A good flow of communication is vital in any business that wants to succeed. It can help your employees work efficiently, smooth over any problems that arise, and ensure work is completed to a high standard. By delivering effective communication in the workplace, there leaves little room for misunderstandings, and more room for respect and achieving goals.
Good communication isn’t always about being able to pick up the phone and speak to someone. It involves a lot more than that. It includes catering to the needs of your employees, implementing accessible methods of communication, and setting expectations with your team. From the top team task management apps for busy managers to scheduling 1:1 meetings, there are a plethora of different ways that you can improve the flow of communication within your business or team.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and employees that should work from home, there has never been more of a need for a review and improvement of communication in the workplace. While there has been the ease in the restrictions, working from home has become the new normal. This means that communication methods and styles need to be adapted to suit the different and new ways of working. It helps businesses continue to go on as normal, and remain efficient.
Whether you are starting a new business, employing new staff, or have an existing business that has a need for better communication, here are some top tips to help you improve communication in the workplace.
#1 Set clear expectations
For communication to be effective in the workplace, it is vital that managers deliver clear goals and expectations. This will ensure that all employees know what is expected of them, and are guided to make the correct actions throughout the working day. Expectations that are provided to everyone, will also create coherent and consistent communication, as everyone will be on the same page. Clear expectations should be provided for office communication in general, as well as on specific projects when the requirements for communication may need to be adapted.
#2 Team building activities
Team building activities are a great way for individuals in the workplace to bond and get to know each other. While this is not a direct change in the method of communication, it will have a huge impact on the way your team communicates in the workplace. Team building exercises take people out of the professional environment and ask them to collaborate in new ways. This will improve employee morale, build stronger relationships, and in turn, improve overall communication in the workplace.
#3 Managers should be role models
Managers in your business should be strong and effective leaders. They should lead the way with effective communication so that the rest of the team can follow suit. When a good standard of behavior is modeled, it is likely to be replicated within the business. Make sure all managers and leaders are effective communicators. They should receive regular training on how to grow and develop their skills and share them with their teams.
#4 Make employees feel valued
When you give employees a voice and listen to their needs, you make them feel valued. This will boost their confidence, and make them more proactive when it comes to communicating effectively. When individuals feel comfortable, they are going to get more involved and speak up on matters. This is because they know they don’t have to fear judgment or retribution for doing so.
#5 Make communication accessible
Every employee is different, and every business is different. This means that there are going to be a variety of different requirements that need to be met. It is vital that, as a business, you consider the different needs and meet them with different methods of communication that are made accessible for everyone. You can start by installing the right technology to help make communication easy and organized. For example, there is a range of applications you can use like Slack and Microsoft Teams that make communication efficient, as it enables you to collaborate with your peers, make video calls, share screens, and instant messages.
You should also ensure that the proper channels have been put in place. Everyone in your business should know who their managers are. Also, who they can talk to if they have any problems that need discussing. Each employee should have regular 1:1 meetings with a member of management.
#6 Develop the right skills
Everyone in your business should have the right skills to be able to communicate effectively. It can be beneficial to train your staff so that everyone is on the same page. This is because communication goes beyond just the messages that you send over email, and extends to the way each person listens to and receives messages, as well as the nonverbal communication they portray. Make sure employees develop effective listening skills, as good communication depends on all involved parties. Body language is just as important in improving communication, as the nonverbal queues that are sent can change the quality of the message, and impact the trust the parties have. These are all skills that you can develop and improve over time.
#7 Set up regular meetings
It can be beneficial to provide an open space where employees can connect and collaborate. While this would be better in a physical space, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many hurdles for businesses. So if you cannot provide a physical space, then you can set up regular video conferences. Here, individuals in your business can catch up, help each other, collaborate on projects, hash out problems and generate ideas. This is a great way to help people progress with things they may be struggling with. This also improves their relationships, allows people to feed off the energy of others, and make communication more efficient. Being able to see people’s faces, whether that is in person or during a video conference, can instantly improve communication, as it is less frustrating and prevents any misunderstandings.
Communication is a vital aspect of any business that wants to be successful. Follow these top tips to improve communication within your business.