Success in business is built around healthy communication. It enables everyone to get on the same page and feel that they are working together towards common goals. It also nurtures relationships and develops trust, establishing an environment more conducive to productivity.
Poor communication can be harmful to a company. Morale and productivity dip and things can become chaotic. All it takes is to implement a few strategies to start improving communication. If this is something you would like to do, read on.
1. Provide Constructive Feedback
When an issue arises or you are reviewing a project, criticism alone only leads to frustration. You need to build trust with your employees, so look beyond merely finding faults. Consider why errors might have happened and encourage employees to learn from them by giving constructive feedback.
Not only does this help prevent a repeat of the problem. It also helps maintain trust with the employee and reassures them that they can talk to you when they need to.
2. Acknowledge A Job Well Done
It’s not just about dealing with problems effectively. You also need to recognise great work to nurture positive communication. Employees feel valued when you recognise their hard work so try to acknowledge positive things as often as possible.
It can be helpful to establish a system for recognising and showcasing great contributions. This incentivizes behaviours that work towards achieving company goals. It is a form of communication that keeps everyone engaged and shows appreciation for the invaluable contribution of your team.
3. Implement Collaboration Software
Your team needs every available opportunity to communicate and collaborate. This will enable them to work as a team. Meeting in person is essential, but not always possible, so online tools provide a fantastic opportunity to get people to communicate.
Microsoft Teams is part of the Microsoft 365 suite and makes this kind of communication very easy. It enables team members to meet virtually at the drop of a hat. It also integrates with other Microsoft tools to make scheduling, feedback and collaboration possible in a few clicks. These types of productivity tools can make company-wide communication easier and more effective.
4. Meet In Person
1 to 1 meetings with employees are important. You could schedule them weekly or monthly, depending on what works for you. It encourages employees to chat and ask questions and keeps everyone on the same page. Use these meetings to discuss priorities, talk about the next steps and make sure everyone is feeling happy and motivated.
Weekly team meetings are another great way to foster good communication. Getting everyone together enables people to catch up on each other’s work and look for collaboration opportunities. Getting everyone together also enables a clearer picture of overall progress and any problems that might impact everyone. Beyond that, it increases the sense of community.
5. Always Explain The ‘Why’ Along With The ‘What’
Employees need to know why they are being asked to do something in order to achieve the desired result. Good communication starts at the top, so leaders and managers should be giving a thorough explanation of tasks as they are assigned.
Good communication with team members tells them that there is meaning to their task. It can also increase motivation as the discussion can be positive and nurture a better interpersonal relationship. It can also help the individual understand how their task contributes to the wider goals.
6. Use Email Effectively
Email is key for many employees, particularly those working remotely. Using email effectively can be the difference between success and confusion so email etiquette should be adhered to in all communications. Whilst email should never be the sole means of communication, it is often fundamental. Here are some tips on getting it right:
- Keep the subject matter clear.
- Always keep greetings appropriate – never too formal or informal.
- Only use shorthand with known recipients who will definitely understand.
- Be careful with colloquialisms/humour across cultures.
- Make actions and deadlines very clear.
- Avoid emojis unless you know the recipient well.
- Avoid hitting reply all or CC everyone unless it is really necessary.
- Always reply quickly.
- Use appropriate language at all times.
- Proofread your emails to ensure they come across well.
7. Encourage Information Sharing
Knowledge sharing is important. Many employees are likely to learn things about trends and industry news, and this information could be valuable. This is another area where a platform like Microsoft Teams might be helpful.
Team members enjoy having an opportunity to share something they have learned. It will help boost engagement and start discussions that build relationships around work-related topics. This means it will create energy behind communication and add value to the business – a win-win.
8. Organise External Events
Relationships can be nurtured outside the office for greater benefits. Employees need to know one another on a more personal level to feel free to communicate at will. Holiday parties or after-work get-togethers can be a great way to do this.
Another benefit of this is that it gives employees something to look forward to. This facilitates stronger communication, improved engagement and greater overall happiness.
9. Be A Great Listener
Employees will only talk to you if they trust you enough to actually listen. You need to take an interest in their lives outside work and share some of your personal life as well. When your employees know you as a person and know that you know them, they become more open and trusting.
Be a good listener. Take an interest. These are small moves but can yield big results. Employees will feel more comfortable communicating with you if you have made the effort to build trust.
10. Ask For Feedback From Employees
In addition to giving feedback, you should encourage others to give it as well. This can improve and maintain communication very effectively. This won’t always be easy to do in person, so using survey tools in Microsoft Teams can make it very straightforward for people to share their thoughts.
The feedback you receive may be useful in addressing issues and improving operations. And it will also show employees that you care what they think. Encouraging this kind of communication keeps people engaged and helps them feel valued. All of this leads to greater overall communication.