Good communication is a vital key in any environment with human interactions. However, effective communication in the workplace is an integral element of business success for both large and small organizations. Clients, customers, and colleagues all rely on communication in the workplace. It isn’t just about mitigating conflicts. Effective communication plays a significant role in client relationships, profitability, team effectiveness, and employee engagement. Recent research by US firm Gartner shows a whopping 70% of business mistakes are caused by poor communication. The benefits of effective communication in the workplace are endless, and it should be a primary focus for managers of all organizations, regardless of industry and size.
As Cisco managing director Alex Goryachev writes on Forbes: “People listen mostly to respond rather than to understand. However, digitization demands active listening to the ecosystem in order to survive and develop collaborative strategies with startups, partners and customers around the world.” So, how can you ensure you are communicating with your team effectively? Here are five strategies to help you improve communication in the workplace
1. Develop a communication strategyThe first and foremost step is to develop a strategy on how the company will communicate with employees. A development team will need to consider who needs to know, when they need to know it, and how it will be conveyed to them. This way, the organization can create a standard for business communication. To ensure effective communication, as with the most things in business, having a defined process is the fundamental key. This can be as simple as the secretary who takes meeting notes, sending a copy of the notes to a central communication person and that person shares these details with all employees.
2. Clarity and completenessOne important thing to ensure effective communication is to know the audience for whom the message is meant. The message must be clear in the mind of the communicator. As long as you don’t understand the idea to be conveyed, you can never express it to your employees. Also, the message should be appropriate and define the whole purpose of communication. When conveying your message, you have to be truthful and transparent.
The message must be as complete as possible. You can tell the employees if there are details that you cannot share due to confidentiality. Employees will appreciate your honesty, and this way, they will be more supportive and engaged. As a team leader, you shouldn't wait until you have all the information. It is better to deliver the message at the right time. Otherwise, your employees will fill in the communication gap with assumptions, which can lead to distrust and productivity loss. Also, semantic barriers can alter the meaning of the real message.
So it is recommended to express the message in simple, brief, and clear language. The words or symbols must be appropriate to the reference and understanding of your employees or customers.
3. Repeat the message and explain the WhyUse all available forums, including email, newsletter, bulletin boards, business website, intranet, social media, staff meetings, town hall meetings, or text messaging. Remember, consistency across all communication channels is the key. The marketing rule of 7 proposes that you need to expose a potential customer seven times before they make a final buying decision. You can apply the same rule with employees. You can plan how you will repeat the message. The more frequently the message is conveyed, there are more chances that the employees will understand it and remember it. Often leaders come up with a great idea, plan it, implement it, and even convey it to their employees, but forget to mention why there was a need for this particular initiative. You have to take the time to think about how an employee will perceive the idea. You have to ensure that your employees understand why something is done and how it is related to the organizational goals.
4. Empower your managersManagers are the voice of your company. They play the role of messengers between the upper management and employees. When you empower your managers with the right information and an effective communication strategy, they will deliver consistent messages to their team and will be able to answer all the queries. It is a better practice to hold regular meetings with your managers to update them on developing changes.
As mentioned earlier, you can use multiple channels to communicate your message to your employees. Likewise, you can use all those channels to get feedback from them. Significantly, your employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and queries. Therefore, there should be a two-way communication. When you encourage feedback and listen to what your employees have to say, you show them that their opinion matter. Also, this helps the managers identify the areas that need improvement.
6. Use a VoIP phoneBecause of the growing need for communication in a business, a VoIP system becomes a necessity in the office. These days, there's no reason for poor communication with employees. Even with virtual teams, managers are never more than a phone call or video chat away. A VoIP phone system can be integrated with existing phone lines. Axvoice or other communication tools help to make communication more effective. The features like enhanced voicemail and three-way calling help to bridge the communication gap between you and your employees. Axvoice offers low-cost business VoIP plans with unlimited in-network calling; therefore, you can communicate with your employees from anywhere without breaking the bank. It offers extensive outbound call features. Features such as three-way calling are practical for team meetings. With this phone service, the employees can make calls with a business number rather than their own number, and that too without having to worry about the phone bills. For small businesses, this saves cost. Besides, you get more features, including call forwarding, simultaneous ring, blacklist, and call log. A hosted PBX allows you to upscale your communication system, as your business grows, without requiring any additional hardware.
When it comes to your performance management process, a little communication goes a long way. By using communication tools, leaders can keep the conversation going year-round with all employees. Through clear and consistent messaging, you empower your entire workforce to do their best and take your business to the next level.
Clark Thomas is an expert in VOIP. He helps businesses both small and medium-sized, in implementing and adopting the best security methods for their organization and network. He gives great advice regarding and assists people in boosting the security measures for their website and business.
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