Being fluent in at least one programming language is essential to being a great programmer. It’s not enough to be a good employee, though. Often, a growing IT company that keeps on employing more and more people becomes chaotic, and its organizational chaos is getting increasingly harder to control.
Because of this, efficient internal communication is crucial to the success of such a company in both the short and long term. Among many benefits, it helps to maintain a good atmosphere, resolve or even avoid conflicts, and speed up the workflow process.
Here’s how to work together on an IT project.
The efficiency of the internal communication depends not only on every single employee but also on the managers’ approach to it. If they treat communication as a priority, it eventually leads to many benefits – not only for the company as a whole but also for its employees. Just to name a few:
- Better and healthier atmosphere within the company – a lower number of misunderstandings and disappointments, and more constructive discussions and friendly conversations
- Employees are less stressed-out and more productive. They know that not everything on their to-do list is urgent. They also know what exactly is expected of them.
- Communication also has an impact on the employees’ morale or their feelings about themselves, their work, the company. Poor communication leads, for example, to missing deadlines, which causes bad emotions. Instead of being productive, people are anxious, and they do not feel satisfied with their work at all. If communication improves, employees simply feel better because they can easily cooperate with each other. They do not feel left all alone.
- Clients’ satisfaction is important for the company, as well. Communication has a huge impact on it. If it is poor, the work cannot be done properly, and the deadlines cannot be achieved. This simply means that the client will not be satisfied if the people working on the project do not understand each other because they do not communicate properly and efficiently.
- It also increases the sense of belonging to the team. Good internal communication can also cause the feeling of belonging to the company. Employees feel that they are partners not only to each other, but also to the board. They don’t feel used. Because they feel that they work at their company, not just at someone else’s company.
The list of benefits can go on and on. But the question is: how to achieve them? How to keep improving communication every day?
The bigger the project, the harder it is to manage. Take a closer look at every project description before the first line of code is written, and ask programmers:
- Do you understand what has to be done and why?
- Do you have any doubts about it?
- Is there anything that would make your work easier?
People simply have to understand what is expected of them. They also need to feel that they have an impact on what they are doing. They also have to know who they can ask any questions, if they appear. People need to feel supported.
If everything is in place, regularly check how things are going, and make sure that there aren’t any downtimes that can cause the deadline to be missed.
Emails, online chats are great if they are used appropriately. For example, sometimes it’s better to talk face-to-face instead of sending emails back and forth. Make sure that your messages are clear and specific and that the receiver feels the same. Sometimes it’s easier to meet in person or, at least, talk on the phone, or whichever chat, instead of writing “corpo emails”.
Interacting with others
Treat people as you would like yourself to be treated. If you want kindness, be kind to others. Engage in small talk, which can lead to friendly conversations. Ask for help if you need it, and help others if you can.
Organizing work of remote or distributed teams
Remote work is very popular in the IT industry, but good internal communication is a must. Use tools like Asana, Trello or whatever app works best for you, and be precise and clear, while communicating through e-mails, Slack, RocketChat or whatever tool you use within the company.
Such meetings are a great way to express concerns and provide suggestions to improve the company in some manner. Another idea is to organize a quick brainstorming exercise to address a particular problem or challenge. Every idea can be good. Remember, though, you have to lead the brainstorming if you want it to be efficient.
Active listening skills
What does “active listening” mean? It’s focusing on what is said by the other person. Stop nodding your head passively. Start listening actively, commenting and asking questions. Make sure you understand what is being said, and that you are understood by others. Active listening means that you can paraphrase what has been told, which means you understand it. Remember, there are no stupid questions. It’s important to ask if there is anything you are not sure about.
Nobody is perfect when it comes to communication skills. The good thing is that you can easily learn it. You just have to want it. Ask questions and do not get irritated when asked a question by someone else. The effects of such a change for the better quickly become apparent, and they affect not only sales volumes but also human relations. All of the above make such training worthwhile. To sum up, you have to listen and talk to be efficient.