POWERING WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE
Guide to Effective Communication Methods in an Organisation
Communication is a powerful force in the workplace. When done effectively, communication can inspire, engage and motivate. On the other hand, poor communication can contribute to countless problems in the workplace including damaged organisational reputation, high staff turnover, lost productivity and a toxic work culture.
While communication may be a natural inclination shared by everyone to varying degrees, effective communication isn’t an innate skill. In order to reap the benefits associated with open communication, organisations must first make a concerted effort to improve not only their employees’ communication skills, but also the systems in place to streamline communication.
What is effective organisational communication and what does it look like?
While the methods used to communicate within an organisation will differ depending on countless factors, the end result is relatively similar. Tell-tale signs of effective organisational communication are:
- Efficient exchange of ideas
- Clear, purposeful and goal-oriented language
- Equal access to information
- Two-way feedback
- Strong relationships built on a foundation of trust
- An inclusive workplace culture
Advantages of effective communication methods in an organisation
All jobs require employees to communicate on some level, whether it’s verbal or written communication, in-person or via video. This means that the benefits of effective communication are present throughout the entire business ecosystem. Some of the key ways that effective organisational communication can enhance in the workplace include:
Create a culture of trust in the organisation
It is impossible for employees to work to their full potential if they do not trust their coworkers. Trust is what leads to support and growth, two powerful contributors to a strong workplace culture supported by effective teamwork.
Mitigate internal conflict
While conflict can be useful in certain circumstances, unproductive or hostile conflict can disrupt everyday operations within a business. Through implementing effective communication methods, disagreements can become healthy discussions rather than sources of prolonged conflict.
Facilitate innovation and creativity
Numerous studies have demonstrated a dynamic link between collaboration and workplace innovation. Workplace environments that encourage communication will naturally promote collaboration as employees bounce ideas off each other and build upon their shared knowledge.
Improve job satisfaction, engagement and productivity
Positive communication that reinforces productive workplace habits and acknowledges achievements is particularly valuable when it comes to improving employee engagement. When employees feel appreciated at work, they are much more likely to be motivated in the completion of their day-to-day tasks and ad hoc projects.
Increase employee retention
A thriving workplace culture hinges on effective communication and collaboration. When used correctly, communication can not only motivate employees, but it can also solidify feelings of belonging within the team. This belonging is an influential contributor to low employee turnover rates.
Strategies for communicating in teams and organisations
While the benefits of effective organisational workplace communication may be obvious, the exact solutions to communication breakdown in an organisation are comparatively less clear.
To help you identify possible areas to focus on when fostering collaboration in the workplace, here are 8 strategies for encouraging authentic communication throughout your entire organisation.
Set concrete organisational objectives
A defining factor of effective organisational communication is consistency in messaging. Inconsistent communication is confusing, frustrating and often the cause of additional stress.
Concrete organisational objectives allow organisations to ensure that all employees remain on the same page and understand the ultimate goal behind their day-to-day communication. Greater awareness of organisational objectives can translate into more purposeful communication that embodies the specific goals that your company is striving to achieve.
Clearly define ownership in the organisation
In a workplace that promotes accountability, everyone knows exactly what is expected from them and others. Role clarification and individual responsibility can help remove the need for inefficient or delayed communication, as employees know who to approach if they need to discuss specific issues or tasks.
Promote an open door policy
While many organisations like to think that they already have an open door policy, in practice there are more barriers than just the physical ones when it comes to making management accessible.
Creating an environment that encourages and rewards employees for asking questions, pitching ideas or discussing problems will ultimately contribute to greater trust in management. When attempting to build an open-door policy, management lead the change by:
- Constructing an informal, welcoming working environment.
- Demonstrating interest in employees.
- Communicating expectations and guidelines.
Communicate based on individual needs and strengths
Everyone has a different style of communication. What may work well with one employee may not work as effectively with another.
But before you can determine the best way to communicate with an employee, you have to first get to know them. Insights that may inform your communication style with a specific employee include:
- Tasks that they enjoy working on
- Whether they are more of an introvert or extrovert
- How they like to work
- Their relationship with their colleagues and whether they want to build specific connections
Promote two-way feedback loops
By its definition, communication is equal parts listening and speaking.
Two-way communication is necessary for not only building trust, but also establishing a workplace culture that encourages management and employees to work together to identify problems and their solutions. Purposeful ways that management can promote two-way communication are:
- Sending out employee surveys
- Accepting anonymous feedback
- Arranging face-to-face, one-on-one meetings
- Organising staff Q&A sessions
- Prioritising transparency and authenticity
Hold regular meetings with employees
Meetings provide an open platform for employees and managers to discuss organisation-level issues, ask big pictures and crowdsource innovative ideas. In order to fully harness the benefits of regular meetings, management should incorporate both formal and informal meetings into their communications.
Even casual coffee catch ups discussing life outside of work can help break down barriers and boost healthy communication. Employees that feel comfortable with one another are much more likely to collaborate and engage in productive discussions.
Recognise employee achievements
A crucial part of motivating employees is to openly recognise their achievements.
Openly announcing important achievements will not only help people feel valued, but it also informs other colleagues of the specialised skill sets throughout the organisation. Awareness of everyone’s skills will ensure that employees know who to ask for advice or assistance on certain tasks.
Invest in workplace communication training
Workplace communication training is a proactive way to fill any skill gaps that are hindering effective communication in the workplace. Nobody is a perfect communicator. Training allows employees to analyse their communication practices and determine the most productive ways to communicate their ideas effectively. Some of the key skills developed in communication training are:
- Engaging audiences
- Different mediums and styles of communication
- Listening, observing and entertaining
- Confidence and self-awareness
- Let’s talk about communication training
Innovation starts with successful organisational communication.
DeakinCo. offers bespoke courses covering a range of soft and hard skills that are designed with your organisation’s needs in mind. If you would like to experience how effective communication could help enhance your organisation’s methods of communication, get in touch with DeakinCo. today.