Poor communication within in the work place is often at the heart of damaged reputations and loss of revenue. From under-resourcing new ventures to product recalls, better internal communication can help businesses avoid common pitfalls and protect their futures and bottom lines.
Learning to communicate better throughout your organization will help you avoid the damage that can be incurred by ignoring obvious and permeating interaction difficulties. The benefits, aside from avoiding trouble, include increased staff engagement, a more positive workplace culture, and a higher level of efficiency.
Read on to find out how you can reap the rewards of better communication in the workplace.
1. Engage employees from the beginning
Don’t leave people to sink or swim when they begin working for your company. These people will take longer to integrate, and ignoring them or failing to prepare them appropriately is telling these new recruits that you’re not really concerned about their progress. Doing so is essentially setting them up to become disillusioned with their work.
New hires should have a short induction period so they understand company culture, core operations and protocols, best practices, and the resources that are available to support their work. You’ll evoke commitment from them right from the get-go and set them on the path to being engaged, valuable members of your team.
2. Make your purpose clear
It is important for everyone who works with you to be clear on what they do and why they do it. Shared purpose is the glue that binds and motivates your team to turn up each day willing to give their best to your business.
The best way to bring people together in this way is to define your company’s purpose. Answer some simple questions about your business to find the mission and vision.
What does your business stand for? Why do you do what you do? Define the answers down to a few, concise sentences and share it across departments. This statement should be simple to understand so the entire workforce can come together behind it.
3. Share information and resources
It makes sense to have resources that can support more than one function available to all who can use them. Providing relevant information and assistance stops teams from recreating similar work time and again, enables employees to share knowledge and skills, and brings new members up to speed with the organization’s developments and aims more quickly.
Internal documents should be available through common platforms and accessible software. FAQs should be available to all.
Providing the resources and encouragement for your employees to share and access knowledge will build value into each corner of your business. It will also increase employee engagement and benefit overall internal communication.
4. Know thy neighbor
Great communication is based on being in touch with the right people across your organization. This will never happen if people don’t know who to communicate with or when. Staff directories, planned collaboration, and team meetings aid employees in knowing who and when to chat with to meet daily challenges or complete the tasks set for them. It also builds team cohesion and peer camaraderie.
Open-door policies also go a long way toward building a culture of communication. This will encourage staff to share triumphs and concerns, ideas for innovation, and multiple other snippets of information that are relevant to your business. Provide a safe and accessible space for employee feedback and you will be able to access the power of collective minds.
5. It’s okay to have fun at work
Finding time to have fun during or after work hours provides the opportunity for staff to build genuine relationships with each other in which communication flows naturally and collaboration is second nature. Give staff time to get to know each other outside the workplace and ties will strengthen between them and your business too. In the office, you could schedule team-building activities or other events to increase cohesion among co-workers.
Communication is the foundation of good working relationships. As with nearly all that we create, if the foundations are strong then success is easier to attain. Start with the five tips above to lay the groundwork for better internal communication.
Today's post is brought to you by David Mizne, chief contributor and editor of the award winning 15Five Blog with the piece written by Rae Steinbach. Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. Please follow Rae @araesininthesun