6 Effective Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace
It goes without saying communication has a direct impact on the quality of your employee’s work.
Having specific communication methods in place goes a long way in making your teamwork the dreamwork!
Yet the tricky part is understanding how to get your point across to your employees without ever feeling like you’re lost in translation.
Here are a few ways to kickstart your communication skills in the workplace:
1.Have an Open-Door Policy
For many, a closed office door is the equivalent to putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
It sends the message that you’re not open to communication and don’t want to be bothered.
It leaves employees intimidated to approach their bosses in fear of disturbing them.
By implementing an open-door policy, it gives a feeling of transparency to employees and encourages regular communication to happen in the workplace.
Additionally, by being able to share and receive information quickly, it allows you to get ahead of problems and fix things before they worsen.
2. Keep Your Goal Setting to a Minimum
In order to reach your company’s goals, each employee has to understand their role within your business. Whether the goals are individual or team-based, the best way to achieve them is by giving clear and simple ones that don’t resemble the length of a grocery list.
Former CEO John Flannery of GE (General Electric) uses an effective communication technique called the “Rule of 3” that allows employees to focus on no more than 3 initiatives at once.
Since people can only retain “about three or four key messages in short term memory“, assigning too many tasks at once will only result in a cognitive backlog (aka information overload).
When we receive too much information thrown our way, over brains have a hard time processing all of it.
It’s best to keep the information and goals to a minimum.
After all, good things come in three.
3. Stay Open to Suggestions
It goes without saying that the success of a business is directly linked to good teamwork. It’s perfectly natural to turn to your employees for suggestions on how to improve your management style.
Yet not every employee enjoys disclosing the truth, especially towards their manager.
Getting in trouble from offending a boss can prevent employees from being honest.
The solution? An anonymous survey!
By creating a survey in which your employees can answer anonymously you’ll make them feel more comfortable revealing information without any fear of consequences.
The most important part is to recognize your mistakes and not take criticism personally.
After all, if there’s no room for improvement, there’s no growth.
By showing humility and keeping an open mind, you’re encouraging your employees to express themselves and improving the relationship communication skills between your employees.
4. Organize Team Building Activities
What do you get when you combine a fun yet challenging activity with employees?
From escape rooms to treasure hunts, rafting and zip-lining, team building allows your employees to experience something out of the ordinary and bond through challenging activities.
By working toward a fun and exciting obstacle, co-workers show different sides of their personalities. As a result, they become more comfortable around each other and strengthen their communication skills.
Whether your goal is to strengthen ties between employees or simply have a good time, being receptive to your employees’ interests is crucial in choosing an activity that fits their style.
5. Understand Non-Verbal Communication
Did you know that most communication is non-verbal?
Non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body movements speak volumes in understanding an employee’s attitude and perception towards you.
Improve non-verbal communication with employees by reading the energy in the room.
Shifting body movements and puzzled facial expressions all signal a need for clarity.
After finishing a presentation ask your employees if they have any questions.
Doing so allows them to rephrase the information they received and gain the clarity they need.
6. Leverage the Power of Smartphones
According to a recent mobile statistic, consumers now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones.
From texting to consuming content on social media apps, leveraging smartphones to reach your employees has never been easier.
When it comes to schedule making and shift requests, you’ll increase your chances of receiving a direct response from employees through a mobile platform.
A scheduling and workforce management app like Voilà allows you to manage schedules on the go and offers employees the opportunity to apply for the shifts they’re interested in.
With a built-in messaging platform and real-time updates on shift changes, absenteeism becomes a thing of the past.