Sharing ideas, advice, and accomplishments is an
important part of business. Systems should be in place
from a company’s infancy, and modified along the
way for improvements.
Whether the communication is digital or interpersonal, it’s vital that
employees feel comfortable sharing their progress and their problems.
By encouraging conversation, employees are more successful and avoid
more mistakes. Here are a few ways you can improve communication in your office.
1. Instant Messaging Services
Image via Flickr by Tim Patterson
Services like Skype and Google Chat can serve as excellent ways to communicate privately
with one particular employee or with the entire staff. Important goals or issues are discussed in
a quick and informal approach. It can also offer some daily light-hearted humor,
shout-outs for achievements, and support for struggles.
When employees send instant messages, they need to carefully choose their wording
because tone of voice is hard to detect. Although IM is less formal and certainly
more immediate than e-mail, some of the same rules still apply.
2. Office Extracurricular Activities
Sometimes, you just need to get out of the office. Planning monthly or quarterly social functions
like bowling parties or barbeques allow for bonding which extends into the workplace.
Once people feel comfortable and friendly with one another outside of the office,
they’ll be more interested in collaborating with one another during the workweek.
3. Online Project Management Software
Online project management software acts as the central place/forum where all activity
around a company project occurs. With unique logins, profiles, and dashboards, users
are equipped with a system that allows them to work independently toward a common goal.
This software is especially important for communication in tech-related companies and/
or with the tech teams within a company. Managers, team leads, and equal team members
can give active feedback on changes made to a project. Since managers can quickly
and easily access their employees’ latest progress, teams work under effective performance management.
4. Open Door Policy
Image via Flickr br Aleksander Ratkovik
Open door policies allow employees to keep healthy relations with upper-management.
Not only does it make for improved comfort levels, it also sends a signal of equality.
By showing this level of respect for your employees, you’re trusting that they’ll feel
more inclined to approach you when they need feedback. Studies have shown that this
simple change alone can make a great impact on office communication.
5. Impactful and Informational E-mail Practices
Keeping your employees on the same page is easiest done with e-mails.
Although interpersonal meetings should be held frequently, e-mails can serve
as the quickest way to update, motivate, and celebrate the office staff. Monthly
newsletters sent through e-mail can announce bigger news like huge successes
and company changes, where daily e-mails may just give a particular employee
a pat on the back or remind the staff of a specific policy.
Some e-mails should encourage active participation. Asking serious business related
questions would likely engage introverted employees to speak up with their awesome ideas.
You can even give your employees some daily momentum during tough times with a motivational e-mail too.
Sharing information and ideas can be done in a number of ways. It’s important that you begin
testing out some communication methods to see what works best for your office environment.
What types of effective communication have you seen in your past and present workplaces?
Abigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida
with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons
she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products
and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.