How to Improve Team Communication: 11 Best Strategies and Tips

When communication in a team is off, every aspect of work takes the blow — from employee happiness and productivity to company success and earnings. 

So, team communication is an integral part of successful team collaboration, and it’s worth taking a bit of time to assess the state of it in your organization and see how to improve it.

In this guide, we elaborate on why improving team communication is important and provide 11 tips on how managers and employees can work together to take their communication practices to the next level.

How to Improve Team Communication-cover
  • 72% of business leaders believe effective communication has increased their teams’ productivity, and 52% of knowledge workers agree.
  • Improving communication can boost overall team happiness — and employee happiness is vital for the company’s long-term success and well-being.
  • Organizations whose employees are well-connected show a productivity increase of 25%.
  • 43% of surveyed HR specialists claimed that employee engagement was their top priority. 
  • A proper professional should be polite, but not submissive, and confident, but not too aggressive.

Why is it important to improve team communication? 

Great team communication is essential for the success of any organization. 

According to Pumble’s workplace communication statistics, 72% of business leaders believe effective communication has increased their teams’ productivity, and 52% of knowledge workers agree.  

In addition to these statistics, here are some compelling reasons why you should strive to improve your team communication.

Great team communication boosts employee happiness

A Gallup study finds that improving communication can boost overall team happiness — and employee happiness is vital for the company’s long-term success and well-being

Once the employees are more open to communicating with each other, they will learn more about their colleagues. 

Hence, the trust between colleagues will increase, and professionals will be happy to work in a more friendly atmosphere.

Open and regular communication improves team motivation

When employees don’t get all the necessary information they need to perform a task and they don’t feel free to ask for it, it’s only natural that they won’t feel motivated to do their jobs. 

However, clear communication about the team’s immediate tasks is not the only thing that matters — team members should also get regular updates on company goings-on and plans. 

This information helps them see the bigger picture, i.e. how their work contributes to overall company success. 

Great team communication is essential for employee retention

Team communication increases engagement, and employee engagement is one of the key aspects of a successful company. 

According to the aforementioned Pumble workplace statistics, 43% of surveyed HR specialists claimed that employee engagement was their top priority. 

Hence, if you want your employees to stay loyal to your company and thrive with it — work on team communication skills. 

Effective team communication equals higher productivity

According to one ​​work productivity statistics, organizations whose employees are well-connected show a productivity increase of 25%

So, unobstructed information flow is integral for team productivity. 

Effective team communication saves money

Companies need to be made aware that the state of communication in their teams has a tremendous impact on their earnings. 

According to a report from Axios HQ, ineffective communication takes a serious toll on US business — it amounts to $2 trillion annually.

Putting some effort into improving communication can save a lot of money in the long run.

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

To find out more about why it is important to improve team communication, check out the following article: 

Strategies for building and improving team communication

Now that you know more about the importance of team communication, it is time to learn more about the most efficient strategies for building and improving team communication. 

#1 Build self-confidence

Self-confidence is essential if you want to help yourself and others communicate better in various communication situations

It’s especially necessary for managers, who often need to: 

  • Communicate information about projects and tasks, 
  • Organize group work, and 
  • Serve as mediators between individual teammates.

Therefore, here are some ways you can build your self-confidence:

  • Boost your existing skills — Identify the skills and talents you have that are vital for your role and responsibilities in the company. This way, you’ll also be boosting your self-esteem.
  • Learn new skills — Nothing improves your confidence as much as learning a new skill essential for your role, e.g. active listening.
  • Copy other confident people — Observe the people from your environment and identify the confident ones. Then, aim to emulate their strengths.
  • Leave your comfort zone — Leaving your comfort zone in terms of communication patterns may seem daunting at first. But, the ability to change our behavior and adapt to the current situation helps build self-confidence and unveils our potential in terms of acclimatizing to changing circumstances. 
  • Set personal goals — Set SMART goals and work a bit every day on achieving them. The steady personal growth, resulting from achieving these goals, will help you feel much more confident.

#2 Work on communication skills

Communication skills refer to the ability to convey information and ideas effectively.  

To communicate effectively, you’ll need to nurture the right communication skills daily. 

