Communication is key to a successfully functioning workplace. It can be challenging to encourage employees to talk to their supervisors and one another, especially as new people come into the office and others are promoted or move on to different companies. Having strong communication in your business is the best way to make sure any issues are taken care of as soon as possible and more serious problems are avoided. Employees who feel comfortable communicating also feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Follow these tips to enhance communication at your company.
Provide constructive guidance
Communication can be seriously impaired if employees feel their ideas are only being criticized and that management is not open to suggestions. As you interact with your employees, make sure the criticism you’re providing is constructive and doesn’t deter them from bringing new ideas to you or trying innovative things. If it seems like none of your employees are communicating, it could be an indication that the office culture doesn’t encourage it.
Encourage open feedback
Too often, employees have ideas they’d like to bring to management, but feel as though they cannot provide this feedback. Make sure your office is a place workers feel comfortable expressing ideas or even disagreements with how something is done. Have office hours and an open door policy to make management more approachable and consider periodically sending out an anonymous feedback form to get a genuine read on the atmosphere of the office.
Practice good listening
A huge deterrent for communication is that no one actually listens. People often think they are listening when others speak, but they aren’t really paying that much attention. It’s important to teach all employees at every level active listening skills that they should use no matter who they’re speaking with. Learning to be engaged in conversations is a guaranteed way to improve communication in the office.
Make transparency a priority
If your employees feel like there’s no transparency in the office, it’s going to negatively affect communication. You may not even realize that employees do not think you’re transparent, so it’s important to consciously work to improve this issue. Be clear about the company vision, how employees fit into it, and keep them regularly updated on major (and minor) changes and decisions within the company. Simply making sure that employees are up-to-date with what’s happening shows them that you value communication and encourages them to do the same on their end.
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