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Thursday, July 9, 2020

5 Ways to Revamp Communication in Your Workplace

“Great things in business are never done by one person.  They are done by a team of people.”

                                                                           -Steve Jobs

 

As the face of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs is one of the most successful and well-known entrepreneurs and businessmen of all time.  He KNOWS business.  He KNOWS the importance of a team. What is the root of a successful team? What is the foundation of a team? Communication.

 

Communication is the glue to a team.  Imagine the famous 1992 Dream Team (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, and others), out on the court with their mouths zipped shut and not saying a word.  Okay, that might be a bad example because they probably still could have pulled it off!  But unless you are a one-man team in your garage, you need communication in your team.  Even after you and your team have been together for a while you may need to revamp how you communicate!

 

Today, I will share with you some ideas and strategies you can use to help upgrade communication with your team...  It never hurts to go back and reevaluate your methods to make sure you have not veered away from a solid communicative base!

 

The first two suggestions are key for building a solid base for communication in your workplace.

 

1)     Establish your company culture.

 

This is a particularly important part of establishing a foundation for communication within your company.  The company culture sets the tone for respect, workplace norms, and expectations in the workplace society. 

 

A great starting point here is to define, or redefine, your company’s mission statement and core values.  These key factors in a company may become outdated and a refresh can bring a spark to your company culture.  You also want to reinforce this mission and these core values in everything your company does: coworking, sales, marketing, etc. [1]

 

Another great step in establishing company culture is understanding and embracing diversity. [1]  This awareness help to ensure no employees feel left out, unappreciated, or disrespected.  With a diverse workplace comes fresh and inclusive ideas to help revamp communication and innovation as well. 

 

When building your company culture, it is also important to show care for your employees.  This can be by having different perks for working in your company (gym discounts, pizza Fridays, snacks in the break room, etc.). [1] Show your employees you love and care for them anyway you can!

 

2)     Invest in a cohesive team

 

The hiring process is especially important for each individual you are considering bringing onboard.  When you are looking to foster communication in your office, you want to be sure to hire individuals who will feed that mission. 

Interviews should be thorough and take into consideration how the person expresses themselves, the clarity of their nonverbal cues, demeanor, manners, and anything else that will influence their interactions with your team for the position they are applying for. [4]  For example, you will want to evaluate the clarity of their nonverbal cues, demeanor, manners, and anything else that will influence the members of your team. 

 

Lastly, the new hire must embody and be willing to embrace your company’s culture, mission, and core values to ensure they are a great fit for the communicative environment you want to build.

 

These next suggestions are in no order but great for fostering and revamping communication amongst coworkers and employees.

 

3)     Open channels for communication.

 

Consider the layout of your office.  Does everyone have individual offices? How are cubicles arranged?  Are there common work areas? A breakroom?  Where can people convene either for work or for a break?  Think about how you could rearrange the office to give people more opportunities to interact. [2]  Even small policies such as an “open door policy” where those in their offices keep the door open unless privacy is required… I won’t lie, I got this policy from living in the dorms in college and it did wonders for making friends and meeting the people on our floor!  It also makes people less hesitant to reach out, chat, and collaborate.  A closed door can be intimidating. 

 

Another way to open channels is to welcome feedback both ways.  Managers can reach out to employees for suggestions on how they can better manage to make their voices her and improve reciprocated communication based on their needs and observations. 

 

Finally, the practice of “notice, connect, respond” is great for building between coworkers, superiors, and subordinated on a more personal level so work feels a little more comfortable. [4]  By noticing a picture on someone’s desk, relating to it, and responding to it, there can be a bonding moment between coworkers which tends to open communication when work matters arrive in the long run.

 

4)     Educate your team.

 

This is possibly the BEST way to revamp communication in your office.  Providing resources for your employees via email, in staff meetings, or in one on one meetings can help them advance their communication skills and make them a better coworker and employee. [1] 

 

One valuable resource you can share with your team is this list of TED Talks which focus on communication. [3]

 

Another way to educate employees on interacting is to bring in a communications expert.  They can give insightful presentations, evoke participation in activities, and provide even more resources to expand employees’ knowledge base.

 

5)     Build team morale.

 

When work isn’t such a miserable place to be, employees have shown to be happier, more productive, and employee turnover rates drop. [1]  Investing in workplace morale is well worth it for the company cost wise as well.  With happy, productive, loyal employees comes less training new employees, less time off, and increased production and profits. Companies can boost morale by working to build traditions in the workplace (celebrations for big sales, team bonding activities, success incentives, perks, etc.).  

 

 

In conclusion, effective communication in the workplace can be the solid foundation for a companies success.  When communication is revamped, employees will be more productive, happier, and more loyal which will make the company thrive in the long run.  Communication promotes innovation and creativity to expand between workers where ideas can flourish where one individual may not have been able to grow it alone.

 

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 [1] Anthony, D. (2018, November 30). 15 Simple Ways To Improve Team Communication. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from https://www.workzone.com/blog/team-communication/

[2] Banning, S., & Coleman, R. (2009). Louder than Words: A Content Analysis of Presidential Candidates Televised Nonverbal Communication. Visual Communication Quarterly, 16(1), 4-17. doi:10.1080/15551390802620464

[3] Eisenhauer, T. (2014, November 07). 16 TED Talks on Effective Communication in the Workplace. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from https://axerosolutions.com/blogs/timeisenhauer/pulse/281/16-ted-talks-on-effective-communication-in-the-workplace#:~:text= 16 TED Talks on Effective Communication in,is a leader.


[4] Miller, K. I. (2007). Compassionate Communication in the Workplace: Exploring Processes of Noticing, Connecting, and Responding [Abstract]. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 35(3), 223-245. doi:10.1080/00909880701434208


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