Improving Workplace Communication
Workplace problems can be directly linked to a communication issues. Ask any employee what they would like to improve at their workplace and you can bet that communication would be among the top answers. Business owners will admit that workplace communication is something to improve on yet rarely it does. Improving internal communication seems like a daunting task but really, it can be very simple.
Here are a few tips to improve employee communication in any workplace:
Publish a bi-weekly company newsletter. Although not a new idea, a company newsletter can be a good way to deliver a lot of important information to your employees. You can share new product developments and roll outs, staff changes, employee profiles and messages from leadership. Encourage workers to make their own submissions to the newsletter and to suggest story ideas. Be consistent by publishing it the same day and time every other week. Make the content relevant so that employees will make the time to actually read it.
Develop an intranet. If you have a site that’s for employees only, you can post important internal information. You can make it fun! Keep the site seeded with the current weather, a joke-of-the-day, and a “staff chat” area where employees can bounce ideas around. Provide a section where they can ask questions to management and most importantly…..be timely in responding! The intranet is a great forum in which employees can get their voices heard!
No one likes to sit through mandatory staff meetings but it’s a great way to increase communication. Have a consistent time and place when and where your staff will gather to talk about projects and the week ahead. Not only does this help management get a grasp of what is happening, but it may also foster collaboration and decrease project overlap.
The ability to send an “IM” over the computer to coworkers is a fast way to increase communication. Not only will employees get questions answered quickly, but it has also been shown to decrease overall distraction time, replacing phone calls or face-to-face meetings that meander on to off-topic subjects.
People communicate with others when they enjoy good relations. To increase communication, foster a positive workplace with happy employees, committed to the overall goal of the organization and to helping each other out.
Just remember that company leaders must commit to being the role model for the workplace communication improvements. They must create and commit to a system for accountability to the new approach to communication. Without that commitment at the highest levels, the initiative will fail and employee frustrations with communication in your workplace will continue.