Did you know that 79% of Americans see company culture as a key influencer in their job satisfaction? What’s more, is that 86% of employees list poor communication as a prime reason for ‘workplace failure’.
These statistics alone make the connection between happy employees and office communication clear. A simple change can make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be while reducing mistakes. All in all, improving business communications should be on the top of every business’s to-do list.
Of course, employee communication takes time and effort to develop. Luckily, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to expedite your communication mission and see incredible results.
Ready to get started? Follow along to learn about the benefits of workplace communication and the key communication-building strategies you need to succeed.
Why Is Office Communication Important?
As we mentioned above office communication plays a massive role in how happy your employees are at work. And of course, the benefit of happy employees is increased productivity and motivation. However, this isn’t the only benefit of having open communication lines in your office.
One of our favorite benefits to improved employee communication is the chance it offers for collaboration.
With so many different skill sets and backgrounds in your office, there are bound to be areas that some employees are stronger in than others. Of course, not every project can be diverted to the superstars – this is where collaboration comes in.
When employees feel comfortable and safe sharing their struggles and asking for help, they open up a door to learn and grow from their peers. This then helps them develop their workplace skills and raises your company’s overall skillset!
Communication also opens up the door for other employees to jump in on a project. They may even offer unique insight and perspective that could otherwise have been missed. Extra eyes and ideas could be just the thing you need to take your brand from ‘pretty good’ to ‘outstanding’.
Improve Team Morale
One of the primary problems we see in the workplace is a sense of competition or conflict between workers. While this may be due to personal clashes both in and outside of the office, the problem is almost always related to poor communication.
While one employee may think another is gunning for their job, the truth could be far more innocent and noble than they imagine. For instance, a conflict between two employees could result from something as simple as feeling inadequate at a certain task. This could be easily fixed with collaboration as mentioned above.
When communication is open, team members feel less like they are clawing their way through work and more like they are a part of something larger.
Lower Employee Turnover
Both of the above benefits as well as the increased job satisfaction we mentioned earlier all lead to one key result. Happy employees!
In simple terms, the happier your employees are both in their role and on their team, the less likely they are to jump ship. This lowered employee turnover can take away from the stress of bringing on new team members and training them.
At the end of the day, a stable team is a quality team.
Save Valuable Time and Money
Mistakes cost money. While they are an inevitable part of doing business, reducing avoidable mistakes is key for long-term success.
Fortunately, improving your communication lines does just this. Great office communication prevents your employees from misunderstanding tasks and requests. This could save you hours or even days tracking down the wrong path.
This could in turn stop major money spending mistakes from taking place. Not to mention, it can improve production among your team for faster, more reliable results.
Present a Professional Image
Finally, practicing great communication sends a message of professionalism to the outside world. When in-house communication improves, your clients and customers can feel the difference.
What’s more, is that by using key office communication, you can actually improve your customer communication too. This can make external exchanges feel more productive and effective for both you and your consumers!
How to Improve Workplace Communication
With so many benefits of great business communications, the only question left is how to improve your efforts.
Here are a few simple tips and tricks to try with your team:
Make Communication Comfortable
The first step to take when looking to improve office communication is to make communication feel comfortable and normal. While it would be nice to think that we are all naturally good at communicating, this is simply not the case, especially in a work environment.
The best way to establish comfortable communication is to practice it often.
Let your team in on decision-making processes. Help them understand your company’s why, and create a non-judgmental environment for sharing. When employees understand how valuable communication is, they are more willing to put themselves out there and give it a try.
And of course, ensure your employees know they will never be ridiculed or judged for asking for help or sharing a struggle that they are facing. This way, they’ll be more likely to come forward early rather than waiting until the problem escalates.
Schedule Time for One-on-One’s
It’s important to recognize that communication improvement doesn’t happen all at once. While some employees will take well to group communication, others may need a bit more time and encouragement to ease into it.
A great way to start establishing these open lines is to make one-on-ones a regular occurrence.
Take the time to sit down with your employees and understand what’s going on in their workday. Get to know where they are struggling, where they excel, and what kind of support they need. This makes them feel appreciated while providing an opportunity for growth and collaboration down the road.
During your one-on-ones, practice active listening to give your complete and undivided attention. This will ensure your staff knows what they have to say is important and valuable.
Try Daily Team Meetings
Ever heard of a stand-up meeting? These short meetings work wonders for a team when it comes to opening up regular communication among employees.
Instead of reporting to a superior, stand-up meetings encourage employees to share a snippet with their co-workers. Each staff member has a chance to share what they’ve got on their plate for the day and any struggles they may be facing with their tasks.
After just 10 or so minutes, each staff member then has a greater understanding of what the business is working on as a whole. They also have uncovered insight as to where they may be able to help others or ask for help themselves. Hello, collaboration!
Stand-up meetings may be intimidating at first. However, the daily ritual makes sharing and communicating with the team feel normal and comfortable. What’s more, is that they offer a distinct reset for your team to get up, stretch, and refocus on important tasks for the day ahead.
Train Leaders With Emotional Intelligence
Your leaders are key to encouraging communication. However, many leaders lack the emotional intelligence needed to allow communication to flow. This is largely due to the fact that more than 70% of communication is actually non-verbal.
This means that although your staff members may not be saying ‘I’m unhappy’ or ‘this isn’t working’, their body language probably is. The key to bringing this to the surface is leaders that can recognize and act on these non-verbal queues.
By setting your leaders up with training for emotional intelligence, they’ll begin to recognize these queues. This will help them relate with employees on a more personal level. Once they can relate and understand, the chances of communicating with that employee effectively are far greater.
Make Written Communication the Norm
As we mentioned above, a great deal of communication is non-verbal. This means that there is an incredible amount of room for error when sharing tasks or important information from one team member to the next.
The easiest way to reduce this error is to make written follow-up the norm.
If every meeting or request is followed up with an email or note, miscommunications are stopped in their tracks. For example, if you ask an employee to resolve an issue, follow it up with a note that clarifies what issue you’d like them to resolve. Include your expectations, and any key instructions they need to follow.
While this may take a bit of extra time at the moment, it’s merely a fraction of the effort you’ll need to spend if your request goes sideways.
Integrate Communication-Friendly Software
Finally, turn to tech to help make workplace communication automated and easy.
By integrating key systems such as Office Control, your entire team will have access to the information they need to succeed. This can cut down on ineffective verbal communications and make it simple for your team to get in touch without even leaving their desk.
For remote teams, solid communication software is essential for organization and efficiency. Of course, don’t be afraid to throw in the odd uplifting note, joke, or encouragement to your team through these portals. Company culture is key after all!
Boost Workplace Communication in Your Office
Now that you know why office communication is so important and how to boost your company culture with communication, it’s time to set to work. From carving out one-on-one time to adopting systems and procedures, we’re confident you’ll see amazing results.
Want to learn more about business communication? Check out our other articles to discover everything you need to know about crafting a successful workplace.