It goes without saying that effective workplace communication is important. Yet, even in a small office, things can get lost in translation. Technology is an obvious but important factor here. When you can communicate something virtually without having to walk across the office to do so, most people will choose the former.
Tone doesn’t come through in type. Even a joke sent from a manager to an employee can be anxiety provoking if misunderstood. It’s important to be aware of this and act accordingly. Have a stellar relationship with your team? You must still be mindful of the weight your words can carry when sending an email or IM. You are the one who’s ultimately in charge and that lends a different edge to your messaging.
The below points detail some key reasons why effective workplace communication is so crucial, as well as tips to help put it into practice.
Set up a culture of trust and transparency
We may be a little biased, but culture is a cornerstone for us at TruPath. We are always calibrating our internal culture and look for candidates that match our clients’ unique ones. There’s a reason for this, beyond a simple buzzword.
Rick Gonzales, General Manager at TruPath, says, “You have to set a culture of communication. Employees need to feel valued, that quirky ideas are welcome and that it’s OK to fail… If you think about it, there are so many different kinds of communication: written, verbal, planned, random, group, individual… A supportive culture is a mechanism of communication. You need to start with this supportive foundation for it to be effective.”
Effective Workplace Communication Breeds Progress
When employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, the gate is open for innovation. Someone may have a fantastic idea for simplifying an over-complicated process. If they don’t feel supported in posing the suggestion, however, it may never come to light.
Leadership needs to know how to best communicate with their employees. This takes strong people skills as everyone has different communication styles. How well do you gauge the ways in which your employees interact? Have you paused to think about how your own communication/ listening styles affect your employees (if not, this may be a good place to start)? You certainly don’t have to change your authentic approach, but it helps to be mindful of employees that appreciate more direct communication and those that may appreciate a softer tactic. After all, an employee’s relationship with their boss is one of the top reasons for staying or leaving a company.
Keep your messaging simple. Whether written or verbal, avoid jargon and too much wordiness. Putting this into practice will help ensure your thoughts, ideas, initiatives, projects, etc. are clearly understood. An article in Grammarly uses a great example for this:
“The need to simplify convoluted language has been evident for decades. George Orwell hammered on it in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” (PDF).
Some key takeaways can be summarized as follows: Don’t use played-out turns of phrase, the passive voice, or overly long, arcane, or unnecessary words.”
Avoid the dreaded question, “Can I see you for a minute?” (or really any vague requests that may be misconstrued).
In your head, you just wanted to talk to Joe in Accounting about your golf game this past weekend. Joe, on the other hand, may think he is about to walk the proverbial plank. Even if it’s just a few minutes, or seconds, of anxiety on your employees part, please be aware of how this phrase strikes fear in employees. While some may find it arbitrary, many will not.
Hopefully, these points will help get you thinking about the current climate of your own workplace communication. If you find that things can get tripped up when misunderstood, it may be time to make it a priority.
As a trusted recruitment source for more than a decade, TruPath has the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.
Through our TruProcess, we are able to consistently deliver exceptional candidates that help organizations continue down successful paths. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs.