6 Easy Ways to Cultivate Effective Communication at Work

Check out six simple ways to encourage clear communication across your business.

July 21, 2022
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97% of employees believe communication impacts how effective they are each day.

And yet many organizations don’t do anything to help their people communicate effectively beyond setting them up with a company email address.

Read on for six simple ways to encourage clear communication across your business.

Why is it important to have effective communication in the workplace?

Things quickly fall apart if colleagues don’t communicate properly with each other. Deadlines get missed. Mistakes get made. Fingers start being pointed. Even the smallest organizations need tight lines of communication to function properly. And the bigger your business, the more important communication becomes.

What makes effective communication?

The difference between good and bad communication is often in the details.

Good communication:

  • Reduces back and forth. Unclear communication will prompt several follow-up questions, while a well-thought-out Slack message or meeting will give people all the information they need to move forward.
  • Is clear and concise. Communicate your point as clearly and concisely as possible for the best chances of getting your message heard.
  • Is outcome-orientated. A good email flags a potential problem. A great one follows that up with a solution. 

What is the benefit of effective communication?

Bad communication leads to wasted company time and resources, low employee engagement, and high staff turnover.

In fact:

  • 86% of workers say a lack of effective collaboration and communication is the main cause of workplace failures.
  • Effective workplace communication can increase productivity by up to 25%
  • Poor communication could be costing businesses a massive $37 billion a year.
  • 80% of workers believe employee communication is crucial for developing trust with employers.
  • 28% of employees say poor communication is the most common cause of missed deadlines. 

6 ways to improve communication across your organization

Encouraging effective communication in the workplace is one of the most effective things you can do for your business. And it doesn’t need to be complicated, either. 

Here are six simple ways to get your people communicating more effectively: 

1. Have a plan

Getting a solid project plan in place makes effective communication a lot easier.

When everyone has a document to refer back to that lays out all the information they need to do their job, it’s a lot easier to keep everyone on the same page and your project over the line on time and on budget.

2. Schedule regular one-to-ones

One-to-ones are a manager’s secret weapon.

They’re the only time your reports get face time alone with their manager. But if you don’t make them a regular thing, tasks are bound to go undone, things are bound to go unsaid, and your staff are bound to feel neglected – and maybe even eyeing the door. 

Depending on how many reports you have and how much you interact with them on a  day-to-day basis, you should have a dedicated catch-up with each of them no less than once a month.

This will lay the foundation of great communication at every level of your organization.

Try Assembly to schedule one-to-one meetings in just a few clicks.

3. Set a weekly stand up

A weekly standup meeting is one of the most effective communication tools in a manager’s toolbox. It gives your team the perfect chance to get clarification on anything with a question mark hovering over it and get guaranteed facetime with a colleague they need answers from.

But, even more importantly, it sets the expectation with your teammates that they’re accountable for updating you on their progress towards their goals each week. This alone can be the difference between hitting a project deadline and sailing past it.  

Book a demo of Assembly to quickly and easily set up a Daily Standup Flow. 

4. Give every meeting your full attention

It might seem simple, but giving your colleagues your full attention when you catch up with them is one of the easiest ways to communicate more effectively. 

Whenever you’re in a meeting or on a call with a teammate, shut down your laptop (or block notifications if you need it to view your calendar or review notes), take a genuine interest in the conversation, and make a real effort to be present and listen to what they’re saying.

If everyone in your organization changed nothing but this your communication would become more effective overnight. 

5. Focus on feedback

Being open and honest with your colleagues about the areas they could improve in is a cornerstone of effective workplace communication.  

And while it might seem counterintuitive, your employees will actually thank you for bringing up areas they can improve on. 

In fact, research suggests that people want corrective feedback even more than praise if it’s provided in a constructive manner. 

However, most managers find it hard to pick their staff up on their flaws. 

Giving feedback doesn’t have to be awkward though, especially if you follow these simple steps:

  • Don’t spring anything on them. When an employee falls short of your expectations, that should be dealt with straight away – not left until their next one-to-one when the criticism might seem out of the blue. 
  • Ground every bit of feedback in an example. Criticism that isn’t founded on something concrete can be interpreted as a matter of opinion by your employee and dismissed. 
  • Focus on themes. Pick out patterns in your employees’ behavior and ask them to brainstorm solutions on how they can change it.
  • Sandwich criticism in praise. Soften the blow of feedback by making sure to praise the employee either side of it. 

Try Assembly to see how easy sharing feedback with your colleagues can be.

6. End every project with a retrospective

A team retrospective is a simple and effective way to get feedback from everyone on the team about what worked and what didn’t during a project.

Giving your colleagues a forum to communicate their honest feedback is a surefire way to make sure each project runs smoother than the last. It will also help highlight the differences between your successful and less successful projects so you can have more of the former and less of the latter.

The final word

Get communication right across your business and everything else will click into place much more easily. Put the tips we’ve outlined here into action in your organization and your team is bound to have a lot less communication breakdowns – and run a lot more smoothly.

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