Clear and solid communications represent the lifeblood of any prosperous business – the better the connection between employees, the greater the productivity, morale, and revenue. In this article, we’re going to cover several elements you need for developing engaging and effective communication within your organization.
According to Gallup’s research, alarming percent of U.S. workers (more precisely 70%) are not engaged at work and hence don’t reach their full potential.
It gets even more upsetting for any company that doesn’t have a proper internal communication system in place.
For starters, email is the thing of the past
When it comes to business, we need to be as effective and reliable as possible. Luckily, we have plenty of professional tools, designed to reinforce engagement and improve the way we do business. Using the right tool for the right job is one of the crucial layers of improving the way people communicate within your organization.
For starters, FORGET ABOUT EMAIL. You can rely on it for sending smaller pieces of information, but if you try to do that for running the project management, you’re destined to crash. Losing context, getting duplicate information, struggling to find important attachments, clicking the “reply all” button, these are just some of the common problems you face when your team communication strongly depends on email.
Switch to centralized collaboration and communication tools
Instead of building your collaboration on email and wasting more than quarter of your workers time, invest in one of the project collaboration platforms. That way you create a solid base for effective communication, ensure that everyone knows what’s going on, and nothing slips unnoticed. Centralized collaboration tool allows for more structured controlling and leading the project without you having to act as a dictator – it ensures providing specific directions and leaves no room for interpretation.
Connected employees boost productivity by 20-25%. Considering that increase in employee productivity is directly linked with potential for revenues, communication tools are absolutely worth investing in. Platforms such as Slack, HipChat and Bitrix24 offer a much better and easier way for team communication. If professionals at NASA use Slack for their internal communication, chances are that such platform can improve performance in smaller companies as well!
However when establishing internal communication platform, talk with your employees first so you don’t end up pushing tools they won’t use.
Also, if most of your staff are frequently on the go, then ensure they can communicate on the go – go mobile!
Managers lead by example
Besides being well connected with one another, what also matters is the connection between employees and their leaders. In fact, that is the backbone of every organization.
According to the About.com online survey, 64% of negativity at work came from communication-realted reasons of which 38% is caused by lack of direction from management.
Yet, many managers are unaware of how important it is to establish the connection outside their job description.
Initiating conversations with employees, one-on-one or through anonymous feedback surveys and (often) asking open-ended, thoughtful questions creates a communicative work environment where it’s easier to improve morale and determine internal communications methods.
Practice makes it better
Just like any other skill, communication can be learned. Although skills can be taught, knowing how to interact in each situation comes from experience.
So, what makes a great leader is not having the answer to everything, but rather being open and authentic, asking for feedback and listening actively. And finally, finding the way to make the team members communicate with each other.
This is where creativity comes into play. According to a global survey for internal communication professionals, launched by Alive With Ideas, 93% of respondents stated that creativity plays an important role in internal communications, yet only 6% find that its power is being utilized to its full potential.
Being creative doesn’t require big investments, just experimenting with different approaches and discovering how they impact the work environment.
When the change takes place
Upon developing and applying different methods for communication improvement, the results, such as an increase in engagement and performance, will speak for themselves. While communication and collaboration platforms can improve team communication, make sure to have management inspire staff members to embrace and follow the whole process of making positive change within your organization.