Communication can fail, words get misconstrued, and details slip through the cracks. Poor communication can happen in any organization with 10, 100, or 1,000 employees. If you are a business leader, it’s not good to have ineffective communication skills.
What’s more, the results of an internal communication breakdown are never favorable. There is time lost from people being confused or misunderstanding the directions. They either have to set aside the task and do something else or plunge headlong, which leads to unsatisfying outcomes.
Missed deadlines and opportunities are enough for you to reexamine the efficacy of your workplace communication system and fill the gaps for a smooth and efficient exchange of business information.
Commit to Writing
Memory is not infallible, science says. Make it a practice to take minutes of every meeting, whether online or in person. You can quickly compose an email detailing the salient points of the discussion. It’s also recommended to send out memos for critical changes in processes or admin matters affecting everyone in the workplace as they happen.
Emails serve as a paper trail; when conflicts arise or some claim not to know the update, a screenshot of the email can provide backup evidence. Speaking of documentation, you can record virtual meetings like audioconferences and videoconferences with the consent of the participants.
Clarify Each Role in the Team
Start-ups are known for their agility with teams that are capable of responding to changing business demands. Notwithstanding this fluidity, everyone in the group should know what they have to do. Enumerate each member’s responsibilities in the presence of other members, and confirm this information with an email.
With clear-cut tasks, each team member can focus on and carry out their role. Delineation also avoids overlapping and unduly straining the resources that would have been utilized in other aspects of the project.
Cut the Red Tape
Organizations go by structure for the orderly conduct of affairs. However, the rules can be so rigid that a simple request for information goes through numerous channels or people before it reaches a resolution. It’s likely that immediate superiors don’t have authority over the matter and have to wait for word from someone higher than them.
To cut the back-and-forth, higher-ups can provide specific and defined decision-making powers to direct team leaders to resolve, address, or deal with issues on their level. The ability to decide can unclog the pipeline of unresolved problems. Anything that is beyond the scope of the managers’ powers will be escalated to the top management.
Chat Using a Single Tool
Use one platform to channel all instant messages. This chat will be everyone’s go-to place for posting or sharing announcements, news, and updates. Aside from having one-on-one conversations, you can set up chat rooms by team, project, or concern.
For the platform to be an effective communication tool, you can implement a few house rules. For example, the announcement channel is strictly for such; animal pics and emojis can go to humor or non-work-related stuff. Sensitive files or work-related log-ins have to be sent over encrypted platforms. Lastly, discourage spamming.
Physical attendance is no longer an issue in an internet-driven world. You have the technology to cut time and distance for a quick catch-up or an urgent meeting whenever, wherever. You can be in an audioconference to discuss the specs of a project with your remote staff or appear in a videoconference to present your vision for the company.
Either way, teleconference equipment is indispensable for a steady and regular flow of communication in the company. Telephony with VoIP represents an investment that pays off in the long run as you bank on its role in productivity and collaboration.
On the Same Page
Those tips will help in ironing out wrinkles in workplace communication. You can explore other avenues to boost the effectivity of this internal process.
Employees feel more involved when they know what’s happening to their work or the company in general, and they get the facts straight from you. Thus, as a final tip, gather pertinent updates in a newsletter. It doesn’t need to have a fancy design for as long as it is meaty and fresh.