Communication is integral in any setting and relationship. It is important in the workplace as it is in your personal life and relationships. Ideally, workplace communications should be smooth and seamless. However, as with everything in life, it is just not the case as things are always never perfect.
Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and misinterpretation all contribute to some of the communication nuances at the workplace. Whether you do it over your IP PBX phone system, your email correspondences or face-to-face interactions, there is always bound to be some form of disconnect in the chain.
To help minimize instances where there is a lack of communication or understanding, we have listed below a few practices that you can take to enhance the level of communication at your workplace.
7 Ways to Improve Workplace Communication
1. Set standards for everyone to follow
To minimize workplace miscommunication that could potentially lead to a divided workforce, you must establish certain standards that indicate and define what are acceptable practices and procedures. There should always be a set of guidelines for people to follow to help keep everyone check. These guidelines will serve as boundaries and safeguards in case things don’t pan out well.
When you come up with a set of standards, evaluate it and run it by a few of your trusted workmates that can take a look at it objectively. You can even call for a meeting to explain the changes that will take place. The guidelines should not hinder anyone from speaking their minds and giving their opinions but it should also leave no room for ill behavior and bad attitude
2. Always lead by example
Once you have a set of standards in place, you must follow it to a T. Even if you don’t have a high-ranking position in the company, lead by example. Always.
As long as people are aware that others, especially managers and bosses, are religiously observing the said policies and guidelines, they will be more inclined to adhere to what’s written and agreed upon.
3. Get everyone involved and allow them to give feedback
Once the new standards have been rolled out and are already being implemented, encourage everyone at work to participate and give constant feedback. Urge them to always give honest feedback so that any legitimate concern can be immediately addressed.
If folks are aware that their concerns are being discussed and handled seriously, the start trusting the new system more which makes it easier for them to comply.
4. Define all roles and responsibilities clearly
Ideally, this step should be done during the recruitment and hiring process. However, just to get everyone on the same page, outlining the different roles and responsibilities will prove helpful since it reinforces what they already know about their jobs and introduces them to things that they didn’t know.
This creates a better understanding of each individual. The better people know about the scope of their duties, the more productive, effective, and satisfied they will be.
5. Work together to achieve a common goal
While it is common in the workplace for rifts to take place, especially between marketing and sales teams where constant realigning should be done, it can be minimized when everyone is working together toward a common goal. Never stop communicating the company’s goals, visions, missions, and values and that all of these can only be accomplished as a team.
6. Create and encourage a healthy culture where people respect one another
According to a 2015 report published by the Society for Human Resource Management, the biggest factor that contributes to job satisfaction is the respectful treatment to employees. Creating a culture of respect in the workplace requires active listening, encouraging and positive reinforcement, helping, and empathizing. Once people in the workplace see these things in action, they will, in turn, make it a part of their behavior.
7. Utilize technology to improve workplace communications
We live in a digital age where technology is a necessity for communication. Different apps such as Slack, Zoom, and Google Hangouts have changed the way communications take place at work. As such, technology isn’t going anywhere so you have to adapt to and evolve with it.
Having healthy lines of communication at the workplace makes work easier and more pleasant all around. It may never be perfect but as long as everyone does their part, things will continue to get better.