A lack of better office communication leads to many workplace challenges. Misunderstandings arise and employees are often admonished to get a job done, “no excuses.” That shuts down problem solving dialogue as people retreat to their desks. Here’s how to set the stage and create a culture for better office communication and create a confident and cohesive team.
Think of office communication as a process that flows top-down and then flows from the bottom up. Communication top-down means making sure the staff knows organizational goals and how those fit the company’s mission and vision. This brings employees together and gives a feeling of significance if they see how they’re contributing to a clearly set goal and mission. Bottom-up office communication is also important. Listening to the challenges that impede progress from sales personnel to those in production or in customer service definitely contrubutes to better office communication and can help troubleshoot and improve internal functions.
In a department meeting or in a one-on-one setting, communicating specifically is best, and helps better office communication. It’s easy to deliver good news like record sales and zero customer complaints. When delivering tough news or when uncertainty is in the air, being specific is challenging for leaders and for employees. Executive leadership is supposed to “know everything” and, for legal reasons, may have topics that can’t be fully discussed like why a specific person had to leave or if merger talks are in the works. It’s best to say when an issue can’t be put out in the open since being vague sounds like something is being hidden. Ask individuals and departments for their feedback to give them responsibility for their outcomes. If a department is falling behind on something like production, then ask them to come together as a team and identify reasons. Then have them present those specific reasons. This way, they don’t feel they’re being blamed. Ask them to include challenges that may prevent them from achieving improved outcomes.
Communicate as a Culture
Set the stage, or lay the foundation, for a positive communication experience in the workplace. Just like customers have “touch points” during their buying journey, think of employees having “touch points” in their workplace experience. It’s more than motivational sayings taped to the wall. The environment sets the stage for a culture of better office communication. Furnishings define workspace areas, places to have focused conversations and areas to take a break. Here’s an idea. Walk in the door. How inviting does the reception area look with the existing desk and chairs? Do workstations support people in their tasks, allow for privacy and for collaboration? Remember that areas that are supposed to inspire interaction and flow of effective communication is key. Set up meeting areas where an exchange of ideas and discussions can take place by using co-op meeting spaces and architectural walls. Investing in the right equipment and furnishings shows the commitment to each employee’s well-being.
Achieving Better Office Communication
By tackling office interactions clearly, specifically and with purpose, it opens the door for better office communication flow as a culture — all in all promoting an office that his more effective, productive and happy.