5 Tips for Effective Workplace Communication
The kind of relationship a leader has with team members and other staff can reliably predict the success of a business, so effective communication is key.
Expressing the requirements and goals of the company, to all concerned, in an effective and constructive manner will build rapport that results in achieving and surpassing those goals: It's that simple. In addition to increasing productivity, it will inspire teams to become more involved and feel empowered to contribute.
Five ways of encouraging effective communication:
1. Have the right tools
In this age of tech, there are countless resources at your fingertips to help you reach a team, whether via email, a WhatsApp group chat, Zoom meetings, other apps or even a simple phone call. Your team should always have access to leaders in the event of unexpected events in the workplace or when asking for help with minor issues, and using an engaging and interactive platform (or combination of platforms) is a great way of keeping everyone involved and up-to-date. In the same way, leaders can keep their teams apprised of any changes that affect daily operations, as well as upcoming events and other company news. Maintaining an open flow of information will help ensure that an operation runs smoothly and that team members feel supported. Make a point, however, of reaching out and determining what methodology members feel more comfortable using, which will make them feel additionally empowered.
2. Be specific when giving feedback
Employees often need to make quick and important decisions during the course of a workday, and knowing that they are able to ask for help and will receive clear, concise feedback fuels a sense that they'll be able to handle any situation which may arise. When it becomes necessary to speak with a team face to face, be sure that they leave a meeting feeling heard, understood and valued, and personal meetings should be constructive moments of assessment and reflection. It's also important to recognize successes and celebrate a job well done, even if its followed by, "Next time, handle it differently". Strive to create a safe space for conversation and expression where all sides of an issue can be addressed fairly and equally.
3. Get teams involved in daily decision making
Offer the opportunity of a vote on new products or upcoming changes and otherwise open the floor to new ideas ways of improving workflows. Staff members' opinions matter, so take them into account. Give the team a voice by allowing expression of what isn't working and soliciting collective solutions to problems.
4. Identify and support group leaders
While an open-door policy is important, it doesn't always work well when a business grows beyond a certain size. Maintaining direct communication with each individual team member at every level isn't always going to be possible (after all, you have a job to do, too). A smart solution is to identify group leaders who can handle some of the work for you, as long as you clearly establish who they are to the rest of the staff and how the rest of the team can reach them, then train them in how to advise and instruct groups in line with how you yourself would want things handled. Make sure everyone knows that these leaders are your direct representatives, and assure them that their requests and comments will be passed on accordingly. Creating these smaller sub-groups allows each to be increasingly self-managed, reducing workload on individuals and making it easier for you to keep up with how each is performing — further streamlining your ever-growing business.
5. Team building outside of work
A good way to boost morale and foster strong relationships is to use team building activities, which can create a dynamic working environment and make people feel safer in expressing any issues. Get creative! We often spend more time with coworkers than our own families, making satisfying interpersonal relationships at work vitally important. Perhaps offer an escape from the daily grind by arranging out-of-office events like a field day, game night, celebrating birthdays, attending a movie or show, or a holiday party. Having an opportunity to loosen up and socialize builds trust, confidence and yes, communication.
Investing in your people is always a good idea.
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