What do you think of when you hear the term ‘business communications’? If what comes to mind is telephone systems and video conferencing platforms, you’re right. Those are important business communications tools but communication is about the bigger picture, including relations between management and staff in your organization.
Good communication isn’t easy to get right, but your business and productivity will benefit if you can create a constructive environment, based on give and take. Here are three ways you can enhance your communications.
1) Building a Collaborative Company Culture
When people can trust other staff to step in and help to provide the best products and services possible, that’s a collaborative company culture. It’s people working together to realize a common goal. And yet, in many work environments, efforts are made to keep people on the margins. It’s true that employees don’t need to know all the details about the business to do their work, but some degree of transparency is necessary to create the foundation for trusting relationships.
Transparency and inclusivity are basics for trust and collaboration. If people understand where a business is and where it’s heading, they are more likely to work together to achieve common aims, help others and provide helpful inputs.
2) Learn by Listening
In the world of business things are often moving forward at speed. That can sometimes mean that there’s no time to stand back and reflect. Create a space where employees can talk and managers must listen to what they’re saying. Listening is sometimes neglected. It can only lead to more work, right? And how much of the feedback management gets from staff is superfluous, and not actually useful to achieving business goals?
Here’s the thing: listening is your job.
To create the kind of business environment where communication is fluid, you have to listen. Even if much of the commentary you receive doesn’t lead towards something that can be concretely achieved, ignore what your staff is saying at your peril. If you don’t take your employees’ views seriously, you’re brewing up an unhappy workplace, and that can lead to alienation and productivity deficits.
3) Meetings aren’t Always the Answer
For making important announcements then a staff meeting is the way to go. Everyone comes together, either in your premises or perhaps using video conferencing and you can communicate to everyone at once. However, meetings have limitations when it comes to effective communication. A lot of people are more reluctant to voice their views when they have to do it in a large group setting, and because they don’t want to be seen as rocking the boat.
Smaller meetings and one-on-one meetings can be more productive. People communicate better when their defenses aren’t up. A series of small meetings may take more time than one big one, but will pay dividends in terms of getting good feedback and having constructive exchanges. Managers should seek feedback and take it on board graciously. That should happen all the way up the ladder, from bottom to top. Communication should be encouraged right across the board.
As well as boosting productivity, effective communications and an open and collaborative company culture should boost the morale of your whole workplace. What are your views on this? What is your experience, and what tips do you have to share on how communication barriers can be eliminated? Have you seen the positive effects of better information flow in your business? Leave your comments below or, if you’d like to talk and technology and tools to improve your business communications, call Quikteks at (973) 882-4644.