Like many areas in life, good internal communication is crucial to success when it comes to business. Internal communication will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working as a interconnected unit, plus it can also be helpful in terms of creating a positive work environment and boosting morale. It is clear that good communication is vital, but how can you go about improving communication in the workplace? This is an area that many business owners struggle with but there are a few simple steps that can be taken which could have a huge impact on the success of the company and the morale of staff.
1. Check in with employees on a regular basis.
Checking in with employees is an effective way to make sure communication is strong. Plan in-person or online meetings every few weeks or months. Discuss projects, feedback about leadership, and suggestions for the future. You can also schedule stay interviews or create employee surveys. People want to share their thoughts and opinions. By respecting and listening to your staff, you will improve communication in the workplace.
2. Strategize an onboarding process for new employees.
For new employees, it can be difficult to learn the ropes in a workplace. Your intranet is the perfect place to put together a uniform employee training program that every new person completes. Make internal knowledge accessible via documentation and training videos on your company intranet. Also, make sure your employee directory is up-to-date and Q&A forums are packed with information. This way, new members can easily find people and answers, and you’ll keep effective communication flowing.
3. Open Door Policy.
Following on from this, it is also a good idea to adopt an “open door policy” for your office where employees are encouraged to approach you with any kind of message. In order for communication to be efficient at all levels, it is important that people feel that they can easily speak to the boss which can be hard if you keep a shut door.
4. Lead By Example.
It is the responsibility of the business owner to lead the way as people will naturally adopt the style of work that you use. This means that you should make sure that you are communicating effectively at all times by checking in regularly with employees, giving positive feedback and also talking to them about non-work matters. It is healthy for staff to talk socially provided that it does not interfere with work.
5. Keep Morale High.
Leading on from this, communication will only be effective if staff feel happy and content at work. This means that you need to identify a few ways to keep staff morale high and this is an ongoing process. This could include company events, positive feedback, celebrating achievements, incentives, progression opportunities, etc.
6. Short Meetings.
While meetings can be a good way to communicate, you will find that more often than not it is a meeting which is not required and a disruption to workflow. It is for this reason why you should only hold meetings when they are necessary and keep them as short as possible so that people can get back to work.
7. Learn More About Your Employees.
No two people are alike, and everyone prefers to send and receive information differently. How do your staff like to communicate? Do they prefer to chat on their smartphones or via surveys and newsletters? What about face-to-face communication?
You may also ask your colleagues for their opinion on how both you and your organization could improve communications. Collecting this sort of information doesn’t necessarily require a formal survey. However, it would be best to just start asking around.
8. Take advantage of social media.
Social media is a powerful aid for businesses communicating with customers. It also enhances internal collaboration. Encourage employees to "like", comment, and share interesting posts about your organization. This sparks conversations, educates employees about something they didn't know about, and boosts morale. You can also embed your social media channels into your intranet, so employees always know what your company is sharing with the public.
9. Identify a common goal.
Every organization has a common objective that motivates employees to show up every day and do their jobs. By identifying, clarifying, and reinforcing this objective, you’ll strengthen your staff’s productivity because it's a reminder of why they joined your organization in the first place. Inspire, motivate, and keep teams on track. After all, there's nothing more important for a team than for everyone to be on the same page.
10. Reward jobs well done.
When expectations are set, people can deliver. Recognize your employees’ efforts when they go above and beyond in a task or excel in a project. The impacts are twofold. First, it acknowledges and rewards good behavior. Humans like to receive recognition, especially when they work hard towards a goal. Secondly, it sets an example for other employees. Or in other words, it communicates expectations through action. There are a couple ways you can do this—if your intranet has gamification tools, you can reward points when people complete tasks or send "badges" when they take charge with projects. Of course, there’s also the good old-fashioned "Good job".