Virtually everything managers do to achieve a particular goal requires effective communication. Communication plays a life-sustaining role in every organization. If the flow of messages in an organization is suddenly cut off, it ceases to exist.
First of all, remove the responsibility for the operational processes of employee communications from the organization’s leaders who are not the heads of communications. Focus their attention on building their own leadership name and company voice – the visionary, not just the operations manager. These skills can be enhanced by having your business create a website for anonymous feedback or internal communications between workers and managers.
So, what can be done to improve internal communication at work?
1. Create a space that is conducive to communication
Your job as a manager is to make sure that there is always a clear and continuous process of information exchange within your team. Expressing your feelings or sharing ideas should never be taboo. On the contrary, it should be encouraged. You are working with people, not robots.
Keep the door to your office open. An open-door policy keeps employees from forgetting that they can talk to you when they need to.
Instead of having annual or quarterly meetings to talk to your subordinates, schedule monthly one-on-one meetings so you can be aware of where your employees are at, how they are feeling, and what they might need from you.
2. Start with yourself
Initiate new habits that promote effective communication at work. For example, at the beginning of the workday, say “good morning” to your team to lift their spirits and get a response. Ask questions, challenge ideas, communicate your feelings, etc.
Encourage social interactions: encourage and inspire employees to connect. For example, make sure that when possible, lunch breaks are shared and away from the workplace.
Also, don’t do empty actions and things. It’s worth setting regulations and rules and sticking to them. It helps to manage, especially in communications.
3. Provide anonymous feedback
Some employees may be shy about expressing their feelings or complaints openly, so consider technology for anonymous reporting.
4. Make communication two-way
Communication should never be exclusively outbound, or just one way. Always ask your employees to share their thoughts, offer feedback, and participate in discussions.
For example, in a meeting, ask your employees for feedback on your effectiveness as a manager. You will also be able to respond to this feedback. The point is to make communication a conversation, not a one-way street.
5. Use the best communication channels
There are a large number of communication tools that make it easier and faster to get information across.
For example, a chat to express public recognition and praise for a job well done, or a chat where senior executives can relay big news less formally. All information reaches the entire company quickly. This centralizes communication, maintains a positive atmosphere, allows everyone to stay in touch, and sometimes even have fun.
Create an “office language” that fits your corporate culture. Come up with acronyms or abbreviations that make communicating through these channels even more interesting
6. Communicate face-to-face
Using communication tools is quite effective, but it’s important to remember that face-to-face communication has great value. We’re talking about human interaction, so it’s better to talk instead of typing. This will have a greater effect on your employees.
Analyze communication channels (conduct a survey). Determine which channels are effective and convenient for the team. Introduce new alternative channels of communication in times of crisis.
Also, do not forget that communication should not interfere with the work process, but support it, create a friendly atmosphere in the workplace.
7. Watch your body language
Non-verbal communication is also important for leaders. Nonverbals have a huge impact on the people around you. Make sure your body language is open and accessible. When communicating:
- Put away your phone and other gadgets.
- Be at the same level as your interlocutor (sitting/standing).
- Do not cross your arms or legs.
- Maintain eye contact.
Your communications and team events should be value-laden. Define and describe the company’s voice, the so-called tone of voice, your manner of communication, and include key messages.
8. Maintain a balance
After the workday is over, keep the number of messages you send to employees to a minimum. Your communication is important, of course, but it can probably wait until the next day.
In an ideal world, people know that they need to turn off their computers and stop checking their email when they finish work. However, the truth is that most of us are so dependent on work and tech devices that we can’t put them off altogether. If you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you shouldn’t do that.
We need to listen more than we talk. When a person feels that someone is really listening, they are more likely to start talking. Reflect the other person’s emotions not only verbally, but also in facial expressions. Try to get excited when the person you are listening to is agitated. In this case, you will find “common ground” even before the conversation begins.
10. Calendar of events
Implement a calendar of events (permanent and spontaneous) and keep track of the situation around you. This will help you plan communication and keep track of crises. At the beginning of any project phase, describe an action plan with your team and structure the information. All of your internal communications should be centralized. Only special information should be disseminated locally.
One more interesting tool to help you better understand your team is an employee portrait. You can create it based on a survey or in the form of a SWOT analysis. Also, don’t forget about information security, implement data security measures, teach it to the team.
An effective system of internal communications not only allows you to quickly exchange information but also creates an atmosphere of trust and involvement of employees in general corporate affairs, allows you to make real concepts of company values and messiah, unites employees. Write a step-by-step action plan for transforming internal communications. In this process, always identify those responsible and their tasks.