Effective communication can go a long way in improving productivity in the workplace. As an employer, having good communication skills will bring out the best in you and your employees. Little wonder Paul J. Meyer says that “Communication — the human connection — is the key to personal and career success”. It builds good working relationships and ultimately makes the company’s success a collective effort.
However, even though communication is termed a skill that all innately possess, it needs proper nurturing and lots of effort to attain desired results.
Let’s look at some of the best ways that effective communication can be improved at work:
1. Establish a good working rapport: Connecting with your employees on a personal level earns you trust, and mutual understanding is developed. When there’s a healthy work rapport, you’re able to engage your team and clients on a more personal, relatable ground, which will bring out the best versions of them.
Connecting with your staff on a personal level not only builds trust; it will also get them to do their jobs more diligently. To establish that bond, you need to be friendlier, and more open-minded, and engage them with extracurricular activities. This creates a sense of oneness and gets everyone to be on the same page.
2. Organise regular meetings: This is important and helps to keep everyone up to date on the latest developments. It also creates room for brainstorming ideas, and appraisals, to motivate each team member to perform better at their jobs.
Virtual meetings have also been proven very effective for managing remote staff. Without regular meetings, communications are disunified and collaboration falls apart. However, it’s important to ensure that these meetings aren’t long, baseless, and boring. They should be precise and straight to the point, and everybody should be free to express themselves.
3. Give & request For constructive feedback: Give honest and data-driven feedback. Constructive feedback comes with positive intentions. Don’t condemn or judge a colleague when you think them wrong. Anyone can make mistakes, so give healthy feedback to help them learn from these mistakes.
It is also important to occasionally ask for feedback from a variety of people. Ask for feedback from people you trust and those you don’t trust so much. Don’t be afraid to ask for negative feedback; it’s important to hear the truth, even if it hurts your feelings or conflicts with what you believe about yourself!
4. Make use of the right communication tools: Embrace the right tools to convey messages to members of the team. Find which works best for the nature of your job. Examples of some of these widely used tools include; Slack, Asana, Trello, etc.
5. Listen actively: Effective communication is a two-way street. Do not be too focused on only the information you have to share and do not interrupt when other people are speaking. Be patient and listen to what they have to say and address the issues carefully together. Also, learn to pay attention to non-verbal communication-seek to understand what is not being said but is implied.
6. Properly onboard & train new employees: There’s nothing better for an employee than to feel welcome in a new workplace. Giving employees a proper onboarding and training session is very important. It introduces them to the company’s working language & system and helps them to blend in faster, and understand their colleagues.
7. Define goals and expectations clearly: Set goals that align with the company’s objectives and make every member of the team see and understand the parts they have to play in achieving these goals. It is also important that you work towards the goal as well. If you expect others to do it, then it has to start with you. Walk the talk.
8. Ask questions: Always ask questions whenever you do not understand something. Do not just assume if you aren’t sure. Words could get misconstrued and could seem offensive even when not intended. So always ask questions for clarity purposes.
Open-ended questions are also encouraged. These are questions that can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They encourage your counterpart to talk, think and be creative. They also encourage them to see things from a different perspective and highlight their strengths.
Here are some examples of open-ended questions:
- “Can you better explain what you mean?”
- “What do you like about working here?”
- “What’s something new you learned recently?”
Remember that communication is an integral part of work, and it will help you get ahead. It’s important to understand that effective communication at work comes from listening as much as it does from speaking. Start by practicing these tips and watch how your career takes off!