One of the most important components of a successful and productive workplace environment is communication. Having well-established communication channels between employees to identify issues and share new ideas is imperative for future growth.
Without frequent communication between employees, a company’s workflow can become inefficient, and problems can go unrecognized.
As a manager, building a idea flowing workplace can be very difficult, especially when employees have become accustomed to working independently. However, there are a number of ways that managers and employees alike can work toward building effective communication skills, which are the foundation of stronger workplace relationships:
1. To Improve Communication At Your Company, Set an Example
As a leader, one step you can take to develop a communicative culture is setting an example for your employees. In any company, lower level employees often learn the most by observing the behavior and values of their managers.
Over time, these employees will adjust their own behavior in the workplace to be more similar to that of their superiors. Frequently, a firm’s culture will develop around the ideals of its leaders, which means that managers who take an active role in setting a good example for their employees can effectively shape firm culture.
In the context of your company, you can promote communication on a daily basis by sharing your ideas and challenges with your employees. When you come into work every morning, make sure to greet your coworkers and ask how their week has been.
When you run into an obstacle, speak to your colleagues and ask for their help. Have an “Open Door” policy where coworkers can walk into your office and ask questions when they need assistance. Setting a positive example for others will build the foundation for a cultural shift at your company.
2. Encourage More Social Interaction
An integral aspect of effective communication is being comfortable with those around you. If your employees don’t know each other very well, they won’t be comfortable expressing their thoughts or sharing their challenges at work. Becoming comfortable with your colleagues can be a difficult thing to do in a professional environment, but by encouraging social interaction outside the workplace, a manager can help to develop stronger relationships at the firm.
One actionable step you can take is to designate a space in the office where employees can congregate on breaks or during lunch that is completely separate from the office environment. This will allow co workers to spend more time together instead of working independently at their desks.
Additionally, you can plan social events for holidays or important milestones at the firm. Providing an opportunity for your employees to bond is a great way to foster stronger communication.
3. Clearly Establish Roles and Responsibilities
Another problem many companies face is a lack of clearly defined job responsibilities and hierarchies. If employees don’t know what work they’re responsible for or which of their colleagues they’re supposed to work with, company workflow can be hindered dramatically.
By clearly defining what role each member of the firm has on a task or project, a manager can increase productivity and reduce frustration in the workplace.
Additionally, having established roles and responsibilities can help develop communication between employees. Knowing exactly who the project lead is and which co worker is responsible for final approval or QA allows for faster communication and prevents redundant work from being done.
One thing you can do as a manager is to meet frequently with employees to discuss what they’re working on. These meetings can help to identify employees that are working outside of their job responsibility or employees that are not completing their tasks.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
In the past, email and phone served as primary methods of communication in the workplace. Today, firms use technology to make communication faster and more efficient.
Here are two types of software applications that companies are using today to streamline communication in the workplace:
Instant messaging applications such as Slack and Discord allow companies to centralize communication in one place. Firms can create specific groups for teams and keep logs of discussions that take place.
Additionally, these applications integrate seamlessly with other essential applications for business such as GitHub, Google Drive and Datadog. Instant messengers are available on mobile phones, so teams can communicate at any time, anywhere.
Project Management Tools:
Applications such as JIRA and Trello help teams keep track of their workflows and share information quickly with their co workers. These applications make it much easier for managers to assign work to different teams. They also help squash bugs faster. Like many messaging applications, these project management tools integrate with other software applications that companies use on a daily basis.
5. Take Feedback and Suggestions Seriously
As a manager, it is imperative that you listen to feedback from employees to consider their opinions. Ultimately, supervisors aren’t able to fully understand the frustrations that lower level employees face on a day to day basis.
It is the responsibility of a company’s leaders to enact change when it is necessary. By making it clear to employees that their opinion is valued, managers can foster stronger communication for constructive feedback.
There are many things you can do to promote suggestions at the company. An easy way is to start an anonymous outlet for constructive employee feedback.
You can also schedule weekly office hours for employees to voice their opinions. Take diligent notes on the challenges that employees face to identify and track issues that arise.