Does there seem to be a lack of communication between your company’s employees? Would you like them to work together more often – to pitch ideas between them? Would you like to improve the efficiency output in your office and save a bit of time?
No doubt you said yes and thought it was wishful thinking. However, it doesn’t have to be wishful thinking. It can really happen!
Bring Your Team Together For Project Collaborations
Employees will often work on their own to carry out various team tasks and projects, using their own strengths. However, if a project calls for multiple pieces and your team isn’t talking, the project may be completed but not in a seamless manner.
Think of it like your vehicle. All the parts of your vehicle need to be in great working order, but if one essential part is missing (battery or engine), then the vehicle isn’t going to crank.
The same holds true for a company’s employees. Each person needs to work on their projects, and then bring them together with others to develop the full project. In order to effortlessly bring a project to its conclusion, you need to have a consistent communication strategy in place for your employees.
This allows them to ensure individual parts become one!
How A Communication Strategy Increases Productivity and Efficiency
When there is better communication between your employees, it leads to better productivity and efficiency for the company. Projects are delivered on schedule and results are seen. Your employee turnover rate will decrease, as they begin to trust one another, develop bonds and feel loyalty to one another. They’ll want to come to work because it’s a pleasant place to be. This only leads to higher efficiency in the workplace.
With an improvement in communication comes the improvement in employee engagement. Employees who are more engaged with the company will be motivated to work and stay longer with the company.
8 Communication Methods That Can Help Trigger Employees’ Productivity and Efficiency Levels
When people think of communication within a company, they often focus on the face-to-face method. While this method of communication should never be overlooked, it isn’t the only one out there. It’s important to understand that each project and each person may dictate another method of communication.
The great thing about technology is that it allows for other forms of communication to take place, enabling your employees to collaborate on projects to ensure their completion.
Now, it’s not uncommon for more than one communication method to occur during a project. The idea is to boost employees’ engagement with each other, regardless of what communication method is being used. With several strategies in place, you should see a rise in your employees’ interaction with one another.
Here’s a look at eight worthwhile communication options for you to consider for your employees. However, it’s important to consider any communication option that will benefit your company and leads to higher efficiency.
- Open-Door Communication
Closed doors create a feeling of secrecy. The closed door isn’t just a physical thing but a psychological one. When you physically leave your door open, you encourage your employees to air out their grievances, concerns and spur conversations. There are no obstacles for your employees to overcome.
You’re also transparent with your action. This helps to establish trust and respect. You want the team to know that they’re welcome to come to you for help and that you want them to talk to each other.
An open door policy fosters regular communication, not a one or two-time type of deal (usually seen in a meeting). Having an open door policy means project status can be talked about and problems addressed.
If you wait to communicate at a meeting, there’s a possibility that the project will crash and burn.
- Foster The Two-Way Feedback
Have one of your employees given you a rough draft of a project, and it’s not what you’re looking for? How do you address this? Instead of giving a document with notes on how to improve the project, consider a two-way feedback system.
With only notes to look at, your employee may be wondering what more they must do to improve. Notes only go so far, but constructive criticism and feedback go a long way. It also helps to boost your team communication. How can you provide feedback to your employees that don’t put up more boundaries?
While verbal feedback is good, it’s the two-way conversation that encourages your employees to look within themselves. However, you should keep a record of what has been said using a task management system or an individual one. If you use task management software, you want the feedback to be seen by everybody involved with the project. This will boost efficiency within the company, leading to better communications and productivity.
- Be Clear About Roles And Responsibilities
Employees who don’t fully understand their roles and responsibilities and are unable to communicate effectively are problematic in the workplace. When they’re not sure what they need to do, it causes them to carry out a task improperly. If you let your employees know what their tasks are, you boost the chances for better communications. Make sure to choose a person that will help clarify what each person should be doing and the behavior expected of them.
- Increase Your Team’s Spirit When your employees work together well, they often communicate better. Think back to your first job when you were the newbie and didn’t know anybody. Did you stand idly by, unsure of what to say to your colleagues? Now that you own a company, do you see employees smiling awkwardly and meekly saying hello to other employees?
You want to foster team spirit, encouraging them to talk to each other. This helps to establish comradery with your employees, allowing them to feel like they’re making an investment in the outcome. Many team bonding specialists encourage this to improve the channels of communications.
