The Elements

By Andrea Schlapia   |   June 30, 2015

Best Communication Practices to Get Stuff (Work) Done

Categories: Blog, Communication, Human Element, Team Development

Best Communication Practices to Get Stuff (Work) Done

Think for a moment how your team communicates on a daily basis. What does it sound like? Is it idle chit chat, meaningful conversation, or perhaps professional collaboration?

Growing your business relies on all team members learning to express themselves clearly, translate ideas into action, and implement and utilize workflows to accomplish tasks and projects at hand.

Although rarely addressed, effective internal communication is a critical element and a vital part to support innovation, employee engagement, and goal achievement for high performing teams. A study cited by Weekdone, indicates that companies who promote and follow best practices for communication, not leaving it to chance, are 4.5 times more likely to have highly engaged employees and 20 percent less employee turnover.

Teams who have a communication process in place outperform their counterparts both in efficiency and, you guessed it – financially.

Let’s take a look at what is seldom taught; how a team can communicate effectively to get things done.

Ultimately, in a team environment, the purpose of communication is to be productive with as much harmony as possible. In this sense, the quality of communication is measured by three benchmarks:

  • Communication without confusion
  • Providing complete information (nothing is missing)
  • Providing specific and rational context

Inevitably, a combination of these elements will lead and direct your team to a focal point, accountability, and reduced communication cycles. Here are some key fundamentals to incorporate into an effective communication plan:

1) Make Your Mission and Vision Clear

Whether as part of your hiring and onboarding process or as a static reminder, take time to explain your firm culture, mission, and vision. When employees are united in their understanding of the business goals, they are able to communicate with one another more effectively in order to achieve them.

2) Encourage Interdependence

The best way to get teams to function like a team is through shared employee experiences and creating interdependence. No one wins unless everyone wins. It’s as simple as that. Partner team members together for specific projects, create shared metrics, and encourage brainstorming sessions to share ideas, encourage creativity, and address project alternatives.

3) Assign and Share Project Values

This is one of my favorite principles because it works. Assign tangible values to every deliverable completed in your office and publicize it to your team. The philosophy underlying this principle is simple; all team members have a clear understanding of the value everyone provides, including their own.

  • Identify the value of each project
  • Establish metrics that quantify the identified value
  • Confirm the value delivered

If a project doesn’t support the firms goals in a tangible way, the team shouldn’t be doing it.

4) Make Goals Public – Be Transparent

Publish company, team, and personal goals in a common area so they are visible. Research objectives and key results (OKR) and document them. Ensure that the purpose of every action is crystal clear and that it is obvious to everyone who is doing what and why. This has proven to be a successful system used by Google.

5) Establish a Collaborative Environment  

Teamwork is built on trust. Allow time for leaders and team members to get to know one another and develop relationships. Regardless of hierarchy, demonstrate that everyone’s input is highly valued. When leaders and the team can count on support from one another to reach goals, they will succeed.

Finally, don’t forget to include a means for feedback. Feedback is critical to improve performance and reduces the chance for misunderstandings.

There is a difference between good communication and great communication. A few simple strategies will streamline your communication, keeping it clear and concise, saving you hours each week. By adopting internal communication practices, you’ll be on your way to building a stronger team.


Request more information from the Ironstone team or join the Ironstone – Financial Industry Professionals Practice Management Group on LinkedIn and start a discussion.

The foundation of our Performance Coaching and Consulting Programs are based on Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, which is essential to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid trial and error; shifting your mindset to launch your process of intentional change. [LEARN MORE]

Photo credit:  ©Fotolia







Andrea Schlapia
Organizational Development and Human Capital

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life.

Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.

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