Written by Tara Gronhovd, EFund Expert Network provider
The average employee wastes 2.8 hours a week in miscommunication and unresolved conflict. Multiply that by the number on your team and you’re looking at a significant opportunity to improve communication and collaboration. What is the number one thing you can do to improve?
Focus on Clarifying Expectations.
The number one cause of miscommunication and disengagement in the workplace is that people aren’t sure what they should be doing. Most small businesses are moving so fast and changing so often that it can be really easy to assume people know what they should be doing while in reality we haven’t been clear or consistent.
Here are five ways you can continually and consistently clarify expectations while improving communication and collaboration with your team:
- Create or Update Job Descriptions to clearly define responsibilities, skills needed and expected behavior. Involve your employees to create a description that accurately reflects the work involved and be sure to update annually (more often for fast-growing organizations).
- Weekly 1:1’s with your people. Gallup research shows that just 15-30 minutes of quality time each week connecting with people individually to show you care and clarify expectations can significantly improve trust and productivity while reducing quiet quitting. Spend time celebrating wins, getting curious about their challenges and listening to their needs. 
- Define Roles Use tools like a RACI Chart for projects to ensure people understand who is Responsible for the work, who is Accountable for the outcome, who needs to be Consulted along the way and who needs to stay Informed.
- Morning Huddles: In fast moving environments, spend 5-10 minutes each morning in a standing huddle where you give updates, people can ask questions and you can clarify the priorities for the day.
- Recap Meetings: At the end of each meeting or conversation, spend 5 minutes recapping decisions that were made and assigning owners and deadlines to tasks that were agreed upon during the meeting.
While none of these tactics are rocket science, they do all require time, intention and consistency to be effective. Choose one, make it a habit and then add another to make progress over time with your team.
Leadership and team dynamics thought leader, Tara Gronhovd CEO of ALIGN, provides owner, leadership and team coaching to ensure people are reaching potential and working better together. Investing in the development of leaders and teams is a powerful strategy for improving retention, engagement, productivity and profitability. Gronhovd is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, a Certified High Performing Teams Coach and co-host of the Grounding and Growing Leadership Podcast.
 CPP Global Human Capital Report
 Gallup State of the Global Workforce report