Workplace communication is important to every organization. It’s how ideas are shared, people are informed, success is recognized, and issues are addressed. Without communication, silos develop, and people are left in the dark. A lack of communication will have a negative impact not only on employee morale and customer service, but it will also reduce productivity. And as flexible work arrangements are on the rise, it is increasingly important to keep feedback flowing and communication regular.
Having a strong internal network of communication in place will pay huge dividends. HR professionals should keep these suggestions in mind when thinking about improving internal communication.
Method of communication – People absorb information in different ways. It’s important to make sure everyone understands information, so use a variety of methods to talk to your employees. Intranet, face-to-face meetings, emails, employee surveys, and company newsletters…there are many tools you can use to reach out to your employees, and you should choose the best method for the message you are sharing.
Clarity of Message – Ensure your message is clear, transparent, and honest. If you deliver a message that employees don’t fully understand it can be more confusing than not communicating at all. The content of your message and level of detail should vary depending on the audience. Be careful with use of jargon and technical terms. Give your employees the opportunity to ask questions in order to ensure your message is understood.
Frequency of Conversation – It’s important to communicate often, but not too much. If you are constantly bombarding employees with information, they may assume that you over-communicate and begin to block communication out. If you go too little, they won’t get the info they need.
Timing – When is the best time to communicate your message? Do it at a time when you know employees will be focused and not distracted. And don’t wait until the very last minute. If you are sharing important information, be sure to give employees enough time to respond.
Message Delivery – Ensure that the best communicator is sharing the message. If this isn’t possible, it may be necessary to coach or train those responsible. Workplace communication should be clear, concise, and delivered in an organised manner. Depending on the situation, you may need to choose the presenter carefully. For example, if you’re communicating to a large audience, ensure that the speaker is comfortable speaking in front of a big group.
Communication Must Flow Both Ways – There are many ways to achieve this, but the most effective way is by simply listening. Ensure the lines of communication are open, in both directions. Ask questions, create discussions, and give opportunities for employee feedback.
Workplace communication isn’t always going to be easy, but it is vital to employee performance and the success of the organisation. HR Professionals are responsible for managing communication within the organisation and helping leaders communicate effectively. And better communication, means a better organisation.
One way to take a proactive approach to developing communication competency within your company, is to deploy 360 degree feedback solutions. Check out our video on the benefits of 360 feedback to learn more about improving the flow of workplace communication.