Your business can be changed by the quality and consistency of the communications between your team members. Your team will be more productive and collaborate better if they have clearer, fluid interactions. Your entire operation could be ruined by poor timing, phrasing and clarity.
What steps can you take to improve your internal communications?
Troubleshooting Potential Problems
First, you need to take the time to identify potential problems.
Are there any problems in your company that you can trace back to inefficient communication? Do you have a measurable indicator that is declining because of a communication problem? This is your opportunity to find specific solutions to the problem.
If you notice an increase of customer churn it could indicate that customer service agents aren’t clear on their responsibilities, or aren’t managing customer support communications properly.
Revision of your SOPs, meeting protocols and scripts could be a solution.
Establish Strong Leaders
People tend to imitate the style and approach of leaders, whether they are conscious or unconscious.
To set an example for communication excellence, it is important to have strong leadership in your organization. Your leaders will set an example for your employees by communicating consistently and in a clear, concise manner.
Two approaches can be used to help you.
When you are looking for new leaders and promotions, it is important to prioritize communicators. A person who communicates clearly and concisely will have a greater chance of being promoted or hired to a leadership role than someone who is less effective.
You can also provide education and training to your leaders. With a little practice and communication courses, almost anyone can become a good communicator.
Make multiple communication channels and use them appropriately
Use many communication channels. Different communication channels have different strengths and weaknesses and can be used in different contexts for better communication.
Your internal communications will be stronger if all of these tools are readily available to your employees and they are able to use them to their full potential.
Digital signage software allows you to display virtually any type of text or visual. You can also rotate through different messages on your digital signs. Your screens can be used throughout the office to provide constant reminders, advicements about current conditions, updates, and instructions. It is a simple way to bring everyone on the same page in the workplace.
Email communication is a common form of workplace communication. It’s permanent, instantaneous, and can be written. It’s not the best medium for ongoing communication and it isn’t ideal for complex ideas.
Chat platforms allow you to quickly ask questions and have a conversation with others, but can be distracting. Chats are a great way to communicate with people, even though it can be distracting to some.
Video conferences and calls are great for coordination and complex dialogues. They can be slow and tedious, and you may find yourself in a rut if there are too many people involved. You should use them sparingly and with intention.
Social media can play an important role in your internal communication strategy. If used properly, social media can help to strengthen the bonds between employees and offer an informal, quick way to reach people.
Establish consistent workflows for project and task management
How can people communicate high-level projects with low-level tasks?
Is there a template that you can use to describe your project? Who should be responsible for communicating details about a project’s progress? What information should an employee give to others about the completion of a task?
It’s easy to get lost in the chaos if you don’t have clear processes and procedures for task and project management. Each member will bring their own approach and style to the group.
Be consistent and follow a process that is easy for everyone.
Train and onboard your new hires
Training and onboarding employees is an important opportunity to educate them about the basics of effective internal communication.
Establish expectations about when and how they should communicate. If necessary, provide additional education and training for any new hires who seem to be having difficulty.
Utilize Team-Building Events
Event-based team building is a great way to increase communication between employees.
Employees are often given a task during these events that requires them to communicate with one another. This is a great communication tool that can expose critical weaknesses. It gives your employees the chance to bond and get to know one another better.
Use Visual Communication to Increase Your Reach
Although mastering written language is beneficial, most people prefer visual forms to communicate.
Visual communication is faster, easier, and more intuitive than written communication. Visualizing data in a graph makes it much easier than listening to someone ramble on about a bunch of numbers.
Using visual communication can help improve your company’s internal communications. You can communicate your points using photos, illustrations, diagrams, or even body language.
Find teaching and coaching opportunities
Your employees may not be all strong communicators by nature. It’s okay to have some communication difficulties.
If they are given the coaching and practice, anyone can improve their communication skills. If you see a member of your team struggling to communicate a particular aspect of communication, take this opportunity as an opportunity for coaching or teaching. What is the problem? What can they do to improve it?
Recognize your individual strengths and weaknesses
Good communication is not an objective standard. Different communication styles are perfectly fine.
A person who is proficient in writing might have difficulty engaging in active conversation. However, someone who is fluent and eloquent might be able to type coherent emails.
As a communication leader, you must recognize and address these strengths and weaknesses. Place people in roles that enable them to communicate effectively, and help them learn to overcome their weaknesses.
Do not overwhelm your employees
It is important not to overload your employees.
This guide contains many tools and strategies that you can use for your employees to become better communicators. It’s unlikely that they will stick if you overload them with training and new communication requirements.
It takes time to improve internal communication. Therefore, it is a good idea not only to take small steps but also to be patient and more forgiving.
Consider collecting feedback from all levels of your team and employees.
What areas are they satisfied by internal communications? What are the most common complaints about internal communications? This will allow you to get a better understanding of the “pulse” and enable you to be more specific in your communication improvement strategies.
These strategies and patience will allow you to see steady improvements in your team’s communication clarity and efficiency. A solid foundation will ensure that your internal communication skills are maintained. Your company culture will be able to absorb good communication principles. This will make it easier to keep your company consistent and bring on new members.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop looking at internal communications. But you can take a moment and celebrate your win.