The way we communicate with the world has changed drastically in the last 20 years. Gone are the days of pen and paper, lengthy phone calls and, to a certain extent, even emails. Gone are the days of needing to have your entire team under one roof to accomplish anything. Gone are the days of communicating from one limited perspective.
In our digital day and age, we can move mountains with keyboards, perform miracles via Skype and enjoy a thousand different perspectives of any project. There is one key behind all of this progress: code. Without it, we would not be where we are and couldn’t accomplish any of the amazing interdependent things we do. In fact, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is one of the fastest-growing areas of our economy, according to TechRocket. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 percent, as compared to 12 percent for non-STEM jobs.
Unfortunately, not everyone speaks this language, which can lead to a breakdown of communication in the office when the goal is to work as a diverse but cohesive team. It’s infinitely more difficult to collaborate with someone when you can’t translate each other’s visions. That’s why it’s important to have a basic understanding of this vital skill if you want to build successful teams.
Bridge Communication Gaps
I’m not saying everyone on your team needs to have the expertise of a developer, but it is helpful if everyone can learn how to code from a very basic level. This basic understanding helps everyone understand the time and effort involved from their tech peers, the boundaries of what can and cannot be accomplished, and the importance of clear, precise details in communicating their ideas.
It also makes troubleshooting and revising much easier to pinpoint and less time-consuming to correct. You can skip the IT-to-English translation that so often degrades communication on major projects because neither party feels they’ve been heard and understood.
Encourage Collaboration Throughout the Process
A recent poll by Gallup showed that 70 percent of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for companies to bolster engagement through effective communication channels that keep everyone in the loop and invested in the ultimate outcome.
Oftentimes, ideas flow from conception to initiation to implementation without ever having crossed the desk of the programmers charged with writing the code to bring these ideas to life. That’s the same as asking a carpenter to build a car. Although the carpenter may have a great design, understand the market and even be able to build some pieces of the car, at the end of the day the carpenter’s skills aren’t enough to do it alone and the carpenter’s vision will need to be communicated to someone with a different skill set.
When everyone on the team understands how code works and the resources needed to turn these fantastic brainstorms into reality, the entire process becomes more streamlined and can be executed more efficiently.
Be in the Know
At the end of the day, everyone on the team benefits from understanding how the machine is programmed to work. Whether you’re launching a new website or the latest iteration of your app, somewhere along the line you will need to write code to convey your message in this digital world—and you will want that message to come across loud and clear.
The good news is that it’s easy to harness the skill of coding these days. Employees can participate in a coding bootcamp, online courses or even mentorships with other employees who’ve already mastered the skill. The improved communication among teams and departments will help improve efficiency and help you realize visions.
About the Author / Michael Peggs
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider and a podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University. Connect with him on Twitter.