Improving Communication in the Workplace
Communication is important to every part of a company, it affects every level in the business, from the shareholders all the way down to the employees on the ground of the company. Effective communication keeps a business working like a well-oiled machine and when it fails, things unsurprisingly start to fall apart. Keep on reading to see our tips on improving communication in the workplace.
It’s important to check in with your employees regularly and not just via email! Arrange a telephone meeting or visit your employees in person, they’ll appreciate the effort being made. Let them know they’re being listened to and that they’re appreciated by the company, try to be as personalised in your approach as possible, discuss an incentive that they excelled at or a target that they exceeded expectations on; it’ll make them feel valued.
Stay connected with your staff, if you’re out of the office a lot, explain who employees can contact for advice or help with any issues or queries; this could be a manager or supervisor who you trust to listen as intently as you would. If you find that work has you out of the office a lot, try to arrange a time each week/month where you’re present in the office, even just a couple hours will allow you to see for yourself any problems.
Schedule progress meetings with your staff where you attend personally, this could be every 3 months or even once a year but showing your staff that you’re engaged and invested in their performance will help them feel that they matter to the business. When you’re talking to your staff, stay off your phone/laptop and give them your full attention, you’re their boss after all. Keep an eye on your body language too, crossed arms or lack of eye contact can cause employees to feel that they’re wasting your time and that you don’t have an interest in them.
Feedback is key
You’ll inevitably have to give constructive feedback at some point, your staff are human beings and occasionally will slip up. The best way to give this feedback is in a thoughtful manner, focus on what action needs attention and try not to target the employees’ character, this will keep them detached emotionally and not take the criticism personally. After these encounters, remind the employee what they’re doing well in order to keep their morale high.
Reward staff when they go above and beyond for the company, let them know you value their time and effort and arrange gratitude in the form of small rewards such as allowing them to go home early or buying their lunch for them. These may seem small and meaningless to yourself, but to your team, it’ll mean a lot.
It’s also worth letting employees know that they can give feedback, actively ask for it! We recommend creating a method whereby they can leave comments on how things are going, what they’d like to improve or any other relevant comments. Either a physical suggestion box or a Typeform/Google Form is a great way to welcome anonymous feedback. Employees are more likely to leave honest feedback if there is an option to leave it anonymously.
Focus on company culture
It’s well worth making sure your employees feel part of a community. Open office design is a great way to break down literal and figurative barriers. Employees will feel less closed off from each other and communicate more, don’t let the potential chattiness put you off – it can help colleagues form bonds. We recommend that you encourage friendships and don’t chastise your staff for mingling, as long as it’s not having a negative impact on work.
Create an internal newsletter; it’s a fantastic way to keep employees engaged with what’s going on in the company. Encourage them to get involved and allow for a section on personal achievements and stories that aren’t related to work, this will help to keep your employees engaged with each other and feel like they know each other on a personal level, especially if you have staff in multiple locations who would never normally communicate.
Now you’re on your way to mastering the art of communication in the workplace, see how alldayPA can help you improve your external communication!