In any relationship, be it personal or business, effective communication is crucial. However, this aspect is often overlooked by managers and business owners. Thousands of dollars are being spent by companies for in-house trainings and team buildings and these are on top of scholarships for continuing education offered by some organizations because they believe in skills enhancement.
What businesses and organization should realize is the relevance of communication in productivity. Effective communication makes a big difference in executing the goals of the company as well as nurturing business relationships among members of your team. For effective communication, employees should be aware of the three aspects they should consider: knowledge, clarity and listening.
In this digital age, there is a myriad of ways to communicate with colleagues and clients. Nowadays, businesses make use of video conferencing through Skype, emails, SMS, phones, social media and VoiP to reach out to members of their organization and their target market. Employees should know when and how to take advantage of technology to get their message across to their audience; their customers and colleagues.
They should be reminded that the mode of communication to be used depends on factors like the sensitivity and privacy of the information as well as type of audience they have. Cold calls are not popular for potential clients since they do not want to be interrupted or bothered at certain times of the day. Emails are acceptable, though, when it comes to correspondence within the organization because they are read depending on the mood of the recipient. Moreover, emails are documents and important for record purposes.
As a manager, you communicate with your employees most of the day for reports, follow ups and handing out tasks, whether orally or written. And since time is of the essence, your message should be clear and concise. Employees also communicate to other co-workers, managers and clients at work. It is important for them to have the skills to convey their messages clearly. These include knowing the objectives of completing a certain task and the reason why he or she needs to communicate with a colleague or client. Also, it is imperative that they know what information needs to be disclosed to someone else and that they have options to communicate, not necessarily spoken words.
To be a good communicator, it is equally important to be a good listener. Your employees should know this. By conducting trainings discussing about effective communication and including the art and beauty of listening, employees will know how to listen openly to what customers or team members are telling them. In the end, they will understand better the concerns of the other party. Moreover, if they know how to listen, they will also know the right questions to ask and be able to clarify vague issues.
Ways to Improve Communication to Employees
1. Take Time To Speak With Them Face-To-Face.
Although emails and Skype are effective ways to convey your messages to your employees especially for distant interaction, it is also important to interact with them and talk to them in person, say on one-on-one meetings. This will encourage them to open up if they have concerns and make them feel their presence in the company is important and appreciated. Talking to them face-to-face makes it easier to relay your message and get feedback right away. This is also important for urgent matters and concerns to prevent miscommunication that is possible if you will communicate through emails.
2. Conduct Trainings To Improve The Communication Skills Of Your Employees.
There are employees who are effective communicators while some are not inherently sociable. What you can do is to encourage your employees to interact with their colleagues and build rapport with each other by holding sports and team building activities which can include games that will hone their communication skills. Mentorship can also be an effective way to do this. Select members of your team who have good communication skills and can mentor other employees.
3. Make Communication Skills a Part Of Employee Assessment.
You can also include communication skills in your employee evaluation. Making it a part of your objectives in the company will encourage and motivate your employees to go the extra mile to improve their skills in communication. Giving recognition and even rewards to effective communicators in your team is an effective motivation tool.
4. Determine The Communication Levels Of Your Employees.
You might want to conduct a survey to understand the members of your team more when it comes to how they can communicate better and how they take in information, especially if you are runninga global company. Also, you may need to communicate with them differently. It is also wise to use different methods of getting your message across like through emails and face-to-face. Not all the people in your team are technologically savvy and can understand technical terms. See to it that you talk to them in a language that they will understand and avoid jargon during meetings as well as face-to-face interaction.
5. Encourage Your Employees To Give Feedback And Suggestions.
It is also important to let the people in your organization have a voice. Apart from letting your employees know what is going on within the organization such as improvements and concerns, asking them for their thoughts and recommendations is good for the company.
6. Whatever News They Need To Hear, Good Or Bad, Let Them Know First.
Keep them in the loop whether the news you have to tell them is good or bad. Most importantly, let the members of your team get the information from you and let them be the ones to know first, especially if the issue concerns them. If it is something that is not as positive like a decision of the company to restructure, they can take the news better than letting them hear it from people from other departments or from the media.
Effective communication within your organization is instrumental to the success of your business. If your employees know clearly what the objectives of the company are and how to communicate with each other, they can easily communicate with other entities and people they talk to like your clients and potential investors and community members.