Team leaders and managers spend around 50 to 80 percent of their time in the workplace engaging with staff members in some method of communication. This then furthers the point that good and effective communication must always be present in the workplace in order to ensure that work is done properly and that misunderstanding is avoided. On the other hand, if communication is allowed to continue of being poor, friction and tension arises, preventing work processes from running smoothly.
Here are some of the ways of improving communication in the workplace:
Make an assessment of the communication level at work
Request for feedback from your staff members regarding the communication level at your workplace. Ask employees how well they think you communicate with them and if they have ideas as to ways of improving communication between management and staff. Conducting even weekly one-on-one meetings with workers can help open and improve lines of communication.
Learn how to communicate directly
Instead of asking someone else to relay your message to another employee, talk with the person you want to talk with directly. Having a direct conversation with the person you need to converse with helps in the avoidance of miscommunications and misunderstandings. For example, if you feel that you need to talk with an employee regarding his or her inability to fulfil a particular task, talk to him or her about it. Ask the employee what about the task he finds difficult, and what you can do to help him out. Having an open line of communication with your workforce furthers transparency and allows them to feel more engaged in the work they do and in the company they work for.
Don’t assume; communicate instead
One of the most effective ways to improve communication is to actually communicate instead of assume. Instead of assuming that just because you know something, the whole company and other employees are also privy to the information you know. For example, if there is a change in your sales policies, don’t simply inform clients about it. Make sure you also open up the shift to your sales staff before going to anyone else about the new information. After all, it would not be proper nor would it look professional if your clients knew about a new sales policy while your sales staff is left in the dark.
Create and be clear about job descriptions
Before actually hiring anyone into the company, make sure to provide clear written job descriptions to new hires. While the company may be big and although the position may have people assuming as to what the description of the job is, these do not negate the requirement of job descriptions.
Job descriptions don’t only eliminate ambiguity about the expectations and requirements of the positions, it also avoids the likelihood of friction brought about by employees bickering about who is responsible for what.
Require status reports from your staff members
Because many business owners and managers are busy and don’t have the time to regularly meet with employees, requiring status reports from staff are some of the best ways to improve communication in the workplace.
Weekly written status reports help team leaders figure out the tasks that each member of the team has accomplished during the week. These reports help map out the progress of projects so that teams are able to determine how fast they are moving through their work, and if they are able to meet set deadlines. Status reports are also used as basis for the next week’s work schedule.