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Improving Employee Communications

Improving workplace employee communications is crucial to fostering a positive work culture, boosting employee engagement and promoting a sense of ownership and belonging among the workforce however getting employees to open up is easier said than done.

Workplace silo’s can lead to employees communicating within their specific areas especially when there is a lot of inter-personal connectivity required for targets to be met. However, in some departments it might be more common for employees to work in isolation or in noisy environments which limits communication opportunities to break-times and does not present options for real workplace communication.

Employers, especially those who wish to promote an inclusive workplace, where consultation is valued, may struggle to find meaningful ways to create the environment they need to genuinely promote a sense of ownership and belonging across occupational levels and inter-departmentally.

There is no doubt that employees in companies where the employer values and promotes regular team meetings for the purpose of staying in touch with colleagues on both a personal and professional level. Scheduling regular team meetings to discuss ongoing projects, updates, and challenges, which can be held in-person or virtually, depending on the nature of your workplace, may mean time away from actual production time but will save time in the long run as staff will have the time they need to understand the challenges and activities which others are experiencing.

Encouraging and open-Door Policy may seem simple and old-school but this coupled with genuine interest in how the needs of others, will enable a team leader or supervisor to be proactive in the workplace should issues arise. Promoting an open-door policy where employees feel comfortable approaching their managers or team leaders with questions, concerns, or suggestions develops a corporate culture of respect and mutual co-operation.

Tools which everyone in an organisation can be encouraged to practice include active listening and providing constructive feedback, both of which are skills which need to be learned and honed over time. Training employees to actively listen to their colleagues, superiors and subordinates during conversations promotes understanding and reduces miscommunication.  Where employees provide each another with feedback in a respectful and supportive manner helps to develop a continuous improvement culture within the organisation. Improving organisational communication is an ongoing process which requires the commitment of both management and their employees in order to create a positive communication culture.

Encouraging face-to-face Interaction in situations this is possible and appropriate, (even if using remote tools like Teams and Zoom) encourages employees to have in-person discussions. This can help build stronger relationships and trust. Consider combining this type of communication with meetings which are not always “heavy”. Encouraging employees to get to know each other on a more personal level helps people to understand what others are dealing with and to be more empathetic at times when things are tough, whether at work or outside of the workplace.

Establishing an inclusive workplace environment where all employees, regardless of their background, characteristics or abilities can feel welcomed, respected, and valued and where all individuals have equal access to opportunities, resources and support will thrive, leading to the organisation’s over-all success.