They say good communication is the foundation of a good relationship, and they’re right. It also happens to be the foundation of a dynamic, productive workplace environment. The better the communication you have with your employees and the better communication they have with each other, the more effective they’ll be as a team and your company will be as a whole.
How to Improve Communication in the Workplace
Communication is an art and a science. We are relational beings, so it’s also at the core of everything we do. Improving communication in your organization in general, and for each of your employees and you personally will have a tremendous impact on your individual and group effectiveness and quality output. Utilizing tools and technologies that encourage innovative communication and collaboration will undoubtedly benefit your bottom line. Establishing a culture conducive to effective communication throughout your organization begins at the top- with you and your management team. The following 5 office communication hacks will provide a framework for improving your team culture.
1) Set the tone
In many ways, your employees will mirror you. If you establish by example an open, friendly atmosphere for communication, they will likely follow suit over time. You set the environment and the tone. Provide places and moments for your employees to connect. Invite them to talk to you anytime. Engage them in frequent meaningful conversation, both work-related and non-work-related. Establish a culture of communication from the start.
2) Create a system for anonymous feedback
Sometimes in even the most open and friendly environments, there are things that are left unsaid. Some things are harder to talk about and certain personality types are more prone to avoid negative conversations. This feedback is important, however, to improve your processes, products and services, and your workplace environment. It’s also important for cultivating and improving workplace relationships. To that end, create a system for anonymous feedback and encourage your employees to participate. This practice will promote optimal relationships and a culture of improvement.
3) Encourage collaboration
You’re always stronger together than with everyone doing their own thing. Encourage frequent collaboration and provide structured training for team building throughout the year. By knowing and tapping into everyone’s strengths and talents, you will maximize your productivity and effectiveness. Another key component, especially if you have remote employees on your team, is having high-quality multifunction printers equipped with a document management system. This will allow all of your employees, including remote team members, to share and access files easily from wherever they are, and to distribute information efficiently internally and externally.
4) Provide optimal communication channels
Having multiple channels of communication available will ensure your employees can efficiently communicate all types of information at all times. Some things are best communicated via email, while other daily inquiries and conversations may be more efficient over a business chat channel. Still other types of conversations are better by phone or even in person. Provide all the conversation channels your employees need along with opportunities to engage in any or all of them.
5) Give constructive feedback
Constant negative feedback may resolve issues, but it never provides an environment where your employees will thrive. Notice what they’re doing well and reinforce it with positive feedback and encouragement. Communicate opportunities for growth and improvement with language that expresses support and working as a team. Your employees, in general, will appreciate all your feedback, respond well, and begin to thrive together as a team. Granted, you will always need to address serious issues with serious conversation and a stern tone. However, it shouldn’t be the office norm.
Culture is Everything
Your office culture impacts everything you do. It affects office morale, productivity, and effectiveness. Communication is at the core of your culture. While there are certainly many other aspects of culture to consider, improving communication in the workplace is foundational. Get started with this quick guide and watch as your team flourishes.
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