Our latest blog concentrated on the impact of poor communication in the workplace and really stressed just how important it is to get this right, otherwise morale, productivity and sales will suffer in the long-run. And so, this article aims to give you the tools you need to improve communication in the workplace to ensure your employees thrive. The quality of a business’s internal communication says a lot about the company itself; its leaders and its culture.
As a manager, make sure you’re visible and constantly engaging with your employees. That could be via 1-2-1’s, a chat over coffee, daily status meetings or an informal team meeting. Your team want to be heard, they want to contribute and they want to get to know you and vice versa. Also encourage an ‘open door’ policy which means employees know that managers and directors are approachable and available when needed. Also discourage one-way communication, always ensure it’s a two-way street.
Many businesses, especially larger organisations, have a dedicated internal communications department. However, if you’re a smaller entity, make sure you don’t take internal comms and your strategy for granted. Make sure you fully understand how your employees like to be communicated with. Perhaps run a survey or some focus groups. You may think you know how your team wants to be communicated with, but that could be extremely different to their view – Involve them….
Intranets are yesterday's news and instead have been replaced by collaboration tools which allow you to share documents, set up project groups and act as an internal social media tool. Employees can contribute, share successes and communicate with one another in a different way to just email and face-to-face communication. It can help to improve processes and provides a robust communication platform.
We’re all strapped for time when it comes to work and so an internal newsletter is a fantastic tool for ensuring that every employee is up on recent happenings. These could be in digital or paper format, sent out weekly, monthly or even quarterly. Again, it’s best to ask your employees what they would prefer, so involve them in the process.
Many office use separate office spaces or partitions/cubicles and this can isolate employees and stand in the way of effective communication. Why not take a look at your overall office design and make it more of an open-plan arrangement with beanbags and comfy seating areas, helping to encourage communication and collaboration.
Is your company culture organic or is it intentional? We have written a lot about company culture and so it’s worth taking a look back at these articles. But the important thing is to focus on company culture and integrate it into your workday. This should help your employees to feel more connected and one another and the company itself. Company culture should run through everything you do.
A scheduled work event is a great way to communicate with your employees as well as potentially rewarding them for the work they do. These could be more informal meetings such as a team meal or fun activity or a day of presentations, activities and evening entertainment. You could even concentrate specifically on team building activities.
Life can be exhausting – the constant juggling act between work and home. So, why not give your employees the opportunity to step away from the office – This could be a longer lunch break or a morning to tend to personal issues – You’ll get much better results out of granting your employees the chance to reboot, as opposed to running too tight a shift.
Improved employee communication, as we’ve discussed, can come along with a number of benefits and so it’s important that you take the time to celebrate what you’ve achieved and the work you and your employees have put in. you will be able to compile data about your business which demonstrates increased performance and productivity – Celebrate this and communicate this as this is a fantastic way of showing your employees how much of an impact open and effective communication has on an organisation.
As you can see, there’s so much that can be done in terms of improving employee communication. Effective communication doesn’t happen naturally, you have to intentionally communicate as part of your company culture and keep assessing this as an ongoing process. But, if you get it right, your business will flourish, as will your employees and so make sure you make a conscious decision to improve your internal communications. Should you need help with these processes, please contact me on: 01453 297557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.