Using Different Communications Channels


One thing companies did not need, but we got with the pandemic, was more channels of communication. Between in person, phone, email, text, chat, and whatever else is out there, we added Zoom or Teams or some other platform.

It doesn't matter how fancy the communication tool is, it always comes down to how the tool is used. Which is why it is so important for managers to set proper expectations on how to use the various tools.

The main expectation should be around the urgency of the communication. The channel used would depend on how fast you need an answer or how important the message.

For example, I tell my team that email - ones I send and ones I get - aren't urgent to me. I'm not going to be checking email all the time and I don't expect others are as well. Chat is faster, but not for urgent or things that need longer explanations. Text works best for me. In it needs a more lengthy discussion, a text asking me to call you is the fastest way.

These are all going to vary based on what your team has and how it functions best.

What rules work best aren't as important as making sure that everyone understands the expectations and agrees to them. This means setting the rules and then checking in periodically to make sure they are still working. Once the expectations are set, you can start to hold people accountable and you will find that communication becomes easier.