In light of all the challenges your business has weathered over the past few years, workplace communication might not seem like a pressing issue right now.
If, however, you want to build a strong team, finish projects successfully, and grow your business even during these difficult times, improving your workplace communication is very important.
But even relatively basic communication between two people can be hard to get right. And it’s even more difficult when an entire team, or multiple teams, are involved. It can often be enough to make you throw up your hands in frustration before you even get started.
Don’t give up! In this article, the experts at Inch give you tips for implementing effective workplace communication in your company.
Why Workplace Communication Is Important
1) Promotes Inclusivity
When you encourage, practice, and value good workplace communication, you also promote inclusivity throughout your business.
It’s worth noting that workplace inclusivity is different from diversity. Diversity in a business focuses on assembling a group of people who exhibit traits and characteristics that are unique from one another.
Inclusivity, on the other hand, refers to the standards and behaviors within your team (and your business) that ensure that every employee feels welcome, safe, and valued as an individual with something to offer.
Effective workplace communication is the cornerstone of building an inclusive office. When all team members feel like you hear and appreciate their unique voice, they’ll be more likely to participate, give their all, and excel at every task you assign them.
2) Paves The Way For Growth
Ineffective workplace communication acts as a weight that keeps your business from rising.
Effective communication, on the other hand, eliminates uncertainty and doubt, removes everything holding back your business, and paves the way for growth.
When you exercise good communication, your team members are clear on the tasks you’ve assigned them and understand how they will move the team, the project, and the business forward.
They’ll also be more likely to complete their work at a rapid pace (while still maintaining high quality) rather than getting stuck on roadblocks and speed bumps along the way.
Without those obstacles holding your business back, it will grow like never before. All because of effective workplace communication.
3) Stimulates Innovation
Innovation and workplace communication go hand in hand. In essence, the former relies on the latter. How so? Innovation is all about your employees feeling free enough to express their creativity to other members of the team.
If your employees are reluctant in some way — usually because of poor communication practices in the workplace — the creative spark dies down, and, with it, innovation.
If, however, you promote effective workplace communication whenever possible and keep the lines of contact open between all members of the team, everyone will feel free to pass their creative thoughts on to others.
4) Prevents Confusion
Few things kill team productivity and engagement like confusion. A lack of clarity is typically to blame when confusion is involved, but it all starts with communication.
When you practice and emphasize clear and concise workplace communication within your business, you prevent confusion that can dilute your message.
In addition, with good communication, you’ll be better able to resolve problems, delegate tasks, and motivate your team to give their all because each employee will know what you want them to do the first time you explain.
That will save you and your team precious time when it comes to getting things done and avoid the irritation that comes because one or more employees are confused about your instructions.
Tips For Effective Workplace Communication
1) Choose The Right Delivery Method
Workplace communication takes many forms and includes such common delivery methods as:
- Push notification
- Hard copy
- Audible announcement
Even face-to-face communication can be considered a delivery method.
The tricky part of workplace communication is that there’s a best-possible format for different types of messages.
For example, if you need to spread a quick reminder about an upcoming due date, a simple email, IM, or Post-It note on everyone’s desk is easy and effective.
But, for major policy changes or project updates, a face-to-face meeting works best — those impersonal delivery methods won’t do.
When considering which delivery method to use, take a few moments to think about how you would feel receiving the information in one format or another. Would email make it feel too impersonal? Would a hard copy be better for record-keeping purposes?
Matching your workplace communication with the right delivery method for the job ensures that your team receives and perceives the message the way you intended.
2) Create Workplace Communication Etiquette
When it comes to workplace communication, there are few things worse than being caught in a Reply-All nightmare.
And this is just one of the many issues that can arise if you don’t create workplace communication etiquette right away.
For example, teach employees how to send mail to large groups using BCC so that someone can’t accidentally hit Reply All and suck everyone down the rabbit hole. BCC is also useful because any replies go only to the original sender, not the rest of the group. This prevents the group from reading confidential or private replies.
Similarly, educate your team members in the proper use of Reply and Reply All so that everyone knows when, and when not, to use them.
Another bit of workplace communication etiquette to establish right away is when it’s necessary to reply to an email, text, or IM.
Nothing clogs up your inbox like 30 replies that all say “Ok,” “Got it,” or “Thanks.” No one wants to click on a message just to see that.
One way to combat these useless responses is to make it a policy that your employees don’t have to reply to a message unless the sender explicitly states it in their message. Doing so saves you and your team precious time throughout the day.
3) Encourage Progress Reports And Updates
A great way to build clear and effective workplace communication is to encourage regular progress reports and updates — both as a way to keep yourself informed and as a way to keep everyone in your business up to speed.
This is especially important when dealing with some combination of on-site and remote or field employees, but it also works well to promote good communication among team members who work in the office every day.
4) Make Your Message As Clear As Possible
Effective workplace communication is nothing if not clear and accessible to everyone.
If your message is somehow unclear or inaccessible, the recipients won’t understand what you want from them and confusion will abound.
Keep everyone on the same page, so to speak, by speaking or writing as plainly as possible and in a way that is intelligible to your intended audience.
For example, if you’re sending out a memo about new accounting practices, you may have to explain some of the terms so that those untrained in the numbers side of your business will understand.
If, however, you’re only sending the memo to the accounting team, you can use all the jargon you want because those in the department speak that language every day.
It will take practice — and perhaps a few rewrites — to make your message as clear as possible to everyone, but the benefits far outweigh the effort.
Software Streamlines Workplace Communication
Face-to-face workplace communication is one thing, but how can you keep the channels open when part or all of your workforce works remotely?
With Inch — a voice-operated employee and task management app for the 21st century.
Whether your team is all on-site, all off-site, or anything in between, the powerful features built into the Inch program can help you:
- Organize and optimize your workforce
- Keep team members on task
- Perfect your field service management
- Manage overtime
- Provide stellar customer service
- Prevent gaps in service
- Stay on budget
- Maximize labor costs
And, of course, there’s Inch’s advanced communication features which allow employees and managers to perform a wide variety of tasks from their tablet or phone, including:
- Working from a shared task list
- Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
- Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
- Clocking in and out of tasks at different locations
- Completing work assigned to them
- Communicating with managers and each other
All of that and more without having to touch a mobile screen or report back to the office.
Inch really does help eliminate frustration for employees, headaches for managers, and inefficiencies for the business.
So, whether you need help improving your team communication, assigning tasks to your remote workforce, or providing a better way to clock in and out and track work hours, Inch gives you unprecedented control over these and other aspects of your business’s workflow.
Inch simplifies an inherently complicated and chaotic process and makes it easier than ever to improve your team communication in every regard.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.