So, you want to get your office communicating better?
Some days, it can feel like an impossible task. But with the right tools, any office can have smooth, efficient and respectful communication. Don’t believe me? Read on to learn the top 5 ways to build communication in your office.
1) The How and the What
We will get to the sticky part of communication in a minute, but first let’s talk literal and practical. HOW and with WHAT are people communicating in the office and to external stakeholders? Technology plays a major role in our communication toolbox and, when used effectively, can save time and help employees work more efficiently.
Integrating a system like a Commander Centre to an office of any size and life will become easier and more efficient. Employees feel valued when high quality systems are in place, and better communication. So go on, put that old comms system to rest and UPGRADE already!
2) Set an Example
Better communication starts with, well, communicating better!
If you are the boss, it is your job to set the bar high for respectful, professional, clear communication at every level of a business. The best boss communicates clearly leaving no employee to walk away wondering, wait, what is expected of me? Clear communication sets employees up for success, and sets an example of how to communicate with management, peers and direct reports.
3) Don’t forget the shy guy
Direct communication isn’t everyone’s bag.
We all know the super outgoing guy or gal in the office that has no issue communication every like, dislike, or opinion. But what about the shy guy in the corner who will never, EVER get the nerve to communicate directly?
Recognizing employee’s varying communication strengths, weaknesses and abilities is a highly effective way to improve overall communication. Creating a platform for anonymous feedback allows all personalities to engage in the dialogue without making anyone uncomfortable.
4) Keep that door open….sometimes
Remember the old “My door is always open” policy?
Well, it turns out it resulted in inefficient managers who were constantly interrupted, and dependent employees who relied too much on crossing into the looming open door threshold. Turns out, setting office hours is a far better way to facilitate open communication between employees and management.
In a nutshell, office hours rather than open door policy allows management to have a clearer idea of how the day is going to look and employees are forced to trust their instincts to get through tasks and organise set questions at a set time. Sounds like a good plan to me.
5) Body language, the silent communicator
Amy Cuddy, quite possibly the most famous researcher on body language in the workplace, talks about the importance of presence as a form of communication for leaders. Simple changes in body language such as uncrossing your arms, standing up straight, making eye contact and smiling can change the dynamic of a conversation, hence shifting the communication.
As leaders in an office environment, setting the tone through body language is more important than you may think. There is a reason why Cuddy’s discussion of body language is one of the most watched TED Talks on Youtube! Don’t underestimate this, take the time to learn positive techniques and practice them daily. Watch the difference!
Communication in the workplace is literal and figurative.
Both aspects must be addressed in an attempt to truly build communication in an office setting. From systems to standing poses, communication improvements can be simple yet highly effective. Building better communication is worth the effort. Implement the five tips above and watch and see the entire environment of your workplace shift to be more positive and productive.