How well do you know your employees, and how well do they know one another? With the rise of remote work options, many coworkers have worked together for years without meeting in person!
The secret to effective workplace management is a strong workplace community with a cohesive company culture. If your employees still feel like strangers, you should look into improving communication in the workplace. Improving communication and encouraging better company culture can inspire motivation and engagement among employees, and help to boost overall business success.
Boosting communication doesn’t have to be daunting. There are fun ways to improve communication in the workplace, too! Check out our tips for how to open up effective communication channels without killing employee engagement. You might even find workplace engagement levels going through the roof!
Do you dread weekly team meetings, or do you find yourself thinking, “This should have been an email?”
We believe meetings are crucial for remote and hybrid teams. They allow you to use facial expressions and body language to demonstrate active listening and connect with your team. Face-to-face meetings are more personal, and verbal communication makes things like sarcasm more obvious.
Still, if your team members don’t feel you’re respecting their time, what is your meeting really accomplishing? Ensure that every meeting has an agenda and that employees have an opportunity to add agenda items. Providing an egalitarian platform makes it more likely that employees will bring up concerns they may have otherwise kept to themselves. They’re also less likely to feel like they’re “bothering” you by bringing up concerns.
Once communication channels are open and accessible, employees will use the platform to uplift and celebrate one another, too! In fact, we advise adding a “shout outs” portion to every weekly agenda.
This positive practice will give you a reason to hone in on your employees’ well-being. Employees who feel seen and appreciated will be more likely to engage and participate.
Not every meeting needs to be a weekly video conference or face-to-face gathering in a conference room. Consider expanding your definition of a meeting.
One-on-one meetings allow you to get to know employees as individuals. They provide standing opportunities to share thoughts, so employees at all levels will feel heard.
Can this weekly or monthly meeting be held at a coffee shop or local restaurant for a change in ambiance? Could you earmark a meeting as an opportunity for team building and play a group game instead?
Finally, if a meeting seems like it can be an email (or a text, notification, or newsletter item), embrace flexibility. If you don’t think a meeting will serve your staff, take the initiative and cancel it. Allow your employees to put their energy and bandwidth elsewhere. The entire team will be happier for it, and the next meeting will be a more robust opportunity to connect.
There is one complaint more pervasive than “This meeting should have been an email.” It’s “This email should have been a text message.”
How difficult is it for employees at all levels to connect with one another? If all outreach is via email, your Gen-Z employees may stay quiet and isolate themselves. When communicating feels like too much trouble, they’ll be less likely to put in the effort.
Ultimately, every workplace is different, and you might need a more bespoke solution to meet your team’s communication needs. That begins with getting to know your employees and their unique preferences. Consider putting out a survey and asking how you can improve, and ensure you make meaningful changes that reflect their responses.
Sometimes, the real secret to how to improve workplace communication is to provide more efficient, casual channels for connection. For example, nearly every employee has a phone they’re comfortable and familiar with. A mobile-based communications app allows in-person and remote employees to connect with ease.
Furthermore, many contemporary workplace communication platforms will enable you to create channels to keep workplace-wide conversations distinct. You might have a channel for a time-sensitive project and a channel for cute pet photos. That system prevents clutter without removing the opportunity for employees to connect on a personal level.
When your employees don’t know how they’re doing in the workplace, they’ll assume they’re meeting expectations. That means that underperforming employees will continue to do the minimum.
Meanwhile, overperforming employees will go above and beyond and worry they aren’t doing enough. Eventually, your hardest workers will experience burnout.
You must communicate feedback efficiently, effectively, and promptly to see change and retain your best talent. Evaluate your current system and consider whether or not it’s working. Do you currently have both formal and informal ways to provide feedback? Is all of your feedback constructive, or do you celebrate success?
Don’t be afraid to utilize awards and incentives. Gamification, through apps or other workplace solutions, provides instant, highly motivating feedback in a clear, playful manner. Virtual rewards or badges are often as motivating as physical incentives and can keep remote and hybrid employees involved.
One key to delivering superlative feedback is specificity. A general statement, such as “good job,” does very little to highlight what an employee has done well. Allow great work to serve as a learning opportunity for other employees by making the things they’ve done well transparent.
Delivering constructive feedback can be more challenging because of the emotions involved. Ensure you’re discussing the behavior, not the individual. Use as many specific statistics and examples from their work as possible. Use it as an opportunity to teach, not to punish.
Based on the tips above, we have one final takeaway regarding how to improve communication at work: put your employees first. Ask for feedback, celebrate their accomplishments, and respect their time and communication styles. The right communication tools make connecting with your team simple, intuitive, and fun.
It might be time to implement an employee experience solution like STRIVE. Our tailored solutions can ensure you’re always putting the individual first.
Contact STRIVE to build a better employee experience today!