Poor communication in the workplace can lead to low morale and lack of productivity, which inevitably will have a negative impact on the bottom line. Even when operations seem to be going well, it can be important to review whether the lines of communication need to be improved. Luckily, getting all the employees on the same page is not difficult to do.
Good teamwork depends heavily on all employees understanding what is expected of them and what they can expect from others in the office, including management. Here are five steps to better communication:
The best way to improve communication is to make sure the right personnel are available when needed. While it’s ideal for workers and supervisors to be in the office on a regular basis, today’s business environment doesn’t always make that possible. Thankfully, modern technology such as smart phones makes employees available from just about anywhere through texting, e-mailing and calling. Make sure everyone has a list of contact phone numbers.
Too often time is wasted in an office meeting because those taking part or running it cannot stay on topic. If a meeting is important enough to call, it’s important enough to do right. Include an agenda, set up specific start and stop times and make sure only those that need to be there are invited. If an issue arises that isn’t part of the agenda, make a note of it and include it in the next meeting. At the end, make sure everyone understands what is expected of them going forward.
3. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask teammates or management to clarify something if the details are not clear. This can help avoid problems later. A supervisor can also ask questions of those he or she is in charge of to make sure they understand and are working at the right pace.
Whether during a meeting or private discussion, be willing to listen to ideas from all employees. Be positive when they are presented. Even if one idea is not feasible, it might spur what could be the ultimate solution to a problem. When employees feel comfortable their ideas will be considered, they will begin to feel more comfortable offering other suggestions, thus improving the feeling of being part of a team.
5. Use technology appropriately
Modern conveniences can help improve communication, but the right medium needs to be selected depending on the situation. Texting is fine for simple yes or no answers, but anything complicated may require a face to face conversation. Whenever possible, nothing beats a personal meeting, where voice tone and facial expressions can help convey the proper message.
Good communication is essential in the business world in order to keep a company moving forward. It improves teamwork and ensures everyone knows what is expected of them and how they can help the business reach its goals. Even successful companies should take the time to try to improve the communication between staff members.