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5 Ideas to Help Improve Business Communication

5 Ideas to Help Improve Business Communication

Similar to any relationship, the best way to maintain a healthy environment in the office is consistent and clear communication. You can obtain several benefits when you improve the transfer of ideas in your organization. If you can keep an open line of contact with everyone in your team, you’ll see their productiveness and employee satisfaction increase. You’ll also see much lower turnover rates and nonattendance among your personnel.

Having direct conversations with your staff is also more important now than ever because of the pandemic and the advent of remote work. Since your team is now scattered, maintaining an effective communication strategy is crucial. It ensures that everyone is on the same page, lessens wasted time to look for information, and keeps everyone engaged. Although there are a lot of resources where you can read more about this topic, here are five strategies that you can follow.

Exhibit Empathy

Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, you might’ve already experienced the effects of stress that your work life can bring to your personal one.

So, as the owner, you need to show your people that they also need to prioritize their lives outside of work. By doing so, your team will feel valued, which will encourage them to do better in their tasks. It will also increase their productivity, and as a result, this will improve your company’s work environment, contributing to your eventual success.

Instead of constantly getting right to the point in your meetings with your staff, asking them about how they’re doing and having a casual conversation with them is also crucial. You’ll develop a stronger connection with them if you keep doing these things since they’ll feel that you’re trying to know them more. You may ask them about how their weekend went, how their dogs are doing, or how their kid’s ball game went, among others. Maintaining and strengthening your relationship with them is even more essential if your company’s staff is working remotely.

But, you also need to talk to them outside of meetings. Thus, you need to make sure that all of your internal communication tactics evoke a sense of empathy. The way you communicate with them, especially during virtual face-to-face conversations, is also crucial since a chat app or email won’t be able to convey your true emotions. If they don’t feel that you care about what you’re talking about, you might come across as less empathetic.

Utilize an Alternative to an Open-Door Policy

As a leader in your organization, you can bolster your line of contact with your team by ensuring that they know they can always talk to you when necessary. But, an actual open-door policy means that your employees may talk to you more often than necessary, which could affect their productivity, especially if they’re working from home. It would also cause you a lot of hassle, especially if you have many responsibilities or you’re particularly busy when they talk to you.

To lessen such interruptions, you can set aside specific hours on your schedule weekly. You should let your people know about this scheme and that you’re open to having a conversation with them during these times. Also, you can book weekly staff meetings, one-on-one talks, or even daily updates, if you need them. By doing so, all of your workers will maintain a clear line of communication.

Encourage Your Team to Share Their Feedback

You can ensure that your employees feel that you hear them by giving them several channels to give their feedback. One of the best ways to do this is by starting an engagement survey and sending it out regularly. But, you shouldn’t stop there!  You could also do monthly or annual stay interviews to know why your workers chose to stay with your business, what they like about it, and the things they want to improve.

Giving your personnel a channel for providing anonymous feedback will also help greatly. Since not all feedback will be positive, many members of your staff would be apprehensive about saying them to your face since you’re their boss. These issues might pertain to the management, a problem with their co-worker, or the changes they’d like to see to improve the working environment. As long as these comments are constructive, they’ll help your organization learn and grow, fostering a healthier company culture.

Respect Each Other’s Cultural Differences

Since the world is getting smaller with the advent of the digital age and globalization, your team might include people from various backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints. So, if you want to foster inclusivity, such that your team could freely express themselves, you must manage your business with more cultural sensitivity. The best way to achieve this is by partnering with a third party to lead sensitivity training.

However, making your organization more inclusive doesn’t depend on such a one-time activity. If you want to achieve a true inclusive workplace environment, things need to change in your company’s culture. You should be more transparent about your establishment’s efforts to improve inclusivity, as well as give your team a chance to share their two cents about these efforts.

Refrain from Giving Feedback That Isn’t Clear and Precise

If you’re planning to give constructive criticism on your staff’s work, you must provide them with some examples. Also, any comment must also be accompanied by action. For example, avoid saying that your team member has been unreliable recently—this won’t be helpful and will make them less incentivized to change their behavior.

Instead, you could say, “I’ve been observing that you haven’t hit your deadlines, and there’s been an increase in errors in your work. Are you all right?”  By talking to them this way, you’ll know what’s going on, and you can suggest ways for them to fix this problem.

Conclusion

Maintaining a solid communication line with your team can be pretty challenging, but it’s not entirely impossible. By making them feel that what they’re saying is valid, respecting differences, and making sure everyone is more open to constructive criticism, you’ll create a stronger relationship with your employees. If you achieve this in your organization, you’ll eventually see an increase in productivity and a general sense of fulfillment among your staff.


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.