How to improve communication at work
It’s clear that communication is essential to the success of every kind of enterprise. It helps executives to effectively manage their workforce and employees enjoy a boost to their productivity and overall output. Improving internal business communication is the first step to revitalizing your company life. Here are a few tips to help you improve communication at work; increasing employee morale, decreasing turnover and moving straight towards realizing your business goals.
- Avoid verbal orders
In the hustle and bustle of a dynamic operation, you cannot expect your employees to remember every single thing you tell them verbally. They’re not likely to remember it in an hour or two – let alone months down the track! That’s why everything of importance needs to be communicated in writing. All office policies, standards, tasks, and rules should be documented and available to everyone at all times.
- Establish an email policy
Your employees should know when to use email and when to choose other forms of contact, which are more effective. Make sure that adding a subject line is a policy at your company – recipients pressed for time won’t lose it over reading emails on issues that aren’t critical. Adding a subject line makes communication easier and ensures that no message ends up in the spam folder.
- Use this communication trick for better understanding
Tell people what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you’ve just told them. This smart trick is based on human psychology. We tend to remember items which are first in a list and which are newest. Introduce your big ideas at the beginning of your talk and at the end – you’ll help your audience to remember it. This is a skill all your executives should learn.
- Encourage questions
By building a relaxed atmosphere during business meetings, you’ll encourage employees to ask questions whenever they feel unsure about a topic and require more guidance. Questions generate creative ideas in discussions and help to bring out aspects of a subject that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Acknowledge interesting questions and you’ll be on your way to training your employees to think critically about their tasks at all times.
- Keep meetings short and sweet
Sometimes a face-to-face meeting is just what your team needs. Meetings are great for brainstorming an idea or explaining a complex strategy to your employees. Personal meetings should be the norm at the office, but don’t organize them just for the sake of meeting. Every meeting should follow a plan – this is the only way you can be sure to make the most from your time together.
It’s a good idea to train your employees in verbal communication and improve their listening skills. This is your best strategy for running smooth meetings even when everyone is very busy. Knowing how to handle face-to-face communication is a prerequisite for running shorter and more efficient business meetings with clients as well.
- Avoid distractions
When it comes to communication, the worst thing that can happen is getting distracted. This is especially valid for written communication, where your employees have much more to lose. It takes a lot of time to write, read and respond to emails, so make sure that what you write is short, clear and to the point.
Enforce this practice at your workplace and you’ll make your employees happier. They won’t be forced to spend hours reading communications partially relevant to the topic. Make sure that employees keep it professional and avoid personal topics – teach politeness and writing for engagement.
By following these tips, you’ll gradually build an environment with seamless communication, helping every single employee to become more productive and simply happier in their job.
Kelly Smith is Content Manager at Career FAQs, Australia’s leading portal on online learning and career resources. She is interested in new tech solutions and self-improvement ideas.