Looking to Improve Workplace Communication? Here’s How!
You may think communicating is natural and easy, because after all, you do it all the time. But communicating effectively on the job may be a skill you need to work on. For instance, it’s important to choose the right words and listen actively in order to get your business-critical messages across. Poor productivity, disengaged employees and even lawsuits can result from failed workplace communications.
It’s a Social World …
In a recent Nielsen survey, 83 percent of millennials admitted to sleeping with their smartphones within easy access, and 30 percent said they use social media … in the bathroom!
The influence and scope of online and social communications cannot be ignored. A few more statistics that drive this point home:
- Sixty-four percent of college students surveyed consider social media access important enough to ask about it in their job interviews.
- Forty-five percent of young employees noted they’d be willing to accept a lower-paying job if their new employer was more flexible regarding social media access.
- Seventy percent of college students said they believe it’s not necessary to be in the office all the time, unless there’s an important meeting.
… But Don’t Lose the Personal Touch
Since the late 1990s, companies have depended on email – and as technology evolved, texting and other mobile platforms – as their primary connection with colleagues and managers. But too much tech can be detrimental to personal relationships. When you engage in a conversation, the majority of meaning comes from a speaker’s facial expressions and body language, not the words themselves. Pick up the phone periodically and make a call or, better yet, walk across the office and talk to someone face to face.
- Communication is a two-way street. Nobody wants to exist – or work – in a vacuum. Employees need to know that management recognizes and appreciates their efforts, or expects them to do better. Let employees know what you’re thinking, through texts, emails and personal status updates.
- Don’t just hear people. Listen. Being an effective communicator means listening more than you talk. Show you’ve been listening to someone by paraphrasing or repeating back what they’ve said to you. For instance, if an employee shares a concern about their health insurance coverage, respond with something like, “I want to make sure I understand you correctly. You feel it would be a good idea to extend benefits to spouses, correct?” This shows people you care and are truly interested in what they have to say.
- Handle conflicts diplomatically. No matter how compatible a group or team may be, there will inevitably be disagreements. Try to nip issues in the bud. Let your employees know from the start that your door is always open. Encourage them to share concerns at an early stage and all conversations held in your office will remain completely confidential. Then, respond to conflicts with an open mind. Don’t judge. Ask questions and listen to the responses, so you understand how each person in the dispute feels. Then you can help opposing parties find common ground.
Build an award winning team!
As you develop your winning employee and leadership team, keep strong communication skills at the forefront. For additional resources, information and ideas, contact the experts at Frontline Source Group today. We’ll work as an extension of your in-house HR team to build the strongest and most effective talent management strategy possible for your company. Looking for a staffing agency in Fort Worth, TX? Contact us today to learn more. To find the branch closest to you, click here.