7 Surefire Ways to Boost Office Communication and Improve Productivity
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Team Communication and Improve Productivity
Need a little help getting your coworkers on the same page? Here are seven ways to improve team communication and boost your productivity.
Keyword(s): team communication
Successful communication in the workplace is essential for a business to run smoothly. In fact, businesses with effective communication practices are 50 percent more likely to report low employee turnover levels.
Good team communication is also vital for job satisfaction, where workers rated their colleagues as the biggest contributor at 62.4 percent. And not only are happy workers more likely to stay in the company, they're also 20 percent more productive than unhappy workers.
But how do you get all your workers on the same page when it comes to communication at work? Here are seven ways to improve your business' communication practices and boost productivity.
1. Maintain an Open Door Policy
Closed doors create an atmosphere of secrecy and intimidation. If you don't have an open-plan office, physically open your door and tell other supervisors and managers to do the same. Removing the literal barriers between you and your workers gives off a clear message that everyone is part of the same team.
An open door shows transparency on your part, as well as a willingness to build trust. This encourages your workers to follow your lead and open up to each other. It also invites your team to come to you for guidance at any time, rather than having to wait to catch you in a meeting or on your way out.
As a result, your team can give you regular updates on the status of their current projects. This makes it easier to work through issues straight away, ensuring a more productive working environment.
2. Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
A lack of effective communication between your team members often stems from unclear instructions and confusion about responsibilities.
If a worker is unsure of what their role is, they're likely to struggle and come up short. This then leads to frustration on their part and bad feeling within the team.
To avoid this confusion, make sure to clarify roles and responsibilities from the offset by using techniques such as Responsibility Chartering (RACI). Through clear instructions, you can assign accountability for a certain task to the most appropriate team member. This then helps to define each member's specific contribution within the team.
3. Build a Team
Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent. Although you can't force work friendships, you can build teams that foster good relationships. And if your team gets on well, they'll communicate better and will have more chance of becoming friends.
The best way to achieve this is to organize regular outings. Show your team how important this is to you by starting things off during work hours. This could mean going for a long lunch together or clocking off early on a Friday and heading to a nearby bar or restaurant.
Away from the office, your team will be able to socialize and get to know what their co-workers are really about, as well as their individual ways of communication. And with that knowledge, they'll learn how to be more effective at work together.
4. Set Break Times
Another way to provide an opportunity for your team to talk to each other in a more informal setting is with team break times. Meeting up in the break room for a hot drink and a chat will allow your team to relax and talk face-to-face.
How they use this time is up to them. But it's likely that being together and talking will lead to informal work-based discussions. With daily opportunities for productive social time, workplace communication is sure to improve.
5. Cut Through the Digital Noise
Post-Its don't vibrate, ping or chime. But that's exactly why they're so effective at enabling communication within the workplace.
Their simplicity cuts through the digital noise, inviting people to read their important note without the urgency we've come to expect from our electronic devices. In fact, research shows that attaching a Post-It to a document makes people almost twice as likely to comply with the post note instructions.
Thanks to their small size, Post-Its are also ideal for breaking down concepts into more succinct ideas. Plus, their low commitment makes them a great tool to encourage initial ideas in brainstorming sessions, helping communication and productivity flourish. You could even choose some custom light bulb Post-Its for when that 'Eureka! moment' strikes.
6. Use Collaborative Software
Of course, technology does have its place in the working environment. And one of the best ways to improve communication and boost productivity is by utilizing collaborative software.
Cloud-based software offers a centralized location for whole projects. This allows team members to access relevant information without the need to send emails chasing information and requesting completed tasks.
As a manager, you'll be able to track team interactions and oversee the status of the project on a continual basis. This then reduces the need for so many meetings and makes better use of everyone's time.
7. Invest in Education
As well as encouraging effective communication at work, it's crucial to provide your team with the tools to communicate better.
Investing in professional communication training is a great way to develop and improve your team's communication skills. After all, communication is an ongoing process.
There limitless numbers of strategies and methods to approach different situations. Even the most effective communicators know that there will always be room for improvement.
Depending on your business and your team's potential weak spots, you can choose the style and focus of the training. You may prefer to make it a group activity for added bonding time. Or you could choose online training with a personalized plan for each team member.
Whatever method you choose, with the right tools and training, your team will soon learn how to be more effective at work through great communication.
How to Boost Team Communication
Improving team communication doesn't have to be complicated.
Providing opportunities for your team to bond through social gatherings while encouraging a free-flow of information is often more than enough to boost communication and workplace productivity.
And if all that fails, you can always rely on a Post-It to get your message across!
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