Communication is very important in the workplace because it plays a crucial role in building authentic relationships, generating ideas, and helping one another overcome challenges and face difficult conversations as well. When you have good communication at work, it will help everyone on your team and you as well to feel heard and understood. With this, everyone will benefit from a positive, encouraging, and successful environment.
However, when there’s ineffective communication at work, it brings the opposite results. This, in turn, can make you and your workmates feel frustrated, unacknowledged, and misunderstood. Improving communication at work may seem like a daunting task, but it can be achieved. In fact, there are lots of ways you can improve communication in the workplace and they are very simple as well. They won’t even require a lot of money or time to be able to be implemented.
If you’re a manager or a team leader and you’re finding it challenging to communicate with the people at work and you want to improve that, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you simple and effective ways to improve communication at work.
1. Make Your Workplace Communication-Friendly
As a manager or team leader, it is also your job or responsibility to ensure that there’s always a clear and constant flow of communication on your team. Therefore, speaking up about feelings and sharing ideas with one another should not be taboo in your workplace. In fact, you need to encourage your team to express themselves by making your workplace communication-friendly.
To do this, you should set the example. Try to always communicate with your team. Greet them every morning to raise their spirits and get the conversation rolling as the day begins. You can ask them questions, ask them for ideas, or communicate your feelings with them as well. You can also encourage social interactions by eating all together at lunchtime to give them a chance to communicate with one another and build relationships with their colleagues.
Another great way to create a communication-friendly environment is to have an open-door policy. Always remind your team or workmates that you are there for them if they need to talk.
2. Communicate Face to Face at Work
These days, we often use technology to communicate at work such as email and other platforms. However, you should remember that face to face communication still has a great amount of value, especially in terms of sincerity and authenticity. This is because human interaction is part of communication. Therefore, you should try speaking with your team and workmates instead of typing if it will not disrupt your workflow. Communicating face to face will resonate more compared to just sending emails to one another.
3. Avoid Over-Communicating
Too much communication will not help in improving communication at work. So after work hours, you need to keep the number of emails you send to your team to a minimum. Communication is indeed important, but those emails can probably wait until the next day. It is also a way of promoting a healthy work-life balance.
4. Hold Weekly Meetings
Most companies have monthly one-on-one meetings. But aside from that, you can also hold weekly meetings for the whole team if you want to improve communication at work. During these weekly meetings, you can allow your team to ask questions, share their concerns, and you can share them news about upcoming projects and your goals as well. This way, you will keep your team engaged and it will make them feel that they are part of something bigger which will also reflect in their performance.
5. Personalize the Way You Communicate
You can change the way you communicate if you know your audience. Therefore, when communicating with your team or workmates, you can change your communication styles depending on the personality of a specific person you are talking to. It is actually more than the way you express yourself because it should also include the way you listen, empathize, and understand how they think. Always try to build common ground and a real connection in your conversations.
6. Take Time to Listen
When talking with someone at work, do not dominate the conversation. It’s because when you do this, people will begin to tune you out and your message will be lost. When you talk, be careful with your words and avoid fluff and fillers. If you are stating important points, pause for a while and ask your team members if they have questions or if they understand. This way, your team will be able to understand and feel that they are playing an active role in the conversation.
7. When Communicating, Give Your Undivided Attention
When communicating with people at work, whether during a meeting or just talking with one team member, you need to offer your full focus to them. It’s because lack of focus can devalue the conversation and it can cause people to tune out. Therefore, during conversations, make sure to maintain eye contact and put other things aside. This will help visually convey your focus and encourage each of your team members to stay present.
8. Incorporate Some Team Building Games
Doing some team building activities and ice breaker games can also help encourage communication in the workplace. With these activities, the team members will get the chance to know each other beyond the context of work and they can also have fun.
9. Keep Constant Communication
It’s better to have scheduled one-on-ones with your team members so that you’ll be able to keep up to date on where they are at, how they are feeling, and if they need anything from you to be able to best contribute to the team. An hour every month to talk with each of your team members can be enough. You might be surprised to know what they are meaning to tell you once you practice this.
10. Inform and Inspire
Communication is a form of exchange and when it comes to being the leader or manager, clarifying and explaining your thoughts and ideas is important. However, giving the information to your team members is only part of it. If you want to improve communication in your workplace, you need to inspire them as much as you want to educate them. If you are planning to have meetings, plan the conversations ahead to effectively mix information and inspiration. When you and your team members are informed and inspired, you will have better communication with one another.
These are some of the simple but effective ways to improve communication at work. Keep in mind that improved communication will not happen overnight. But if you stick with these ways for a long time, then you will eventually reap the rewards for better communication in the workplace. If you’re also looking into improving your interpersonal skills, you can check out our post on 10 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills for tips.