top of page

A Roadmap to Aligning Your Team


By the time we identify a problem, it's often too late to address it effectively. Often, these issues can be resolved through proactive overcommunication. However, without the correct information and a shared understanding among team members, the situation can quickly deteriorate, leading to frustration and a perception that the business lacks organization.


Leaders may feel the need to limit the information their teams receive due to concerns about causing panic, losing control, protecting confidentiality, avoiding confrontation, safeguarding their position or reputation, overestimating their own capabilities, or a lack of trust in their team's ability to handle sensitive information responsibly. However, it's essential to recognize that this myth has been busted time after time. Studies show that transparency and open communication are typically more effective in building trust, fostering collaboration, and promoting a healthy, engaged, and well-informed workforce.


In 2016, BetterWorks released results of an employee survey in which 92% said they’d work harder if they knew company goals — yet 40% of employees admit they don’t understand the bigger “Why” behind their work.

When issues go unnoticed or unaddressed until they escalate, they tend to grow in complexity and impact. Often, they become more challenging to rectify, causing disruptions, and potentially leading to decreased productivity. This can strain the relationship between employees and management.


Additionally, when communication is lacking or when information is not adequately shared, team members may feel disconnected from the decision-making process. This can lead to a sense of disarray within the organization, causing frustration and eroding morale. In such an environment, employees might perceive that management is not prioritizing their well-being or the success of the business.


To mitigate these issues, it is essential for organizations to invest in clear, consistent, and proactive OVERcommunication.


Here's how you can differentiate between traditional communication and new-age overcommunication. Traditional internal communication involves sharing essential information and updates with your team to keep them informed and engaged. It's about conveying the necessary details and maintaining a clear line of dialogue. Overcommunication, on the other hand, goes a step further by intentionally providing additional or redundant information to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has a thorough understanding of the subject. While regular communication aims to meet basic informational needs, overcommunication takes a proactive approach to reduce ambiguity, reinforce key messages, and foster transparency, thereby minimizing misunderstandings and promoting alignment within the team.



Overcommunication is a crucial antidote to several issues you might be currently facing. It involves consistently sharing information, updates, and concerns, even before they become significant issues. By doing so, teams can create an environment of transparency and trust. When everyone is on the same page and understands the challenges and opportunities, they are better equipped to collaborate effectively and respond swiftly to emerging problems.


Below are the biggest missed opportunities when it comes to overcommunicating to align your team (some might make you uncomfortable, but this is where the world is headed):

  1. Company Mission and Values

  2. Strategic Objectives

  3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  4. Project Updates

  5. Changes in Strategy or Direction

  6. Feedback and Recognition

  7. Market and Industry Trends

  8. Customer Feedback and Insights

  9. Financial Health and Future Investments

  10. Supplier or Vendor Relationships

  11. Innovation Initiative

  12. Employee Benefits and Development Opportunities

  13. Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives


If you believe you have effectively communicated these with your team, ask yourself, "Can every employee clearly explain and train new hires on each of the above?" If the answer isn't a resounding, "yes," we have work to do.


To reiterate, when leaders consistently share their vision, goals, expectations, and even roadblocks, they build trust and foster deeper connections with their employees. When employees feel valued and trusted, they are more motivated to see the bigger picture and take ownership of their roles.


Overcommunication, when done correctly, allows everyone to feel the value of having a shared vision and realigns the direction everyone is rowing in, thus fueling innovation and growth. What we don't want is for everyone to be inundated with even more unnecessary noise. Based on Level Up's experience, here are our top system suggestions to get your time aligned with your goals:


Regular Stand-Up Meetings

Regular stand-up meetings, such as daily or weekly huddles, can significantly boost team performance by providing a platform for team members to share their current plan and progress, and a safe space to ask for any resources to tackle issues. This allows for quick issue resolution, for team leads to get a pulse-check on their team and realign priorities if needed, and enhances overall collaboration and alignment.


Internal Communication Platforms

A McKinsey & Company report emphasizes the benefits of internal communication platforms, which can improve productivity by up to 25%. These facilitate efficient information sharing, document collaboration, and real-time discussions, ensuring that employees are well-informed and focused on their tasks. Also, imagine opening your inbox every morning to fewer emails! It would drastically cut down the number of emails everyone sorts through, no more CC'ing and BBC'ing on endless chains, no more sensitive emails going out to clients by mistake, no tasks getting buried or sifting through 100's of emails to get to one announcement about the upcoming company retreat from 2 weeks ago.


One goal here is to replace "office drive-bys" where team members stop by each others' desks with one-off questions. This works for some but is often disruptive for leaders and awkward for subordinates. Another potential benefit is to have a real-time arena for everything happening in the company.


Platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams are incredibly dynamic and can be leveraged to share everything from team goals, KPIs, and reminders, to employee recognitions and lunch orders. Many internal messaging systems sync with other platforms to provide automated updates and reminders (ex. "Expenses are due in 2 days!" or "Client Joe just submitted an NPS score!")


Performance Dashboards

According to a study by Domo, data-driven performance dashboards can enhance decision-making speed by 28%. By providing team members with access to key performance metrics and project statuses, these dashboards empower employees to monitor their own progress, stay informed, and remain motivated to achieve their goals.



Regular Feedback & Recognition Loops

Establishing one-on-one feedback sessions, anonymous surveys, or suggestion boxes helps employees understand their performance, address areas for improvement, and stay motivated through a sense of value and engagement.


Additionally, a report by Forbes indicates that employee recognition programs lead to a 23.4% increase in employee productivity. By instituting these programs, such as monthly awards, bonuses, or public acknowledgments, companies can motivate their employees' behaviors and successes as they align with the larger vision, encouraging them to stay focused on priorities and strive for excellence in their roles.

 

In conclusion, the art of effective leadership is intrinsically tied to proactive communication. By overcommunicating with your team, you create an atmosphere of trust, connectivity, and clarity, where everyone is aligned with the organization's vision and goals. This foundation of trust in turn breeds accountability, empowering your top performers, the A-Players, to take ownership of their success. As they rise to the challenge, they become the driving force behind innovation and growth within your company. So, let the mantra be clear: when leaders embrace overcommunication, they pave the way for excellence, creating a culture where everyone's potential is unlocked, and the shared vision is brought to life.


 
MAYA ISHARANI
maya@levelupws.com

Comments


bottom of page