Tips for Improving Communication in the WorkplaceDecember 28, 2022 2023-01-06 12:11
Tips for Improving Communication in the Workplace
Nothing gets done when people cannot properly communicate. If you want people to work together efficiently or complete their designated tasks, you have to ensure everyone understands what needs to be done and how to do it. Clear and careful communication helps a workplace run more smoothly and reduce errors. But with so many available avenues for communication, it can take time to understand what works best and how to begin.
People who do not understand what they should be doing or how something works may need more effective communication. And without that, their work could suffer, and they won’t be able to use their skills to benefit the company. Employees can feel undervalued and lose interest, becoming unengaged and checkout. This leads to lower morale and productivity, hurting the company as a whole. One employee’s confusion from unclear instructions or an inability to ask for clarification can also hinder others.
Every leader working with a team understands the value of effective communication. And with so many different tools available today, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get your point across. But sometimes, things get lost in translation. These tips can help everyone make sure they’re being heard and understood at work.
Top Communication in the Workplace Tips
Many of these tips focus on one-on-one communication or face-to-face interaction. But many can be applied to talking to groups and utilizing tools like Zoom and Slack. Whatever your preferred modes of communication, these tips can help improve and enhance your skills.
When explaining specific tasks or job duties, always be clear about what you expect. Is there a specific deadline? What kind of information would you want to receive if you were being given the job you’re delegating? When an employee knows what is expected and how to do the given task, it can get done much easier. Clear communication in the workplace helps a workplace run more smoothly and reduces errors.
You can also clarify any expectations the employee may have and what kind of communication is required for the project. Do you need to know how things are going every week? Every day? Being clear from the start can help everyone. This may require more planning since you will need to know all those details before handing out tasks, but it can save time overall because people will not need to continue clarifying things as they work.
Two Way Talks
When you are having a meeting, make sure that the communication isn’t one-sided. Listen to what others have to say, and make sure you hear them and understand their perspective. Even if you set up the meeting to clarify a point, leaving the opportunity for the other person to speak can allow you to confirm they understand and everyone agrees.
A conversation should feel like more than one person is speaking or has the chance to speak. Be aware of how much you talk in a meeting and how much time you spend genuinely listening. A company led by people who listen to their employees will have more unique ideas available and also have happier, more motivated staff.
Where And When To Communicate
Could that have been said in an email? Would it have been better to speak face-to-face or over Zoom? Are you waiting for a response in Slack when they already sent it to you via Gmail? Knowing what tools to use for which kind of communication is crucial in today’s workplace. There are so many different channels for communication, and learning which ones work best for what will help save you time and money.
Find out what tools your company can use and which ones actually help promote communication. Not all available options will work for you and your employees, so try some out and ensure you are consistent when establishing the ones you regularly use. Training employees on an increasing number of communication tools can be tiresome and lead to more confusion down the line. Don’t overdo it; use the ones that work well and suit your needs instead of whatever is new.
Many companies run into problems with hybrid and remote work transitions, and learning how to return to positive communication strategies is essential to make these modes work. Working with an entirely remote team can be successful, but you must learn new communication tools and find what works best for you and your team.
Culture of Communication
Creating a space where employees can communicate is key to a more cohesive company and workspace. People need to feel able to bring up issues or questions when they arise. When employees are uncomfortable addressing problems or bringing new solutions to the table, the company won’t do as well. Work will suffer due to confusion or incomplete assignments, and new ideas will go unheard because people don’t feel they could speak up.
Talk to employees. Encourage communication and regular conversations to get to know one another and initiate team building. This can help collaboration and create a more open space for communication.
Communication in the Workplace: Offer Opportunities
Providing people with time to communicate, whether having open office hours or more frequent meetings to check in, can make a big difference. Not everyone will have something to add, so you don’t want to bog people down with unnecessary requirements, but they should feel they can communicate with leaders and other employees when needed.
You also want to ensure employees can provide private feedback about how things are going. Sometimes items don’t need a group meeting, and people prefer privacy when discussing personal projects or individual tasks. Making sure you are available to staff at least once a week to speak on what they might need can help create a more open communication channel and allow people to feel more heard, even if they don’t always take advantage of the open door.
Regular meetings to check in with employees will allow people to communicate and not pressure employees to initiate those chances. It will also let you see how people are doing and note where work needs to be done. These can be weekly or monthly meetings, but find what works well for your team and create a regular opportunity for people to meet and communicate.
You do have to be careful building in too many meetings. Sometimes communication can lead to wasted time for staff who don’t need to be there. When doing big check-ins, keep them quick and to the point and note where you may need to do a one-on-one later. Some people may want to discuss things further, but it will be easier to do as a side conversation than in a big meeting.
People often have things to add or improve when a project is complete, but they may not have the space to voice those ideas. Requesting feedback can bring more conversations about how things can improve and allow people to be more open to feedback on their work. It shows that you, as a leader, want to listen and consider where employees are coming from and can make it easier for them to hear when you have crucial feedback to offer. SurveyMonkey, a dominant survey app, is also a great choice of anonymous feedback tool. It allows you to create an employee feedback survey from prebuilt templates and analyze the data once you have obtained it.
Learn The Styles of Communication in the Workplace
Some people communicate differently. And some people better process information when it is communicated to them in a specific fashion. Learn the different communication styles and get to know what works best for your employees. Some people prefer a briefing in an email, while others prefer a call or face-to-face meeting. When you know how to express yourself to individual employees adequately, things can be done more efficiently.
Crucial Company Communication
Everyone has heard the phrase “communication is key,” and it remains true today. It feels straightforward to get in touch with people and simultaneously challenging to navigate and use the right tools. Listening to employees and learning their communication styles can help you adequately express what needs to be done and allow the company to work more efficiently as a whole. Positive communication strategies help people get to know one another and work better together.
Adding more focus to how you communicate can allow you to become a better person and a better leader. Make sure people feel heard and learn how to receive and offer feedback. And if you want to learn how to start having some of those more challenging conversations with empathy and an open mind, check out this webinar for more good communication tips and tricks.