Strategies for Improving Workplace Communication
Good communication in the workplace helps everyone feel heard and understood. Employees know what the goals are and what they are to do. The result is a positive, encouraging and successful working environment that promotes good morale and engagement.
But how do you improve your workplace communication? Here are some strategies.
1. Focus when you communicate
Today’s world sometimes seems to foster distraction. We have smartphones constantly with us. Email demands our attention when we sit at our desks. Deadlines and crises may demand immediate personal attention.
When you communicate directly with employees in meetings, tune those distractions out. Leave your smartphone in your pocket or desk (and make sure the employees do as well!). If it’s a one-on-one meeting or staff meeting, don’t allow interruptions unless they truly are emergencies. If you’re writing emails or other communications, tune out other distractions and focus until the message is completed.
2. Give clear information
Some workplace communication is providing information. It could be on how to do tasks, what the company’s goals are or new policies. Make sure the information is simple and clear. Don’t digress to completely unrelated topics, even if they are important.
Other types of workplace communication is intended to motivate. Perhaps you are giving a speech or outlining company goals to your staff. Tell them why these goals are important. Is it contributing to increased revenues? New offices opening? New product development.
Promote buy-in by letting your employees know what your team specifically contributes to the overall goals in this type of communication. The more directly involved people are, the more they will listen.
3. Pay attention to nonverbal communication
Words convey only part of any communication. Body language and voice tone are equally important. So is eye contact. Make sure your body language is focused and relaxed, not dense and distracted. Make sure your voice tone is friendly, not negative.
When you speak to someone, whether it’s an individual or a team, make eye contact. Without it, you may come across as dishonest.
4. Follow up after meetings
In staff and individual meetings, it’s very common for people to remember only part of what was said. It’s a good idea to follow up with notes of the key points discussed to all concerned.
You can do this, but it’s also a good idea to delegate a note taker for meetings. Be sure to choose someone who can capture all the key points.
5. Listen as well as talk
Finally, remember that communication is a two-way street. You need to listen as well as talk to improve workplace communication, for several reasons.
First, listening makes you seem more invested in communicating! You seem open and approachable.
Second, you learn by listening. If you are trying to motivate people, you need to know their goals as well as the company’s. If challenges are arising for your team, you need to know that — and they’ll know it first! Listen to them to find out valuable information. Ask open-ended questions to elicit what they feel and think, not questions that just require a yes or no.
Workplace communication is important in building a positive environment. These five strategies will enhance communication at work.
To learn about how we can help you with your staffing needs, contact Nesco Resource today!