Good communication is one of the most important aspects of keeping an efficiently run business. It allows everyone within your staff base to feel heard and appreciated, creating a positive working environment. In contrast, poor communication can result in reduced work speed and poor morale within your employees.
Of course, it is also important that vital information is conveyed quickly, and without mistake, in order for work to be completed without delay.
This means that your employees need to have excellent communication skills, as well as the having access to all the necessary channels to easily connect with one another.
As a business leader, it is your job to set the tone for effective communication in the workplace, and if you are looking to improve the communication skills of your staff, here are a few simple tips which you might find useful.
Create Team Building Exercises
When your staff is able to work effectively together as a unit, problems with communication skills becomes less of an issue.
People who feel outcast, or not respected by their fellow colleagues, are less likely to communicate as successfully within the workplace as people who have a closer bond with their coworkers.
The same problem will occur in employees who have had some sort of disagreement or difference of opinion in the workplace, so these issues need to be quickly addressed where possible.
In order to avoid issues appearing between your employees, and to make them work more efficiently as a cohesive unit, team building exercises can be an invaluable asset to your company.
There are lots of different externally run training programs which you can get your company involved with, or alternatively, there are also recreational activities which your employees would enjoy taking part in, that also promote positive communication and teamwork.
Such activities include outdoor adventure days and games such as escape rooms.
Try To Lead By Example
If you want your employees to work well together and respect one another, then you have to make sure you are leading by example.
If you have any unresolved differences with your colleagues, now is the time to patch things up and create a more cohesive working environment.
Make sure that your staff feels you are approachable enough for them to be comfortable coming to you with any issues or concerns they may have.
One way to appear more available to assist your employees would be to keep the door to your office open at all times, and only shut it when you definitely don’t want to be interrupted; a closed door can appear intimidating, and your employees are more likely to come to you for guidance if they feel they won’t be seen as an inconvenience.
When talking to your employees, try to treat each person as an individual, rather than just another cog in the company wheel.
As you may well know, balancing work and home life can be incredibly stressful at times, to be empathetic towards your staff when they are going through personal issues, and know the difference between when reprimanding is appropriate, and when it may do more harm than good: open up communication with your employees by learning more about them and their personal lives, as this will create a more personable and inviting atmosphere in the workplace.
Decide On The Most Appropriate Communication Tools
In terms of online communication, there is a fine balance between having enough variation in communication methods that your employees can utilize for different situations, without having too many that information is constantly being passed between so many different channels, that it eventually gets lost altogether.
Therefore, it is good to have at least two lines of communication open for your staff to use: one for formal data and correspondence exchange, and one for a more social and casual conversation.
The most common method of professional communication is email, and this is a tool which is probably best utilized for formal communications only.
You can then make use of an office-friendly chat tool, where your staff can communicate with one another in a more personable manner; this will help your staff members to bond, and also help them to share resources and advice without feeling as though they are being monitored all the time.
Utilize Technological Aids
Within business, it is common for a great deal of time to be spent every day on trying to receive lost, or miscommunicated, information.
This not only wastes valuable work time for your staff, but it also means that your business could be being cost a large percentage of profits, due simply to a lack of efficiency.
This is one area in particular where technology can be of great assistance. For example, business aids such as CMMS software can be utilized to efficiently and conveniently centralize important information, allowing for easy access by all personal.
This ensures that vital data can be passed between colleagues without the risks of human error, meaning workflow within the business can function at optimum capacity; this allows tasks to be completed faster, and could possibly save you some money in the process.
Respect Cultural Differences
Now more than ever, the workplace has become a collective of people from a range of different backgrounds, varying in social class, political opinions, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and other cultural differences.
In order to create a work environment in which all of your employees can thrive, the most important message you can create in your workplace is one of acceptance and respect for everyone’s differences.
It is important for everyone in your workplace to learn the art of being culturally sensitive, especially those who are in a position of seniority.
Therefore, you might want to consider running some sort of regular training in sensitivity and bridging the divide between people of opposing beliefs and different cultures.
Often this is something which is best run by an outside party, so that they can be kept neutral, and also, so employees don’t go into training already biased against or towards their teacher.