We’ve all heard the famous saying “communication is key” but putting it into practice is easier said than done.
Yet in the long run, it’s worth investing your time and energy in because communication has a direct impact on your employee’s engagement and the quality of their work.
Not to mention it prevents a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts from taking place.
Here are seven ways to improve your communication skills in the workplace with your employees:
1. Have an Open-Door Policy
For many, a closed office door or being set as away on a team chat is equivalent to putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
It sends the message that you’re not open to communication and don’t want to be bothered. It leaves employees intimidated to approach you for fear of disturbing you.
Implementing an open-door policy gives a feeling of transparency to employees and literally opens the lines of communication with them. Encouraging regular communication allows you to problem-solve challenges they may be having and nip common misunderstandings in the bud!
Additionally, being able to share and receive information quickly, allows you to get ahead of problems and fix things before they escalate.
2. Keep Employees in the Loop
While an open-door policy encourages communication from your employee, keeping them in the loop on important matters shouldn’t be an afterthought.
A study reveals how up to 25% of employees quit their jobs as a result of being kept in the dark. On top of that, only 10% of employees surveyed were aware of their company’s progress.
How sad is that?
Additionally, a Gallup study revealed how “85% of employees consider effective communication an “employee benefit.”
While everyone may have their own communication styles, it’s important to keep your employees informed of any changes or announcements (upcoming or current ) in a way that resonates best.
Whether that be through emails, in-person 1 or 1’s, or direct/group messaging via an employee scheduling app, keeping them in the loop not only improves communication, but it’s also an effective way to build trust and cultivate a shared sense of purpose.
After all, it’s better to over-communicate than not communicate at all.
3. Keep Your Goal Setting to a Minimum
In order to reach your company’s goals, each employee has to understand their role within your business.
Whether the goals are individual or team-based, the best way to achieve them is by giving clear and simple ones that don’t resemble the length of a grocery list.
Former CEO John Flannery of GE (General Electric) uses an effective communication technique called the “Rule of 3” that allows employees to focus on no more than 3 initiatives at once.
Since people can only retain “about three or four key messages in short term memory“, assigning too many tasks at once will only result in a cognitive backlog (aka information overload).
When we receive too much information thrown our way, over brains have a hard time processing all of it.
It’s best to keep the information and goals to a minimum.
Bottom line: It’s best to keep the information and goals to a minimum.
4. Be Open to Feedback
It goes without saying that the success of a business is directly linked to good teamwork.
It’s perfectly natural to turn to your employees for feedback on how to improve your management style.
Yet not every employee enjoys disclosing the truth, especially to their manager.
Getting in trouble for offending a boss can prevent employees from being honest.
The solution? An anonymous survey!
By creating a survey in which your employees can answer anonymously you’ll make them feel more comfortable revealing information without any fear of consequences.
The most important part is to recognize your mistakes and not take criticism personally.
After all, if there’s no room for improvement, there’s no growth.
By showing humility and keeping an open mind, you’re encouraging your employees to be vulnerable enough to open up about the areas they’d like to improve on as well.
5. Provide Ongoing Feedback
Did you know that a majority of employees have no idea how well they’re performing?
Employees understand the value behind feedback and need it in order to be actively engaged in their job. As a manager, leaving feedback to annual or quarterly reviews isn’t going to cut it. Even if it’s negative feedback, employees value it because they can learn and grow from it.
Whether it be a few times a week or having a weekly check-in with them (either in-person or virtually), making it a habit to provide ongoing feedback is crucial for personal development.
It’ll help to address any challenges or issues that come along the way and most importantly show employees that you’re taking an active interest in what they do and giving them room to grow.
6. Organize Team Building Activities
What do you get when you combine a fun yet challenging activity with employees?
From escape rooms to treasure hunts, rafting and zip-lining, team building allows your employees to experience something out of the ordinary and bond through challenging activities.
Whether your goal is to strengthen ties between employees or simply have a good time, being receptive to your employees’ interests is crucial in choosing an activity that fits their style.
By working toward a fun and exciting obstacle, co-workers show different sides of their personalities.
As a result, they become more comfortable around each other and strengthen their communication skills.
7. Adopt a mobile-first approach
With Gen Z taking up over 40% percent of the workforce, it comes as no surprise that this mobile-savvy generation’s preferred method of communication for touching base is through a smartphone.
From texting to notifying them of any changes in their schedules, leveraging smartphones to reach your employees has never been easier.
Workforce management apps with built-in messaging simplify employee communication by keeping everyone in the loop so no message gets left unread.
Whether it be through direct messaging or email, an employee can choose their preferred method of digital communication and get notified directly by their manager.
Workplace communication is a two-way street.
By implementing the 6 tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way to improving communication in the workplace.
If you’re interested in levelling up your daily communication with your team and streamlining tasks so they don’t get tossed aside #unreadmessages, feel free to contact us today!