Communication plays a vital role in any relationship to maintain harmony. This holds especially true in the workplace. Amid everything happening around, leaders should ensure that everyone is on the same page. With proper workplace communication, employees are informed and engaged, and organizations can achieve their goals.
What is workplace communication?
Workplace communication is not just employees talking to each other. It is the process wherein employees exchange information and ideas within the organization. Workplace communication could be verbal or non-verbal and can be done through different mediums like e-mails, text messages, videoconferencing, etc. Workplace communication is in action when the business communicates strategies and goals while employees share ideas. It also happens when leaders communicate about individual tasks and give feedback to subordinates or even share project status.
There are many benefits of clear and effective workplace communication, such as:
- Boost employee engagement, belonging, and job satisfaction
- Increase productivity
- Reduce conflict
- Builds existing skills and increase retention
- Fuels innovation
- Strengthen team relations
- Build a healthy workplace and organizational culture
Here are some tips for ensuring that your workplace communication stays effective.
Know the right way to communicate.
Communicating well means getting understood and understanding as well. To do this, you should know the proper medium to use when sharing information or feedback. Knowing where to communicate is sometimes half the battle.
With all the communication tools available, think of what will work best. What will be the most effective way to communicate this? Should we talk about it via phone call, a text message, a workplace chat, e-mail, videocall, or face-to-face? Always consider the recipient in choosing what method to use in communicating.
Talk face-to-face if possible.
The classic approach of face-to-face communication is still the most tried and tested way to go. If possible, talk face-to-face with team members, especially when delivering a difficult conversation. You will get to set the right tone of voice through face-to-face compared to written communication. You will also be able to observe the other person’s non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language and adapt accordingly based on how they receive your message.
Inform and inspire.
When sharing information, it is not enough to explain it. Ask yourself, what do I want my audience to get from this? Always consider answering this: “what’s in it for me?” so that you can look at it from your audiences’ point of view. The most effective way of communication will inspire your people and make them take action.
Practice active listening.
As a leader, you are most likely doing more the talking. But it is also vital that you listen to your team members as well. Listening is an important communication skill that not everyone can practice, which results in conflict. It is not enough to hear- you have to listen actively.
Active listening means making sure that you give your 100% attention to the other person. Do not think of other things aside from what is communicated to you. Have good eye contact with the person, examine the person’s non-verbal cues, and respond appropriately. You can also paraphrase what is being said to make sure you are able to understand it correctly. Avoid judgment on the other person, but try to know where he is coming from and empathize.
Be specific and objective when giving feedback.
One of the challenging tasks you will conduct as a leader is giving feedback, especially a not-so-good one. For your feedback to be effective, make sure that you are objective. Cite specific instances and facts for your communication to be clear. You may use the SBE approach, wherein you share the particular situation, the behavior of the other person, and the effect of that action. This will ensure that your feedback is valid and will remove the thought that you are being subjective or playing favorites.
Empower your teams.
Your team members are valuable assets. Harness their potential by empowering them. Let them share their opinion, thoughts, ideas, and feedback. Give them a voice and involve them in decision-making. Let them share what they think is working and solicit solutions from them.
Effective workplace communication is a win-win situation for the employees, the organization, and even the customers. Cultivate it in your business until it becomes engrained in your culture.