Communication is critical, no matter what type of business you’re in. Effective workplace communication helps increase productivity and improve relationships with co-workers. On the other hand, a lack of communication can hinder a business’s success and create daily challenges among staff. It might seem easy and natural but communicating effectively actually takes some finesse. Here are some tips for improved communications:
Give Feedback: Positive & Negative:
No employee wants to work in a vacuum. Your workers need to know that you recognize and appreciate their efforts, or that you expect them to work harder. You can hold regular meetings to give feedback or set aside some time every week to let your staff know what you’re thinking.
Be Mindful of Body Language:
Michelle Riklan, a training and development coach, says the way you stand, how you place your hands and your facial expressions all affect people’s perceptions. For example, folding your arms signals that you are not interested or don’t believe what you’re hearing. Lean in to show you’re paying attention. And don’t forget to smile and make eye contact with whoever is talking.
Trust Your Staff:
You hired people with the skills and intelligence to get the job done. Instead of micromanaging, let them get on with their daily tasks. Employees who feel as though they have control over their job have a sense of purpose and are invested in the company’s long-term goals.
Practice Effective Listening:
You have conversations with your staff every day, but are you really listening? Being an effective communicator means listening as well as talking. Try to keep a mental checklist of the important points in any conversation. When the talk is over, try to recall at least three important things the other person said. Get in the habit of doing this until listening becomes second nature.
Consider New Ideas:
Ideas of merit, no matter where they come from, should be considered by the senior management team, says Glen McKay, chair of Newfoundland Hard Rok Inc. and co-founder of Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. Ideas that are adopted should include the idea generator as part of the team tasked with implementation, McKay adds.
Gary Cattermole, co-director of the Survey Initiative, an employment research provider, says it’s important to get to know your staff. Remember their names, keep them informed and have an open door policy, he suggests.
Make sure your staff knows about any key industry developments affecting the company. It will help them feel a part of the company and valued as an employee. This will not only improve loyalty, but will encourage workers to go the extra mile to get the job done.
Management and leadership are learned skills. Effective managers have experience on both sides, taking directions as well as giving them. And the success of a company is directly related to the skill of its managers and their ability to lead employees through challenging times. By analyzing and being thoughtful in your communications, you can better learn how to lead, securing your future prospects and creating a more productive working environment.