The number of employees in your office pales in comparison with those of bigger firms. So everyone should be on the same page, right? But if communication is a problem in your company, resulting to missed deadlines, low engagement, and internal rumblings, then you should do something now.
Good communication skills are one of the things employers look for in potential employees. This just underscores the importance of effective communication in the corporate world. If you can’t get your message across, how can you expect your colleague to know what you expect from him? Moreover, how can you work well together with your team?
Given the importance of having good, effective communication in the workplace, here are five ways of improving communication in small offices.
1. Get out of the office, once in a while
Getting out of the office for a quick lunch, or even doing a fun activity like bowling together can improve the bond between the team members. Removing the barriers that exist in the four walls of the office could do wonders. You’ll be surprised at how different individuals communication with each other when they are out of the office.
2. Give feedback
You may be overlooking the fact that you should give your staff feedback, even when they are doing what they’re supposed to do. Employees appreciate being valued; one way to do so is to give them feedback especially when they’re doing an excellent job. Be positive as much as possible; although you should also outline any areas where they can improve on.
You don’t even have to hold recognition awards to let people know that they’re doing a good job. Simple notes can work wonders. Not only would giving positive feedback let people know that they’re on the right track; it would also have a huge impact on their self-confidence.
3. Get more personal
Sure, modern communication tools like instant messaging are easy to use but as much as possible, try to get more personal. It’s one of the best ways of improving communication in the workplace. Hold meetings, especially when employees are in the same location. Even quick chats at the water station can benefit your team.
And during meetings, listen to your employees. This would encourage them to speak their mind about the things that affect their work.
4. Incorporate communication skills in performance appraisal
To show the rest of the employees that management values good communication in the workplace, you can suggest that communication is incorporated in performance appraisal of the workers. It’s one of the more clever ways of improving communication in the office. Enhancement of communication skills may be one area of improvement that management can set for its employees.
Tying corporate goals into performance appraisals is one time-tested way to motivate employees to help the company achieve its objectives. And by including communication skills in the performance appraisal, the company is sending a message to the employees that they should take a more active role in the communication process. You can even suggest giving incentives or awards to employees who have achieved personal goals in communication.
5. Develop team building exercises
You don’t need to go out and spend a day in another place for a team building activity. Simply performing team building exercises in the office should help improve intra-office communication. Choose exciting activities that would require the team members to work with each other. By performing team building exercises, your team members will gain more knowledge on how to better communicate with each other.
These five ways of improving communication should help your teammates communicate better with each other.