Creating an Effective Workplace Communication Strategy
According to Mitel's Workplace Productivity Report, businesses lose $10,200 annually per employee on average due to ineffective communications. The same report also shows that 53 percent of all inefficient communications are due to management's lack of strategy and planning.
To combat thee communication mishaps and ensure that everyone in your company is on the same page, HR professionals should strive to create an effective workplace communication strategy.
Why is effective workplace communication important?
COVID-19 has shifted how companies operate. Suddenly, many employers had to provide their employees with remote and shift work opportunities.
Effective workplace communication is undeniable, but it's even more valuable to remote and shift workers. In fact, approximately 82 percent of shift workers believe they would be more productive if their managers were more communicative and transparent.
Structured workplace communication is not only vital to your team’s performance but also to your company's overall success. Having effective communication means that each employee understands their role and how their contributions impact the company as a whole. The key for any organization to be successful is by constantly aligning employees’ individual goals with company goals.
How to Establish Effective Workplace Communication
Effective workplace communication doesn’t just happen by accident. HR leaders must be proactive and take tangible steps to help improve internal communication within the organization.
So, what exactly are these steps?
In case you’re not sure, we’ve got you covered.
1. Assess Current Workplace Communication
The first step in creating any effective communication strategy is to determine the current areas of weakness. Ask employees what they think can be improved via pulse surveys or feedback sessions. Use their feedback to understand the gaps in communication and then implement the necessary changes. Being an active listener for your employees is an essential part of effective communication.
2. Choose the Right Communication Tools
To keep communication channels open across your organization, all of your employees need to have access to the same tech stack. Decide which tools and technology you want to use on a company level. Are you using Asana for project management or Trello? What about storing documents? Are you using Google Drive or OneDrive? It shouldn't differ from team to team. Once you evaluate several communication tools, you can determine which would benefit your company the most.
3. Demonstrate Effective Communication Skills
Of course what you’re saying is important, but how you say it is, too. Demonstrate effective communication skills for the rest of your organization by always being clear, concise, and conscious of your tone of voice. Make eye contact with employees, listen carefully, and speak respectfully across all communication channels to model the right behavior for your team.
4. Provide Proper Training & Onboarding
One of the most common HR pitfalls is failing to realize the importance of onboarding in recruitment. It’s crucial for new hires to get a sense of your company’s structure, communication styles, and day-to-day activities.
Without the proper training and introduction to your company, new hires will struggle to feel like part of the team, and it will take longer for them to become productive in their role. By providing comprehensive onboarding and training, employers can help combat turnover and increase retention.
5. Set Goals & Deadlines Upfront
Our next piece of advice is to set clear goals for your employees. They need to know what you expect of them, their project deadlines, and how you will measure their performance.
The goals and KPIs you set for your employees have to be realistic, attainable, and aligned with your company’s overall goals. For example, if a sales representative has a goal for sales each quarter, that goal should be based on the company’s overall goal for quarterly sales. Tying employees’ goals to organizational goals will help them understand how they directly contribute to your company’s success.
6. Resolve Conflicts Openly & Transparently
Being a receptive leader creates an environment where employees are not afraid to share their concerns and questions. Giving employees access to C-level management is a great way to strengthen internal communication.
Practicing an open-door policy might be easier with employees in the office, but implementing this within remote teams can be challenging. To successfully manage conflicts among remote teams, schedule frequent one-on-one or team virtual meetings through Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
7. Simplify Cross-Department Communication
Many companies cannot function properly unless their employees collaborate cross-functionally. Often, departments such as sales, marketing, and design work closely together—especially in the tech industry.
In order to be successful, you need to make sure teams across your organization communicate effectively. When different teams work together, encourage their managers to create cross-functional Slack channels and host meetings to not only collaborate but also get to know each other better.
A huge part of effective communication is being wary of when communication becomes too much and employees start feeling burned out. To learn how you can give your remote employees a break from communication once in a while, check out Zoom Fatigue & Zoom-Free Fridays.
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