If you’ve ever worked for a company in which secrets were kept, or you felt like you were constantly on the receiving end of unclear or contradictory instructions from your superiors, you understand how the stress of ambiguity can take a toll on your nerves and confidence with a company. If you’re an employer who’s ever had high employee turnover and a dysfunctional staff because of communication problems, you understand how this can affect your business and its reputation if problems aren’t resolved. Promoting a workplace culture that values open communication is essential for the health of the business. And when clear communication is integrated into everyday interactions, your employees will have more confidence in the organization, leading them to make better decisions, be more satisfied, and ultimately remain loyal to the organization. Here are a couple of ways that you can create more productively open lines of communication.
Build a Team
When you have employees who feel a sense of bonding and commitment to each other, they will enjoy going to work more, as well. To create that sense of team, developing communication is a part of it. But it’s not the only thing that makes employees feel like a group. Having a clear cause and sense of purpose can help bond people together. Setting goals and encouraging innovation can bring a sense of teamwork, too. Entrepreneur has a few more ways to establish teamwork mentality.
Make Communication Clear
It might seem like a pretty obvious statement, but effective communication is clear. Contradictory instructions and directions that are just absent lead to confusion and uncertainty in employees. To alleviate this uncertainty, you need to make communication easier to follow, and there are several tips that Inc.com has laid out that will help employees and fellow co-workers understand and follow what you are trying to communicate. For instance, communicating facts through written communication methods, such as email or sharing a file, will lessen confusion and contradictory rumors. Another tip the above article gives is to simplify your message. People have so many pieces of information that they need to absorb, so if you want to get one thing across, make it clear and simple.
Today’s workforce comes from all walks of life. People have different religious beliefs, customs, ethnicities, and more, so it’s easy to see how miscommunication and resentment can occur. Sometimes, people aren’t aware how something will come across to another person, so they might do or say something that will seem offensive to the other person. To manage varying backgrounds and viewpoints, set out clear guidelines on how employees are supposed to behave toward each other. Chron also suggests that you treat people like individuals and accept feedback.
When problems arise, there are two dysfunctional ways that many people respond. Many people either try to ignore the problem, hoping that it will go away on its own. This often leads to persistent problems that create high amounts of stress on the entire team. Another response that people have is inappropriate confrontation. Sometimes, when there is a problem, not everyone has the same perspective on it or are even aware of the problem’s existence. To confront and solve problems, use calm confrontation that isn’t accusatory.
When people feel like they can’t trust each other, they’re more likely to behave erratically. If an employee feels like they’ve caught the business or a superior in a significant lie, they will likely feel like they can no longer trust the company or person. This can lead to higher turnover and employees who do not feel empowered to make good decisions. To lessen the possibilities of these reactions, speak openly about what is going on in the company.
Creating a culture that has effective communication is essential to a healthy and productive workplace. When you integrate these strategies, you’ll create employees who feel committed to the cause of the company and are more empowered to make good decisions.