Communication is one of the most common soft skills that employers and employees value. We all know that things would work better if we could communicate better, listen more, explain things more clearly, and so on.
Of course, communication is very important at work, but how can we really improve it? We’re glad you asked.
Below are four habits of effective workplace communication. The first two are simply verbal communication skills, but the second two include technological tools like group texts. The best way to achieve optimal communication in the workplace is to incorporate both methods into your day-to-day workflow.
1. Make Communication a Two-Way Street
There are few habits that stifle communication more than a lack of effective listening. Practice putting away all distractions when someone is telling you something important—or not important! Get your cell phone completely out of sight, for example. Look your coworker in the eyes.
Now and then, say something specific that you are understanding from what your coworker is telling you. That will show that you’re listening, and let him or her clarify if you misunderstood.
We misunderstand each other more often than we think! You can reduce this by listening instead of planning your response while the other person is still speaking.
2. Meet More Frequently and Consistently
To have great workplace communication, we need consistency and a higher frequency of quality meetings. If you’re a manager, set up consistent one-on-one meetings with each direct report on a regular and predictable schedule. It might be once a week, once a month, or some other time period that works for everyone and for your business cycle.
Your direct reports have to be able to rely on this communication session. Be consistent with them for some time until your meetings become a habit.
Once they get used to productive one-on-ones, your employees will gather their questions and comments and have them ready each time, successfully boosting efficiency and clarity of roles and expectations.
If you’re not a manager, you could let your manager know that you really need consistent meetings in this style. You could suggest that it be just a five-minute meeting at first in order to start creating a habit.
3. Set Up a Group Texting Service
One of the quickest ways to reach your direct reports or coworkers is through group texting. Everyone carries a cell phone, and if you send SMS texts, your coworkers can receive them even when they’re not on the internet.
These days, mass texting services are very simple to set up and use. Group texts are a reliable way to send your team emergency updates, meeting times, task reminders, and much more.
Group texting services are also quite affordable, and they can save you money and time. They can let you reach your employees or coworkers when other communication methods fail.
4. Get Good Feedback
Everyone on your team has a valuable perspective. Your employees who are on the front lines working with customers and products have knowledge and insights that could improve the company. So, you need to get feedback and suggestions from them.
Let them know that their thoughts are valuable and encouraged, and give them several options for sharing, such as email, one-on-one meetings, and group meetings. Also, give them a place to leave anonymous feedback, such as an online forum, a suggestion box, or a notebook.
The goal is to get the best, most candid ideas possible—and put them to good use to improve your organization!
Build a Culture of Communication
We all want to be heard, for our ideas to matter, and to have a great place to belong. Make your workplace more satisfying for everyone by building new communication habits and using them to create a better team.