Workplace communication, or the lack thereof, is one of the main reasons for high employee turnover, lack of results, and low productivity levels. It’s also a contributing factor for low employee engagement that can cost a company thousands of dollars in losses.
Luckily, there are ways to learn how to improve communication at work and make everyone’s job easier. From using software and tools to having an open office concept and becoming an active listener, your entire company will benefit from clear communication.
Keep reading to learn the best communication methods and be the leader your employees deserve.
Set the Communication Foundations
If you want to improve communication at the workplace, you need to set communication guidelines. Having a solid foundation will help everyone learn what the expectations are and follow them every day. You don’t need to set a list of strict rules, but you do need to show people what you mean.
For example, all new hires should be met with kindness and warmth from all employees, including managers. The onboarding process should be smooth and stress-free so that they fit into the role well. Existing employees should be able to talk to managers openly about issues instead of being scared to ask questions.
Lead by Example
Whether you’re a company owner or a manager, you need to set an example for your employees. If you only talk to them occasionally and ignore them the rest of the time, they’ll see you as unapproachable and cold. They won’t come to you for important issues or try to build a good relationship with you.
Good leaders need to lead by example. If you want people to work harder, show them how it’s done. If you want them to come to you, you need to go to them first. In meetings, don’t be the only one talking. Ask people for ideas, feedback, and suggestions. Explain your decisions to the employees instead of just bluntly stating something and expecting them to follow.
Give Employees Feedback and Praise
Most employees will thrive in a workplace where they feel seen and appreciated. When they’re rewarded for their hard work, whether through incentives or public praise, they’ll be more productive and more motivated.
Positive feedback and praise will not cost your company a single dime, but you’ll get more engaged employees, which will boost results and reduce turnover rate. You can also invite employees for a 1-on-1 conversation and talk to them about their expectations, growth, and needs.
Consider an Open Office Concept
Most modern offices are set up as open concepts as this is a proven way of improving communication in the workplace. When there are no walls between departments or employees, it’s easier for everyone to get to know each other and help each other.
For the offices of managers and business owners, consider installing a frameless glass wall system where they’ll still have a separate office space, but as a part of an open concept. This is a great way to show your employees that you’re approachable, but also that you work as hard as them. This is also a great way to keep an eye on what’s going on at the office without having to micromanage people.
Create a Positive Company Culture
Company culture is one of the most important aspects of a company. Modern employees actively look for jobs in companies that have well-established company cultures. Employees want to feel safe, appreciated, and able to grow in a company. Most of them will not tolerate angry bosses, mobbing, empty promises, and a lack of leadership.
Positive company culture will help employees feel cherished, productive, and able to do their best. The pillars of a good company culture include:
- Active listening – take into consideration what your employees have to say and listen to their concerns, suggestions, and feedback
- Offering help – offering help should be normal in your company, as the common goal is achieving results
- Encouragement and praise – people react positively to words of encouragement, especially if you praise them publicly in front of their co-workers
- Empathy and care – no matter what company setting you to work in, basic human empathy for your employees will show them you care about them as individuals, not just as workers
Company culture is not an overnight thing. It grows and improves with time and your employees help define it. This is why you should communicate the company culture with potential new hires to make sure they understand it well and see if they’ll fit in.
Define Employees’ Roles Clearly
One of the best ways to learn how to improve communication skills in the workplace is to define everyone’s roles from the beginning. For example, if you have managers, make sure they know exactly what their responsibilities are. Then, communicate these with the employees they’ll manage so that everyone is aware of their powers and limits.
Employees need to know who they report to, who has the final word, who the decision-maker is, and who they can go to for every part of the workflow.
Use Powerful Communication Tools
No matter the size of your company, communication tools and software are a must for instant and urgent messages, especially for remote teams. The right communication tools can help you and your employees save precious time by avoiding long, dragged out meetings.
Some of the best tools for this purpose include:
- Zoom – for video conferencing
- Slack – for company-wide communication
- Asana – for project management
- G-Suite – for file sharing
Depending on your company structure and frequency of communication, you can add to this list. The main goal is for everyone to be involved and get messages quickly and clearly.
These Tips Will Teach You How to Improve Communication at Work
Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, knowing how to improve communication at work can help you improve your relationships with your employees and boost their productivity.
Want more business and success tips? Check out some of the other articles we’ve written on these topics and stay tuned for more trends and updates.