Business leaders and supervisors are not the only ones responsible for strong workplace communication.
Every employee needs successful communication skills to avoid communication breakdown and engage productively with others. The way you speak to and listen to others is not only polite, it’s a leadership skill that will serve you well in any line of work.
If you are worried about communication in the workplace, start with you. Instead of complaining or criticizing other team members, look at your own communication skills. Are you setting a good example of positive and respectful communication on a daily basis, or are you contributing to potential difficulties?
Here are some of the most effective strategies business leaders can use to avoid communication breakdown and thrive in the workplace:
- Encourage free-flowing communication. Empower team members to engage with each other on a regular basis. Assign a point person for certain assignments and projects, but give everyone an opportunity to make decisions and engage on an equal playing field. When employees feel they can speak openly, businesses often discover innovative new solutions and improved productivity rates.
- Invest in collaboration services. In today’s world, more employees are working from home or on the go. Instead of relying on regular meetings, phone calls, and emailed communications, consider investing in collaboration solutions, such as instant-messaging services and document-sharing programs. Make communication an easy part of the daily workflow.
- Teach, preach, and showcase positive communication. In school, someone might take a class on public speaking or mass communications, but they rarely learn about effective interpersonal communication. Consider hiring a communications expert to provide a seminar on workplace communication skills. Understanding the elements of good communication in-person, online, and on the phone will help employees maintain mindfulness of their own behaviors.
- Remember every employee is an asset. Don’t dismiss someone based on rank and file. Sometimes, the most innovative solutions come from unexpected places. When leaders show consideration to every employee, they can build morale and loyalty among all staff members.
- Help employees see their contributions. Take time to recognize individuals, teams, and departments during organizational meetings. Then, give them the power to take their success further. Educate everyone on the current state of the business and goals for the future so everyone feels actively engaged in meaningful business outcomes. Taking the time to instill a sense of pride in employees will improve job satisfaction rates and may reduce employee turnover.
Add communication goals to the list for your next strategic planning meeting. Strong, company-wide collaboration skills take time to develop, but will serve your business well. Take the time to avoid communication breakdown and see how far your team, department, and business can go.