When thinking about strategies and your work environment, you typically don't go straight to the subject of communication. But when you really think about it, communication is the heart of the success of any project, goal, and company.
Having the ability to communicate effectively, rather in a startup or a large corporation, over the computer or in person, it's a skill that each person can take the time to develop and improve. And this is especially important for the leaders and managers throughout.
This article will address how you and your team can work on and improve your communication strategy and how it can benefit your efforts for more transparent and straightforward communication.
Use Technology Communication Tools
If you haven't picked up on it by now, technology is running the place! In every nook and cranny, you will find some piece of technology aiding in improving operations and workflows.
Of course, with working from home becoming more of a standard along with hybrid work, more companies are finding they must make a more conscious effort to better their communications with their teams and staff.
Technology has played a significant part in making that more possible and straightforward to implement into your communication strategies. We have many options and platforms available, such as Slack, video conferencing such as Google Meet or Zoom, and project management platforms like Asana, Trello, or Clickup.
Each of these digital tools serves a purpose in more engagement and communication with your staff. Most of these tools are free, with premium features and additional users coming at a small cost. It is also beneficial to those companies who may work apart from one another.
Host One on One Meetings
One of the most underrated communication strategies has to be the use of face-to-face meetings with your employees. When you take the time to speak to each other openly and honestly, you provide a workplace that is more inviting and inclusive for those you work with.
Face-to-face communication can give you and the other employee a moment to talk about things that may concern them, offer guidance, and even provide a chance for you to let them know they are appreciated and congratulate them on their achievements and work well done.
This is also a great time to build trust with one another, which also opens the communication channels even wider. Through building relationships and facilitating trust, your employees will feel more comfortable participating and voicing their options and ideas; this brings us to our next point.
Build an Inclusive Environment
How can anyone feel comfortable and confident expressing their concerns, ideas, and thoughts if they don't feel as if the environment they are in supports them in their efforts? Well, you can't, and knowing this makes the goal of improved communication even more detrimental.
Creating a workplace environment that is transparent in communication in all possible ways makes for better and more enjoyable company culture. It promotes your employees to be confident and comfortable expressing themselves in matters such as how things are working for them, if something is not going well or if they would like to make improvements to a particular process.
It makes a considerable difference if a top-down approach is taken in this respect. If managers and leaders can be open, it helps the rest of the staff and team members to feel encouraged to do so.
Encourage Feedback (Both Ways)
You have undoubtedly heard of the phrase constructive criticism. And have possibly dreaded the time when you may be subject to provide feedback to your staff or receive it from them. However, feedback is crucial to understanding the needs of your staff and where improvements can happen for both your leaders and your team.
The important part of feedback is that it should be presented in a way that is digestible and helpful on both ends. Of course, it's not always an easy task no matter what side of the table you're sitting on; however, taking a positive, constructive, and meaningful attitude towards feedback can go a long way.
Practice The 7C's of communication
When developing your workplace strategies, it's essential to consider the 7C's of communication along the way. These are all integral to effective communication and can be a great guide to follow. For example, the seven seas communication are as follows:
- Completeness - Providing all facts and information needed to make a more informed decision.
- Conciseness - Expressing all-important points without unnecessary words or information. Short and to the point.
- Consideration - Thinking of your audience and how they communicate and receive information. Including viewpoints, cultural influences, and education.
- Clarity - Make sure you address the points at hand. The time frame and overall goals can be touched on here.
- Concreteness - Being as clear and straightforward as possible, using supporting facts when needed.
- Courtesy - Developing the message in relation to how the audiences may receive and in a manner of respect.
- Correctness - Information presented properly in grammatical terms and spelling as well as proper use of language
Keep these seven points in mind as you develop your communication strategy to bring success to your organization.
Start Building Your Communication Strategy
The communication strategies we discussed are just some examples of what your organization can do to begin your path to an improved work environment amongst your employees.
Every organization will build its strategy in a way that is most influential for them and their teams. You don't need to have a large budget to build your strategy, in fact many of the things that you can do cost little to nothing and just require a little bit of thought, consideration and participation.
Effective communication is a skill that can be constantly improved and built upon. It can involve a variety of different tools, ideas and objectives that creates a work environment and culture that your employees will be proud to be a part of.