So, try doing the following:

  • Be clear — At any time, be clear on what you’re trying to convey — what do you want the other person to understand? 
  • Adjust your communication style to the people you talk with — the more people you talk to, the better you will be able to communicate. Furthermore, you would know how to approach different people and optimize your communication style. 
  • Listen to others — To establish a two-way communication process, apart from clearly conveying your thoughts, you’ll also need to actively listen to others. Pay attention to what others are saying, and don’t let your thoughts about what you want to say in reply distract you from the message you are receiving.
  • Be direct — If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or new information, present them to your teammates directly. Watch your tone and other non-verbal cues, to avoid having your directness be interpreted as rudeness.
  • Hone your writing skills — Employers look for candidates with strong written communication skills. In line with that, you should pay special attention to perfecting this type of communication.
  • Avoid jargon — Refrain from using jargon words and phrases, especially if they don’t have a universal meaning. Not everyone will be familiar with them.
  • Avoid absolute language — Avoid using absolute words such as “always”, “never”, “no one”, and “everyone”. Often use of absolute words diminishes your credibility as a speaker and the value of your claims and arguments, even when they are valid.

#3 Be aware of team roles

As an employer or manager, you have to be in charge of assigning team roles — you pick your team. 

Hence, choosing the right people for the job and setting clear expectations for them is crucial. 

On the other hand, if you are an employee, you shouldn’t (at least in the beginning) have too casual an approach to your colleagues and superiors. 

Although, after some time, your superiors might become very friendly and insist on a relaxed approach, you should still try to maintain ​​respectful communication

#4 Ask for feedback

As an employee, you should regularly ask for feedback. 

Only then can you further develop your performance and achieve better results.

However, it’s not enough that only employees receive feedback — managers and superiors will also need to ask for an assessment. 

As a result, when all professionals within a company see that the same rules apply to everyone, they will work as one, and strive towards common goals. 

An example of asking for feedback
An example of asking for feedback

Here are some universal tips (for both superiors and employees) on how to ask for quality feedback, be it positive or negative:

  • Ask the right people — Turn to your teammates and managers — after all, they are your closest collaborators and are in the best position to rate and comment on your work.
  • Ask yes/no questions — If you ask several people direct questions about your work, and they all reply with a “Yes” or a “No” on a particular matter, you’ll be certain that you can trust the feedback. For example, you can ask “Do you think I need to improve in X?”
  • Ask open-ended questions — Open-ended questions require more time to answer — so, you may want to save them for your immediate superior or closest colleague. Such questions can help you get more data on a personal trait or skill you need to work on. You may ask something like this: “What are my weaknesses and strengths, in your opinion?”
  • Ask at the right time — Your managers and peers may not always have the time to give you feedback, so check when they’re available. 

#5 Provide feedback

According to employee feedback statistics, 65% of employees want more feedback.

Although providing it might be a daunting task, it is still an essential part of healthy workplace communication. 

Blair, as a manager, praises Marie via Pumble, a team communication app
Blair, as a manager, praises Marie via Pumble, a team communication app

Here’s how to become better at it:

  • Think about feedback’s purpose — Ideally, your main motive should be helping someone improve their work — but, feedback can sometimes be a personal matter and you should be clear about your true intentions before providing it.
  • Make it a habit — Make it a habit to provide positive and negative feedback regularly. This way, you’ll make feedback no different from everyday conversations and meetings, which will ultimately make it less scary.
  • Make feedback immediate — On your end, providing immediate feedback will stop you from overthinking and building up the perceived discomfort. On the receiver’s end, providing immediate feedback will help them develop and fix potential mistakes timely.
  • Focus feedback on specific behavior (not the person) — If you focus your feedback (especially the negative kind) on the behavior and NOT on the person, you will decrease the potential discomfort.
  • Avoid creating “feedback sandwiches” — An easy way to provide negative feedback and avoid a negative reaction is to “sandwich” this negative feedback between two positive statements about someone’s performance. However, most people will see this tactic as manipulative and even insincere.
  • Provide regular positive feedback — Fair and honest managers will provide feedback whenever possible. In other words, if you provide regular negative feedback, try giving positive feedback whenever you see positive changes or a reason for professional praise

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

To learn more about giving constructive feedback, check out the following article: 

If you are looking for useful performance review templates, the following resource might be useful: 

#6 Accept feedback

No matter if it is positive or negative feedback, you have to accept it. 

