Think of any situation from your personal or professional life that has gone sour. Most every instance stems from one thing… Lack of, or poor communication.
Communication can be even trickier in the workforce – especially as a manager communicating to team members. You need to communicate high-level company initiatives, changes, updates, bad news, good news, feedback… The list goes on.
Why Invest in Effective Communication Strategies?
Maintaining two-way communication loops with your team ensures everyone is on the same page and creates a seamless flow. In fact, it helps your profits too. Communication impacts every area of your business, from customer relations to employee scheduling!
So, How Do You Do It?
Here are seven effective communication strategies to put to practice:
1- Listen First
You may not associate this concept at first, but listening is actually the first step to communicating. Think about it… Your favorite manager, leader, or even friend probably initiated a resolving a conflict or having a discussion NOT by accusing their employees, by listening to your perspective first.
Another mistake made in the workplace is thinking about the next thing you are going to say, versus focusing on the words coming out of the communicator’s mouth. This is when really important information could be missed.
So, focus intently on what your employees are saying, and then follow up with questions. What information was missed? What points of clarification do you need?
2 - Master Non-Verbal Communication
Communication is half verbal, half non-verbal. Learn how to control your body language as you communicate with others. Your facial expression, stance, and gestures give a visual signal to the speaker that you are actively listening to what they have to say. When communicating, make direct eye contact, stand tall, and don’t cross your arms.
3 - Who Are You Talking To?
The world is comprised of many types of people – some are introverts and some extroverts – and both whom require very different kinds of communication. For example, introverts prefer one-on-one communication, not a group setting. If you call on them to speak in a group, for example, they will likely not say much. Very different though in a one-on-one setting. Extroverts, on contrast, will speak freely in a large group and freely talk through their feelings. They prefer getting input from as many people as possible.
4 - Online Or In Person?
There’s also the way that people prefer to receive information. For example, younger generations prefer getting a text, email, or message via an internet app, while older generations might still like to hear something straight from the horse’s mouth. Generation aside, someone’s personality type would also impact their preferred method to receive information. CIO Magazine even reports that, “Collaboration tools help streamline project management and facilitate the process of collaborating with team members and other stakeholders.”
Cloud-based apps like ShiftNote’s products, allow businesses to improve communication between managers, too. For example, our manager’s logbook makes it easy for managers to log specific notes to make a swift and efficient transfers from shift to shift, keeps a team on track & accountable, and also measures important data to inform future business decisions!
5 - Keep It Regular
Daily, weekly, and monthly employee meetings are necessary for keeping your entire team in the loop. Connecting as a team informs employees of changes or updates and gives them a level playing field to voice ideas concerns and share status updates. So, what makes an efficient meeting? A few things to consider implementing:
- Have a clear-cut agenda (and stick to it)
- Ask team members to collaborate on the discussion, but table non-urgent items
- Have a standing meeting, so people can plan on it
- Offer follow-up notes or conversation
6 - Make Yourself Available
As a manager, it should be your mission to be available to employees. Take the time to sit down with them and communicate. In the long run it will circumvent further problems.
7 - Know When To Get To The Point, and When To Elaborate
The modern-day worker is very busy. Don’t waste their time and elaborate on things that can be communicated quickly, yet make sure to clearly offer a background when it’s needed.
Communicating well and often can help your business build strong relationships with your employees. It can instill confidence in employees, improve engagement and accountability. Take the time to master these seven strategies and you’ll be on your way to smoother communication in your workplace. Good luck!