In almost every aspect of life, both professional and personal, the key to success and happiness is effective communication. Relationships cannot grow without open and honest communication, and the same is true for businesses of any size. Your HR Manager can be the key person to help improve staff communication.
The quality of your organization’s internal communication speaks volumes about the business itself. If poor communication is not addressed, your business will stugle to grow. You can’t build a strong team without improving communication in your organization.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of ways in which you can improve staff communication.
1. Lead by Example
If you want your employees to communicate more effectively, make sure the leaders are doing it well. Managers must lead by example. Managers should comment, share, ask questions, answer questions, and offer feedback. Every encounter with an employee is an opportunity to listen and model communication.
2. Transparency is a Must
It is common practice for employers to implement new policies or procedures without explaining the rationale behind them. Without explaining the why behind your decisions you create distrust. This can lead to resentment among employees.
Competitive and legal reasons may prevent you from sharing all of the details with all employees. But, when possible, they should be told the reasons behind planned changes. Not only does this help everyone feel like they are part of the same team, but it can also lead to suggestions that improve the staff communication plan.
3. Hold Informational Gathering Sessions
Gather input from your employees. Think of some fun ways to improve communication in the workplace. From installing a suggestions box at the workplace to meeting with employees in small groups, this provides them with an opportunity to make suggestions, ask questions, and post concerns.
The results of these efforts can then be used to target your efforts and gauge the success of your efforts to improve staff communication.
4. Employ Online Tools Rather Than Meetings
Many employees view company meetings as a significant waste of time when that time could be devoted to more productive tasks. You can reduce the amount of time spent in meetings by using online reporting and team update tools.
One study found that organizations that made the switch to using social technologies saw interaction among their workers and productivity rise by 23% – on average.
5. Create Your Own Internal Language
At first thought, this might seem like a juvenile thing to do, but creating your own internal language for your business will not only improve workplace communication but also employee engagement. The Gallup organization is one of the leading companies to study employee engagement.
An internal language can range from a plethora of made-up words derived from inside jokes to a specific set of monikers or acronyms that are employed to describe certain aspects of your business. This also helps create a unique culture in your company.
It offers an interesting and humorous method of communicating throughout the week, and contributing to the development of the language fosters company culture.
6. When You Use Email, Leverage the Subject Line
In the modern workforce, the majority of communication is done through email. Especially as more offices are working as remote teams. Because employees often receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails each day, an inbox can quickly become cluttered.
To get immediate attention (if it is truly warranted), use action words, like HELP, URGENT, or ACT, in the subject line so employees can prioritize which emails necessitate immediate attention and which ones can be dealt with at a later date. Teach employees how to be effective users of email. Everyone can benefit from using the same email protocols.
7. Give Your Employees the Opportunity to Recharge
Frequently working long hours is numbing and exhausting, particularly to a person’s mindset. It is difficult to effectively communicate with one another when you are exhausted. Actively encourage your employees to step away from their desks when they need a break. Use these strategies to improve communication in your company.
This might mean taking an occasional personal day or simply an extra hour at lunch. Your employees will be more productive (and you’ll see better results from them) if they know they have the opportunity to recharge when needed. Some companies are experimenting with unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) plans.
8. Plan External Events
Although this might sound old school, it is beneficial to create opportunities for employees to meet one another outside of the office. Nothing hinders effective communication more than when there are employees who haven’t met one another.
Plan an after-work happy hour or a holiday party. It gives your employees something to look forward to, in addition to improving communication and building stronger engagement. Everyone enjoys free food and drinks and it allows people to learn about each other outside of work.
9. Pay Attention to Your Middle Managers
It is simple to categorize employees into groups and then conduct meetings across different levels of people. However, you shouldn’t neglect your middle management. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Make sure to teach them how to communicate with employees in annual reviews.
Pay them due respect and the influence they exercise over employees by providing them with one on one meetings or separate channels to discuss concerns and issues. You still have to work to develop the skills of your managers to make them more effective leaders.
10. Take Stock and Improve Your Communication Skills
Last but not least, every HR manager wants their employees’ communication to be as streamlined as possible, but what are your own communication skills like?
After all, you do lead by example. Taking stock of how you approach communication can be enormously beneficial. The only way to serve as a model leader is if you work on improving staff communications by improving yourself.