Here’s how to improve how you accept feedback:

  • Be open to it — Being open to feedback is the first step to encouraging others to provide you with constructive feedback.
  • Listen to feedback attentively — You should make it a habit to listen to it actively,  without interruptions.
  • Reflect and follow up on feedback — There’s no use in feedback if you don’t truly consider its merit and act on it.
  • Organize employee surveys — When you think you’re not getting the feedback you need, it’s time you take a more direct approach — for this purpose, you can implement anonymous surveys to collect employee feedback at regular intervals.

#7 Ask for help

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. 

It is better to ask for help than to make a mistake just because you are ashamed to ask someone for advice. 

A request for help via Pumble, a team communication app
A request for help via Pumble, a team communication app

To properly ask for help, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Tailor your plea to the situation — Don’t just ask the question, provide some context so that the person you’re asking for help understands why you need it. For example, instead of asking the manager “What’s my role in the project?” after they’ve explained it, try asking “Hey, I think I’m a bit confused about my role in project X. Do you have time to talk about it and maybe answer some questions, just to check whether I’ve understood everything correctly?”
  • Ask privately — If you’re in dire need of assistance, you can avoid making your problem seem like a bigger deal than it is by asking for help privately.
  • Demonstrate you’ve tried to solve the problem — Explain and demonstrate that you’ve already tried to find a solution on your own. This way, the other person will understand that you’ve already tried your best, but simply need additional support — and will be more likely to help you.
  • Be specific — Be as detailed as possible so that the other person can quickly understand the issue and help.
  • Stay engaged with the task — If someone has agreed to help you with a task, don’t leave them to work on it alone. Provide assistance where needed, and answer any additional questions they may have.

#8 Offer help

Helping someone can be beneficial both for the person receiving help and the person providing it. 

However, providing help can also be a double-edged sword — especially if not handled properly.

For example, the person being helped may suffer a drop in self-esteem due to seemingly needing help with work in the first place. Sometimes, your offer of help may also be rejected, despite your best intentions, which may discourage you from offering it again.

To avoid these pitfalls, practice the following:

  • Subtly make it clear you’re available to help out — Offering your help directly may make you come off too strong, especially to people who neither want nor need your help at the moment. So, instead of offering your help directly, make it clear that you are available to help out when needed. This way, you’ll encourage others to seek you out, instead of actively trying to guess who needs help and when.
  • Learn how to take “No, thank you” as an answer — If you offer help to someone and they reject you with a “No, thank you”, don’t insist on it — even if it is a manager you’re trying to impress with your skills and knowledge on a subject.
  • Focus your offer on someone’s lack of time (not lack of abilities) — When you offer people your help, you risk making them think that you are insinuating that they are somehow incapable of doing their share of the work. To avoid this, focus your offer on someone’s lack of time, not their lack of abilities.

By politely offering and providing help, your colleagues will hold you accountable and consider you to be an important member of the team. 

#9 Create a positive work environment 

Although managers and superiors have a lion’s share in creating a positive work environment, it would be best if employees would contribute to it as well. 

“How?”, you might ask.

Well, employees should be honest about what they would like to improve in the workplace and do during the company’s team building events

If there is a will to listen to the employees’ needs and apply some of the following pieces of advice, a positive work environment would come naturally: 

  • Prioritize onboarding — Professionals need time to settle in when they come to the new company. Hence, it is important to integrate them into a team and help familiarize themselves with new colleagues. Onboarding meetings might be the perfect opportunity for that. 
  • Make people feel comfortable — A comfortable work environment requires physical, but also psychological comfort. So apart from comfortable offices and workstations, you should encourage people to speak up without the fear of judgment or reprimand.
  • Have regular check-ins — Regular check-ins make people feel valued and happy. As a manager, you should check in with your employees how they are doing and if they need any help. On the other hand, as an employee, you can reach out, for example, to new colleagues and provide them with some help if needed. 
  • Provide learning opportunities — You can build a more positive work culture by providing your teammates with learning opportunities, such as coaching sessions, job rotations, webinars, etc.
  • Create equal opportunities for everyone — Nowadays, it is a common thing to work in multicultural teams. Hence, it is crucial to be aware of the basic principles of equity and inclusion in the workplace, if you want to preserve a positive work environment.  

#10 Organize team-building activities

Team building events are great occasions for professionals to improve communication in a team. 

Yes, team-building events are mostly organized by high-ranked employees and HR departments, but it doesn’t mean that employees cannot organize their own team buildings in their spare time. 

An example of Name that emoji song played in Pumble
An example of Name that emoji song played in Pumble

Going out for a drink with your closest colleagues will most certainly contribute to open and effective team communication. 

