Communication is one of the most overlooked facets of the workplace, but arguably one of the most important. Without a system in place to focus conversations with your team, it’s easy to drown in the chaos of information exchange.
As an example, it’s not uncommon to receive verbal or text message responses to emails. This causes a sea of confusion, in that no one can keep up with who has responded and what they said. It can easily destroy a team’s productivity and negatively impact staff culture. Many organizations simply accept this despite acknowledging its detriment.
[Poor communication] can easily destroy a team’s productivity and negatively impact staff culture.
But take heart, it doesn’t have to be a struggle! There are plenty of great ways to improve communication in the workplace and, by extension, productivity and quality.
Choose an avenue that specifically serves your team.
Text messaging and email are the most used communication tools in the workplace. They are also the most used outside of the workplace. It can be difficult to ensure that recipients understand the importance of the information if it is sent through the same avenue they use personally, assuming they see it at all. It is better to choose a tool intended specifically for your team than to try to push your comments through a spam-filled email inbox, or fight for attention against a spouse’s text messages.
Define the purpose of each conversation and stick to it.
Conversations naturally evolve and this can be a great thing. It can lead to innovation and unique problem-solving, but it can also be a distraction from necessary discussion. To help organize thoughts without extinguishing creativity, break off new topics into separate streams of conversation as they surface, each with their own defined purpose. This will help you and your team stay relevant across multiple conversations and keep everyone in control of the information.
Document your conversation history.
There are many cases where you’ll either want to revisit an old conversation or bring someone new into an ongoing conversation. You can waste a large amount of time struggling to remember what’s been said or backtracking to summarize the discussion. It is far more productive to be able to have a designated archive for you to call on.
While improving communication may not seem urgent, its effects are far-reaching.
- You’ll have more time for your work.
- Your work will become more focused.
- It's the quickest way to improve staff culture and promote motivation.
Actively pursue solutions for communication in the workplace. You’ll find yourself more in control and motivated to work towards your goals.