wrike is a project communication tool that connects all communication management processes from planning to reporting, and helps project managers maintain streamlined communications while working in multiple teams and projects. You can monitor ongoing project progress and update team members all on the same platform.