Furthermore, the trust between colleagues will increase. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

If you are looking for the best team-building activities, check out the following article: 

#11 Enable frequent communication

If you hear your boss saying “Quiet! Get back to work!”, it’s high time you quit your current job. 

Workplaces should be sites where you can hear your colleagues and superiors discussing projects and achievements. 

Of course, there is always room for some small or everyday life-related talk. 

So, to help teammates communicate better, superiors need to give them a chance to communicate frequently. 

Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Encourage social breaks — You can encourage office teams to socialize in the kitchen or organize table football game sessions. Remote teams can enjoy casual chit-chat in the team communication app’s channels focused on more casual topics.
  • Utilize social media — Having social media accounts for your brand is not just a great way to communicate with customers, it’s also a great way to encourage teams to communicate through the brand they are building.
  • Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries — Celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries is a small but efficient gesture to help build a team-oriented community and help teammates feel valued and accepted among their peers. Plus, it gives people a great opportunity to socialize in an office setting.

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

Wishing someone a happy holiday is one of the ways to improve team communication. Here are some tips on holiday greetings: 

What are the 4 types of team communication?

There are many types of communication. 

However, when it comes to team communication, we can distinguish the following types: 

  • Upward communication, 
  • Downward communication, 
  • Lateral communication, and 
  • External communication. 

First of all, upward communication enables team members to discuss ideas with their superiors and voice their ideas and potential concerns. 

On the other hand, downward communication comes in handy when managers or directors have to share something with employees. 

When your team asks another team for information or help, it is called lateral communication. For example, if you work in a marketing department, you will often need help from the design or content writing team. Hence, lateral communication will enable you to collaborate without difficulties. 

Finally, you will occasionally (depending on the nature of your job) have to talk to external partners or customers. That type of communication is called external communication, and it helps you get the job done with someone outside of your organization. 

All 4 types of team communication are equally important for effective communication in teams since they foster more efficient collaboration and teamwork

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

As we said above, there are many different types of communication. If you want to learn more about some other types, check out the following article: 

5 team communication styles 

Psychologist Edmund J. Bourne, in his book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, has distinguished 5 different communication styles: 

  • Submissive
  • Aggressive
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Manipulative, and 
  • Assertive
Communication styles according to Bourne
Communication styles according to Bourne

As probably every experienced professional can confirm, all of the aforementioned styles occur in the workplace. 

The key to successful and respectful communication is to find the balance between these styles.

Some of the styles, such as passive-aggressive and manipulative communication, should be avoided at all costs. 

Hence, a proper professional should be polite, but not submissive, and confident, but not too aggressive. 

Naturally, there will be discussions in which, in the heat of the moment, some of the speakers might become a bit more passionate, and that is fine, as long as it doesn’t turn into aggression. 

Overall, the team will function properly as long as the same rules of conduct are followed. 

Hence, all team members must be on the same page when it comes to communication styles — what styles are acceptable and what would not contribute to the overall positive atmosphere and well-being of employees. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

To learn more about various communication styles, check out the following article: 

Improve teamwork and communication with Pumble

Effective team communication massively depends on efficient communication apps. 

Hence, Pumble might be the right choice for your team, since it offers a plethora of possibilities for better and faster team communication.

First of all, Pumble enables you to structure your communication, thanks to its channels. You can create as many channels as you want, and dedicate them to work-related topics or informal chats. 

If there is a need for some additional explanations to your team, whether in channels or direct messages, you can continue the conversation in threads.

An example of thread conversation in Pumble channels
An example of thread conversation in Pumble channels

Thanks to unlimited history, you can always get back to important messages or files you have sent before. Pumble supports files of any size, so you can simply drag and drop whatever files are necessary for your work. 

Sending files in Pumble has never been easier 
Sending files in Pumble has never been easier 

You can also communicate with external partners, thanks to Pumble’s guest access. This feature simplifies external communication to a degree in which it becomes as painless as lateral communication. 

Finally, if you want your remote team to meet, you can do that via video conference or audio call

Thanks to the Pumble video conferencing option you can set up a video call with your colleagues whenever you want
Thanks to the Pumble video conferencing option you can set up a video call with your colleagues whenever you want


Free team chat app

Improve collaboration and cut down on emails by moving your team communication to Pumble.


Learn more Arrow Right Primary
Pumble chat app
Closing video