While you can have your employees get together on the weekends and do team building exercises, you can also encourage them to get together after work and relax. Consider implementing the casual Friday dress code or encourage them to have lunch together once a week. You want to do something that’ll break the ice between your employees and foster communication.
- Make Wise Use Of Time
While coffee breaks may be random at most companies, it could be a great time for employees to communicate with each other. Consider implementing a coffee break time for all employees, which encourages them to talk about whatever – work, home life, hobbies, etc. It’s an opportunity to have informal discussions that don’t even relate to work.
These informal settings give them an opportunity to relax and address problems they may be facing at work on projects. Or, it can give them the opportunity to relax and not think about work.
You could also provide them an extended break period one day a week, which allows them to discuss work-related topics only. According to a Harvard Business Review report, set coffee breaks led to an improvement in communications and had a 50 percent change in the company’s communication patterns.
- Include Training To Foster Communication
Your employees need to communicate, and if other methods don’t appear to be working or you want something else to add to it, training tools are ideal. It’s true that training involves money, effort and time. However, experts feel that it can lead to better interactions between employees.
One research looked at the benefits of virtual teams that used communication software. It found that a majority of the traditional training is focused on software and not the interpersonal communications dynamics.
Many employers overlook this valuable option, but it’s one to consider since it betters work quality. There are all kinds of courses that will teach communication skills with the goal to improve your ability to share your message, encourage and educate. The basics offered in training include face-to-face, written, verbal, giving presentations, feedback presentation, etc.
According to research, communication skill courses help encourage and foster workplace communication – generally seen after six months upon course completion.
- Use The Right Kind Of Communication
All company projects are different, which means their communication needs may also be different. If one project needs a hands-on approach, you may find the need for face-to-face communication over digital communication.
You may be faced with a project where all the team members are scattered about. This means a face-to-face meeting is not feasible. Technology can be your best friend in this regard. Put together a video conference so the team can get together and discuss the project.
Another communication method to consider is email, as it’s been one of the most proven methods to carry out projects. There is a drawback with email though. If someone is inundated with lots of inbox emails, they may be unable to see any new messages you send. They may have to sort through the emails – putting them into folders, deleting email, etc. This is not an efficient use of your time. It can also be an overwhelming task, which means it may get done, but at a later date.
Email is not a great way to save information either. It makes one have to search through the email to find a particular message whether or not they were categorized. It’s a tedious task.
You could use a task management software that makes it easier for employees to communicate with each other. Every task as a home that team members can read. They can read messages about the individual jobs and review over important information about the job in one location. This streamlines the communication process because the entire team knows what’s going on.
- Use Online Tools
The average employee will spend a quarter of their workday looking through their inbox, with 20 percent trying to find something or someone to assist with a particular task. This is not efficient nor productive. For that reason, many companies have implemented a cloud-based task management software.
A cloud-based task management software enables you to bring projects to one location so that each team member can quickly access the information. It gets rid of the constant back and forth emails and reduces the plethora of meetings that often take place.
With this kind of system, you’ll be given progress reports about the project, know of issues that come up and watch how the team is interacting with one another. Are your employees communicating with each other to finalize the project?
Your employees can use the system to upload important information, talk with each other and find out how the project is going. This leads to higher productivity, better communications and time saved.
For you, it’s a win! For your employees, it’s a win!
What more could you ask for?!
What You Need To Remember About Communication In The Workplace
It doesn’t matter if your employees are working remotely or in office, it’s imperative for the business to succeed to have good communications between them. As the employer, you should be encouraging your employees to talk to each other, professionally and personally.
Again, every type of communication should be used, but some methods are better than others – project dependent. You can encourage your employees to talk by enacting several useful tips:
• Have an open door policy
• Foster the two-way feedback.
• Set up designated coffee/break times
• Clearly lay out your employees’ roles and duties
• Increase their team spirit with various activities
• Provide effective communication training
• Provide your team with effective criticism and feedback
• Use cloud-based task management software
While it’s great to foster communication between your employees for the sake of the business, you want to make sure it counts for something more such as improving employee relations and forming friendships.
Does any of the above sound familiar to you? Do you want help in achieving effective work communications? Send me an email at: Ask@AskJoanneVictoria.com with the word Communications in the subject line and I will respond ASAP.