10 Key Ways To Improve Office Communication In The Workplace
23rd July 2019
Effective communication is the key to driving a happy, efficient workforce. When you know how to deliver your message effectively and provide your employees with a safe space to present their views, ideas and opinions, you are on track to building a successful working culture.
What is Effective Communication?
Effective communication is the act of delivering a message in a way that allows the listener to feel valued and heard. A breakdown in communication in the workplace can occur if you refuse to make time for your staff to be heard, do not provide them with a communication-friendly zone and do not share important information about the company with them. Miscommunication can often result from using default communication patterns and not understanding how others like to communicate, or disregarding the emotional or physical needs of others in the workplace.
Communicating effectively with your staff can help improve productivity levels, employee engagement levels and create a happier, healthier working environment for all. A company culture focused on connecting with others often encourages innovation and creative thought, and empowers you, as a leader, to make more strategic decisions on delegation, employee development, team development and strategic initiatives to drive business success.
Examples of effective communication can be determined by the type of audience you are trying to communicate to. If you are trying to communicate a new product to a target audience of customers, then the most effective way is to use your Marketing team to publish material on social media, and share the news with email campaigns and word of mouth. On the other hand, if there is a pressing matter you need to communicate to your office staff, then the best way is to tell them in your weekly team meeting, with an urgent email that is circulated around the office, or in a team huddle.
1. Hold Weekly Team Meetings
Are you communicating regularly with your employees? Are they aware of any recent successes or updates about the company? Holding weekly team meetings provides the opportunity to bring all respective departments together and discuss any potential setbacks, or concerns. These meetings are ideal for reflecting on the week ahead and setting departmental goals.
2. Offer a Platform for Anonymous Feedback
Ever heard of the Officevibe? It is a great platform for you to keep track of important issues in real-time and a safe space for your employees to share feedback openly and honestly. Often employees will be reluctant to offer honest feedback if they feel it could affect their future at the company, or they are worried about how it would be perceived by others. Reassure your employees that their opinions are strongly valued by the company. Tell them that their feedback could even with future growth of the business, the process of hiring new employees and helping move forward with the times.
An example of this may be asking your employees to communicate their feedback on your performance as a manager, or some tips on how to improve office facilities.
3. Create a Communication-Friendly Zone
Is there somewhere in your office where people can go to share their ideas and initiatives? To drive a successful workforce, you must be prepared to encourage your team to express themselves by creating a communication-friendly space, where others can interact freely with one another. An example of this would be keeping a meeting room free at all times, for your employees to go if they feel they need to talk about something that is bothering them.
4. Adopt an Open-Door Policy
Do you have an open-door policy at work? Where no matter what time of day it is your employees can ask you questions, challenge ideas and communicate their feelings? This can boost employee morale, especially when they are confident they can approach their manager without hassle and not have to wait for an email reply.
Keeping the doors of communication open is crucial for creating a sense of mutual trust and encouraging the open exchange of ideas. Problems can be exchanged any time of day rather than having to wait for the weekly meeting.
5. Be An Active Listener
Have you been proactive in your approach to taking on-board constructive feedback and making necessary changes to your work culture? Being an active listener is to be expected when it comes to managing a team and you will need to make sure that you and your team members are on the same page. When you deal with any issues that arise effectively, your team members will feel valued and trusted.
6. Set Up Regular One To One Meetings
Want to check in on your employees on an individual basis? Setting up regular one to one meetings is the most effective way of communicating with and getting to know your employees individually. It is also handy for monitoring their progress.
One to one meetings are ideal for those needing to voice their own personal concerns, or provide feedback in a confidential space, rather than having to speak up in group team meetings. It shows how invested you are in ensuring your employees are happy and have an enthusiastic mindset, when it comes to tackling issues head on.
7. Publish a Monthly Newsletter
Don’t be afraid to share your monthly successes with everyone in the office. Be proud of small business achievements and celebrate the hard work of others. Adopt case studies of current employees and how they find working for your company, use it to discuss trending topics in the office and announce annual events and social occasions.
8. Share Industry News, Trends and Insights
Have you just read a recent blog or a news article that has inspired you or is relevant to your business? Then share it with everyone in the office and send a link via email with a catchy subject heading. Always be on top of the latest trends and insights into your customer base, workplace incentives and any recent product launches.
9. Use Mobile Communication Effectively
Nearly everyone in the office these days has a smartphone or digital device they carry around with them. Rather than having a no phone policy in the office, why not take advantage of the benefits of having a phone could have on improving communication in the office. Certain project management software solutions may offer a mobile app for team members to stay on top of project developments on the go.
10. Personalise Your Communications
Be fun and creative. You can change the way you communicate to fit the personality of the person you are talking to. Know the difference between communicating with a potential client to communicating with an employee of yours. How you communicate shows that you are a good listener, are able to emphasise well and understand how others think. If you have someone for example, who is better at communicating face to face rather than replying to emails then tailor your communications to suit their needs.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our top 10 ways of improving office communication to help strengthen connections between managers, employees and colleagues. By encouraging effective, more collaborative relationships you will be reinforcing the idea that effective team communication is crucial for all business success.