Good, effective communication is essential in organization. Without it, management will not be able to share organizational goals and plans to the rest of the employees. In turn, their morale will suffer because workers will feel that leadership doesn’t care enough for them. Consequently, deadlines can be missed and work processes can break down.
Given the importance of good communication in the workplace, CEOs, managers, supervisors, and internal communicators should work hand-in-hand to improve communication in the office.
Here are five ways of improving communication in the workplace:
1. Rearrange the office layout
One of the more often overlooked ways of improving communication in the office is rearranging the set-up of the workplace. There have been studies how the way the office is set up can affect communication amongst employees.
One study, conducted by experts at the University of Tsukuba showed that a company that re-creates its office layout can benefit from improved communication among its workers, and increase in employee communication satisfaction.
In the ‘90s, companies lowered cubicle walls or completely got rid of them in response to studies suggesting that open work environments foster creativity and communication.
In this decade, the trend is themed rooms or offices. Google offices, for instance, have rooms where employees can play sports, sing and dance, and relax in a foam-filled bath, among others. The idea is that employees can relax and mingle with each other in these themed offices.
2. Encourage mingling
Another of the often-overlooked ways of improving communication is encouraging people to mingle.
One of the reasons why employees aren’t talking with each other are lack of familiarity and shyness. Employers should thus provide their employees with the opportunities to become acquainted with each other. Short chats at the water station or occasional team lunches can increase comfort levels and camaraderie between employees. Other events that can allow employees to interact with each other are holiday parties, summer picnic, company sponsored-shows, among others.
3. Start an internal newsletter or blog
This initiative would work best for a medium to large sized company. Firms with more than 30 employees should consider setting up an internal newsletter or blog, where employees can contribute articles and share ideas with each other. On the part of the organization, this channel is best for introducing new hires, highlighting company goals, and recognizing achievers in different departments. General happenings in and out of the workplace can also be discussed or highlighted in this medium.
4. Use mobile tools
The use of mobile tools has become widespread in the corporate world as more and more companies have adapted telecommuting. Mobile tools allow members of a company or team to get information on the go. These mobile tools which work on smartphones and tablets also enable members of a company to share information and files with their colleagues.
Mobile tools aren’t just a vehicle for sharing work-related information. These modern tools also provide a way for workers to connect with their colleagues even when they are not in the office. Small talk can be done through these mobile tools, improving camaraderie amongst employees.
5. Celebrate your achievements
Effective communication has a lot of benefits to an organization. Thus it is important for everyone in the company or unit to take a moment to celebrate whatever achievements that have been accomplished due to or partly because of improved business communication.
There’s no need for outlandish programs or events. Simple celebrations like a lunch out or after office get-togethers will let employees know how much good communication has contributed to the achievements of corporate or unit goals.
These five ways of improving communication in the workplace should help your team members become more comfortable with each other. In the long run, they’ll work closely and more effectively as one cohesive unit.