Communication matters. In fact, it is essential to business success and it is the starting point for improving productivity and employee engagement levels.
Failure to communicate effectively means employees fail to perform to their full potential, lack engagement and feel demotivated.Their work lacks direction and they feel adrift when it comes to personal and professional development and progression.
We should all strive to communicate more effectively, no matter what line of work we’re in. Better communication means better performance and a more positive environment. Not everyone is a natural communicator and so the skill of communication is one that needs to be practised.
Here’s how to do it well:
1. Be clear
On the face of it, this seems to be an obvious tip. You can have the best ideas in the world, but they won’t get you anywhere if you can’t communicate them clearly. What most people don’t realise is that being clear isn’t just about speaking slowly and avoiding jargon. Being clear is about understanding your audience, knowing how to talk to them, and providing a context for your decision-making. If an employee understands why they are doing a task, and how it will affect them, they will feel engaged and be more productive.
2. Use the right channel
Sometimes the only answer is to have a face to face conversation. Other times effective communication can take place through an app with minimum interaction between people (just like how shifts are swapped within the Quinyx App). The skill here is knowing what channel to use and when to use it. Does it need to be an email which can easily be misread or sometimes is it better to pick up the phone or book a meeting? Optimising communication means using the best method to make sure the job gets done in the right timeframe and to the highest possible standard.
3. Create a strong culture
Your actions and the relationship you have with your staff set the tone for the entire company’s culture. The standard for communication needs to be established at the top, with senior leaders and managers. If you can create a company-wide habit for clear communication, you will reap the rewards with a focused and engaged workforce.
4. Measure effectiveness
Evaluating the success of communication is just as important as delivering it. Don’t be afraid to set objectives and assess them. Ask yourself if your staff have understood your message, if they took action after receiving your message, and if the cost of communicating outweighed the benefits for your business. If you’re doing it right, the answer should be yes to all three.
Communication is never ‘done.’ It requires constant work, attention and refinement. We find the companies who have the best culture of communication are always the ones who perform the most successfully.