So much that is crucial to your company’s success – including the timely delivery of quality products and services and the strength of employee engagement – can be hindered by poor communication between employees. Therefore, you should act if you see workplace interactions faltering.
As the business owner, the responsibility of fostering productive socializing on the premises ultimately falls on you. Here are some ways to address glaring gaps in workplace communication.
- Instill positive mindsets in your workers
Your personnel could feel nervous when you request that they attend a meeting with you. Such gloomy self-talk as “What if I’m speechless?” or “What if I don’t speak clearly?” may circulate in their heads, leaving them to fear the worst. There’s clearly a negative mindset at work here.
You could endeavor to turn around such catastrophic thinking by encouraging your workers to reframe such negative questions. Forbes provides several pointers for how workers can do this.
- Have tools in place to allow ready communication
If many of your employees are in physically disparate locations, this raises the question of how to ensure they can communicate as readily as they could if they were all in the same room.
While email and online chat are obviously convenient communication channels to set up, you also shouldn’t overlook the worth of having a VoIP phone system implemented in the office. You could even assign some of this system’s phone lines to mobiles for on-the-go conversations.
- Set a good example for your workers
As the boss, you can set expectations by behaving in an appealing way that your employees can see and follow. To this end, you should regularly communicate with them and keep them updated about ongoing developments in the company. Even just simple, friendly chats can work well.
Another good idea is to ask them for feedback. In doing this, you would be opening up two-way communication rather than leaving office communication a top-down process.
- Provide regular outlets for conversations
Even if you keep up regularly conversing with your staff, they might not always follow suit. They might fear the possibility of inadvertently bothering you if they take the initiative and try to start a conversation. However, you can help to dispel such fears through several means.
These can include holding meetings during office hours or, even better for staff confidence, having an open-door policy. This could encourage them to approach you whenever they run into workplace difficulty.
- Don’t overly restrict personal conversations
It’s easy to be snooty when you see workers engaging in ‘water cooler’ conversations. After all, such talk could, in theory, ferment gossip and rumors. However, while there might be a certain degree of truth to this, such casual chatting can also help to improve relationships between employees.
It can, for example, assist your workers in familiarising themselves with each other. As a result, workplace camaraderie could grow. Furthermore, extra lines of communication could open up between employees, boding well for workplace communication – and by extension, workplace projects – in the future.