5 Ways to Improve Workplace Communication
Workplace communication is crucial to the success of any company or organization. Research shows that companies who emphasize communication and have programs that foster it are 3.5 times more likely to compete favorably against competitors. Employees need to know what’s happening in their company, and business owners need to keep employees informed about what’s happening and what’s on the horizon.
Why is it so important to prioritize good communication? Communication helps people feel valued. When you communicate with your employees, they know that you care about them and that they are part of something bigger than themselves. This can motivate them to do their best work and give them a sense of purpose in the organization.
Here are more reasons why workplace communication is so important:
- It keeps employees informed about changes that affect them or their work.
- It lets employees know if there are problems they might help with.
- It makes it easier for workers to talk about their ideas and suggestions.
- It helps improve employee morale by making them feel included in the company’s activities and plans.
- It reduces the risk of misunderstandings between managers and employees.
Good communication also creates a sense of belonging among employees. When people feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, they’re more motivated to put their best foot forward.
Everyone wants to feel important and part of the team! If you have happy employees who feel valued and appreciated, they’ll go above and beyond for the company. But what steps can your team take to improve communication in the workplace?
Create a Culture of Communication
The first step in improving workplace communication is to create a culture of communication — one that encourages open dialogue among employees. A culture that emphasizes communication creates an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their concerns and ideas for improvement. The best way to do this is by setting a good example and being an open communicator yourself.
Encourage open dialogue. Give employees the opportunity to speak up when they have something important on their minds — whether it’s related to work or not. For example, if someone has an idea for improving efficiency in the office kitchen, invite them to share it with the team during an upcoming meeting. This gives others the opportunity to weigh in on the idea, as well as identify other potential improvements they may have overlooked because they were focused on other things.
Make Communication a Priority
To improve workplace communication, make it a priority. It’s easy for managers to get distracted by tasks and forget to ensure employees have the information they need to do their jobs well. Make it a habit to check regularly with staff to see if there are questions or concerns that need attention. You can also encourage team members to ask questions if they don’t feel comfortable approaching you directly. Create an anonymous suggestion box or virtual help desk where employees can anonymously submit their questions. Give employees multiple ways to share their concerns.
Be a Better Listener
Communication involves more than speaking. It’s easy to talk more than you listen, but if you want to be heard, learn how to truly listen. Look people in the eye when they’re talking and ask questions so they know their message is getting through. Use body language that shows you’re engaged. Don’t turn your body away or work on other things when someone speaks.
Listen before speaking up. Be sure not to interrupt others’ points or cut them off when they’re explaining their ideas or experiences. Even if it seems they’ve misinterpreted something or are off topic, let them finish before responding with questions or comments of your own. If someone stops talking while you’re still thinking about what you want to say next, give them time to finish before saying anything yourself.
Listening is an important part of any conversation, whether it’s a one-on-one meeting or a large group meeting. Buff up on your listening skills!
Be Clear About What You Want from People
Make sure everyone has access to the same information. Have a place where your team stores all information, such as an intranet site or shared drive folder. This will help avoid confusion about who does what and when it’s due. People should know what you expect from them and how they can achieve it.
Hold regular meetings with your staff members, so they can update you on their progress and ask questions about anything related to their jobs. This will keep them focused and engaged in their work and help them develop good habits that will make them more productive in the long run.
Let each employee know where they fit into the bigger picture, not only from a strategic perspective but also from a tactical standpoint (e.g., how their individual efforts directly contribute to organizational goals). They’ll work harder if they know how what they do affects the organization as a whole.
Make Sure Employees Understand “Why”
Employees need context for their work activities, so they can see how what they do affects the company’s bottom line. If not, they won’t be motivated to perform well and may even cause problems by doing things that don’t align with the organization’s broader objectives. Why is the task they’re doing so important? Convey this to them!
The best way to do this is to ensure that everyone understands the “why” behind what they do. They need to know how their actions are tied to the company’s mission, vision, and values. This is especially true when it comes to employee training and onboarding. You want new hires to understand why they’re being asked to do certain things — even if those things are difficult or unpleasant.
Once employees understand the bigger picture, they can better navigate their roles and responsibilities within it. This will help them feel more fulfilled emotionally and more engaged with their work physically (e.g., they will be less likely to check Facebook while they should focus on their tasks).
Communication is an essential part of any workplace. It helps employees share ideas and thoughts, which ultimately leads to better collaboration and productivity. With an effective workplace communication strategy, people can improve their relationships, lead by example, and leave the workplace happier, healthier, and more satisfied.