Successful communication at work doesn’t come easily to many people. It takes finesse and tact. A breakdown in communication or misunderstanding has the potential to disrupt productivity for the whole team.
To prevent these issues from damaging your workplace, a clear and effective workplace communication policy needs to be in effect. It is up to the company leadership to develop positive habits that encourage employees and cultivates a climate of effective communication.
These include an open-door policy, encouraging face-to-face discussions over emails, sharing criticism carefully and listening.
Tips for Effective Workplace Communication
Promote honest communication with an open door policy. This means that employees should know they can come by your office and discuss issues and frustrations with you in confidence.
What this can do is prevent small issues from becoming bigger problems. Leaders should always attempt to resolve issues fairly. Both parties need to be heard before making any judgments or decisions about the problem.
Another key element to cultivating effective communication is through face-to-face interaction. Too many workplaces have become reliant on technology like smartphones and emails for internal communication.
Employees should be encouraged to discuss issues with one another face-to-face when they are in the office rather than sending an email to a co-worker in the next cubicle.
Carefully communicate criticism to your employees. It is crucial not to personal criticism an employee or co-worker. Rather, collect yourself before you approach them with negative feedback on their performance or project.
Instead of saying, “You did a terrible job on that report.” consider offering them a few pointers about how they could improve next time. Good communication also involves ensuring your message was received well. Tell the employee that your intentions are to help them improve, not to make them feel bad.
Ask them if they have any questions about the feedback you’ve offered. Do your best to ensure they have understood what you have said.
Listen to understand. Good communication is not just about getting your message across, it also involves hearing and understanding what others are saying.
When employees are talking with you, listen intently. Try and repeat the main issues you have understood. Ask them if that was what they were trying to communicate. Give others a chance to clarify their position or concern.
Proper training in techniques and effective methods of communication can help equip your leaders and your employees to develop more positive interactions in the workplace.
Whether you have communication strategies in place already or are looking to develop a better way for employees communicate with one another, an open-door policy, face-to-face discussions, sharing criticism carefully and listening will go a long way to creating effective workplace communication.