Communication in the workplace is one of the most important factors in success. Despite this, it is often overlooked. Many of the internal problems in an organisation can be attributed to a breakdown in communication, whether it’s misjudged expectations, grudges, poor quality work or staff absences.
The quality and degree of communication can be linked to your company’s bottom line as well, as open and transparent workplaces have staff that are more productive, happier and willing to stay longer with the company.
If you don’t see eye to eye with your employees, it’s time to start fostering a more co-operative workplace. Here are some great ways to start.
Your staff is not a single unit; they are all individuals and deserve to be treated as such. It’s important to make time to see each of your direct reports on a one-on-one basis, every couple of months.
This will hopefully make great opportunities for each of you to share any worries in private and in a timely way, so that there aren’t any surprises at the annual review. This shouldn’t take up too much of your day – exactly how much will obviously vary – but could make all the difference in responding to your staff’s concerns proactively, and resolving any issues early.
A great manager is always available to talk to, and what’s more, they make their staff aware that their door is always open. That’s literal as well as metaphorical; consider having “office hours” during which your employees can come and see you with anything that’s on their mind. That way you can increase communication among your staff while still allowing yourself to work uninterrupted for most of the day.
Define your goals
A team can only function when everyone is on the same page. To eliminate any doubt about what your department is doing, from single projects to mission statements and ten year plans, ensure everything is documented as well as it needs to be. If your staff don’t know where they’re going, they’ll never get there, so make sure everyone knows your goals.
It’s crucial to encourage new ideas and suggestions as well, so do combine this with consultation from all your staff, from managers to interns.
There are few things more frustrating in the workplace than not being recognised for your efforts. When someone’s hard work goes unnoticed, or worse, credited to someone else entirely, it can be a huge demoraliser and even affect people’s happiness and well-being outside of work.
The flipside of this is that it’s so easy to recognise people’s work and give praise accordingly. Clearly defined project briefs ensure that everyone knows what everyone else is supposed to be doing – this is important for all kinds of reasons, but definitely not least among them is that it will be clear where credit is due.
We at Blue Octopus know a thing or two about communication – for example, our recruitment software Octo is built on transparency and ease of contact, in addition to being a powerful and easy to use applicant tracking system. To find out more, or to book a demo, please feel free to get in touch.