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How To Improve Internal Communication in the Workplace?
As a reputable hub for all things business at nichemarket, we know that one of the growing problems in companies across the world is poor workplace communication, and that's not a culture set for performance. If you share information with five people, two could misinterpret it! We have a problem right there.
Even managers can miss important memos and spread inaccurate information to multiple teams. As a result, just like with poor benefits, employees could become confused and frustrated by all the ambiguous information spreading across the organisation.
There's no unique solution to fixing communication between employees at all company levels.
However, you can make a few adjustments that usually get employees to communicate more effectively. In this guide, we bring up the ten most effective tips you can try to give your internal communication a much-needed boost.
Adopt an internal communications plan
It's wrong to assume you can fix your internal communications problems without finding the cause first. Therefore, start improvements by identifying causes leading to poor communication in your workplace. For example, you either have too many or too few informal communication channels.
Since channel capacity is a thing, all options have pros and cons. Sometimes the main company choice is not among the most effective communication channels and doesn't suit your business model. When you determine the root of your communication difficulties, you can move on to defining an internal communication strategy.
Strategy combined with the most suitable tools will change the way staff communicates for the better.
Careful with emails
Most companies use emails as the dominant communication channel. However, emails aren't suitable for sharing updates, making requests, direct messages, and responding. There are far better asynchronous channels you can use to speed up and improve communication with your team and staff.
Most of the software allows you and your team to chat privately or in groups and manage notifications.
If you need to share information with the entire staff, you can do so by making the conversation public. As a result, the right team members get the right messages on time. It also leads to fewer communication errors, phishing attacks, spam, and a more engaged workforce.
Make information accessible
Like other organisations, yours too has its distinctive set of knowledge and information that the entire staff has to be aware of, especially in worst-case scenarios, like moving the office, for example. Everybody needs to have a clear idea of the moving plan at any given moment.
In general, all employees use similar information to complete day-to-day operations at work, and easy and transparent accessibility is an absolute must. New employees require time to learn how the company functions, what are its protocols and regulations, and how to prepare documents for clients.
That's why it's necessary to keep all the information in one place employees can access. Whenever a new employee joins the team, others can bring them to speed by sharing the internal documents with them. As a result, they aren't wasting any time and can use time on more challenging tasks.
Overuse video calls for clarifications
Every company uses various parallel channels, such as project management tools, email, and instant-messaging apps, co-planning tools, and more. However, in recent years, video conferencing software has made a gigantic leap, and so has its adoption for business messages.
To make employee communication more impactful, some managers follow a certain rule. The rule says that if an employee's request results in more than five responses, others in the team jump in on a video call to clarify the issue.
The group video call rarely takes longer than five minutes. During the meeting, managers provide clarification. This way, your team can ask additional questions and make everything clear. It's also the perfect solution for first-time remote workers. Add the secret sauce of some marketing and video tips, and you have a wrap!
Repeat information if necessary
Believe it or not, to make both official and unofficial communication between employees better, repeat information as many times as needed. Some employees don't understand what you say right away.
Similarly, they have questions or need clarifications regarding more abstract and complicated problems. If you don't give them a chance to ask them, you're just giving orders or directions, contrary to the very essence of communication.
That's why you should create more opportunities for two-way communication. Whenever you're sharing meaningful information with staff, repeat it as many times as necessary, so it becomes clear to employees what they're supposed to do.
Provide weekly and monthly updates
Being part of the company, employees want to know what's happening across all hierarchical levels, and that's crucial to motivation. As part of management, you can create weekly or monthly updates for employees from all departments.
It's a transparent way of communicating all the accomplishments and announcing future goals and events. Also, you can ask employees for feedback and include any other information they'd like to know about. The employees will have the opportunity to engage and share opinions, which will cause a more inclusive workplace, too!
Organise external events
For better communication in the workplace, you should organise both internal and external events. The internal events taking place in the workplace allow employees to bond on lunch or coffee breaks or by the water cooler. On the other hand, external events allow them to spend time outside the office.
The informal surrounding can help them loosen up and connect on a more personal level. Also, new employees might get to know colleagues better in an informal environment. You can organise a happy hour or a holiday party after working hours and give employees something to look forward to.
Big chunks of written texts don't attract nearly as much attention as visual elements. When employees are presented with data through visuals, they can grasp and memorise it quickly. Also, they can find connections between the data elements and understand complex and abstract ideas better. There are many ways you can include visuals in your corporate documents.
For example, add charts and infographics to your onboarding files. Then, assign tasks to your team through maps and make practices simpler by presenting them with flowcharts.
Lastly, make presentations upbeat by adding photos, interactive materials, corporate training videos and charts to break down complex data, so even laymen can understand it.
When employees have questions about organisational initiatives, they usually turn to managers. It's because managers are superiors and go-to people for receiving feedback and assignments.
However, big corporations don't have all the information all the time. If employees don't get the answers they need, they'll immediately start spreading rumours and stress others out.
To prevent anyone from ruining the atmosphere in the workplace, managers need to prepare. Before announcing any new policies or regulations, share the main points. They'll have more time to prepare for employees' questions. You'll have a single source of information on every organisational level.
To make sure your internal communication and workplace constantly improve, you need regular feedback from the staff. Employees are always opinionated, and they know best what improvements are necessary to make work better. Hence, survey your staff every once in a while.
Once you collect feedback, spend some time analysing it and then act appropriately.
Apart from the surveys, you can also learn a lot by casually talking to your team over a cup of coffee or by the water cooler. Listen carefully to what they have to say and then use it to take a business to the next level.
Poor connectivity and communication etiquette are endemic problems in most organisations nowadays. They affect every aspect of the company while being a sure blocker to reaching its goals. What's supposed to bring your company hard-earned success is slowly turning it into a failure.
If you're having the same problems, you should immediately act and make changes, as there's nothing better than to enjoy the benefits of good communication in the workplace.
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