Business leaders set the tone for communication within an organization. As humans, we can’t help but adopt the habits and norms of the culture around us to some extent. So, leaders have a responsibility to improve the culture of their companies to promote better communication.
Better communication can increase productivity as employees get faster feedback on their work, which helps them improve it. Communication can focus employees on important company objectives and metrics. It can even make them more loyal to your company.
If you want these and other benefits, try the following five methods of improving communication within your company.
1. Write a Communication Plan
Great leaders plan ahead, and communication is one of the most important aspects of business to plan out and commit to writing. Decide what mix of communication tactics and tools you and your employees will use and the exact ways you’ll use them. Also, write out the standards you expect employees to live up to in their communications. Finally, decide what kinds of information warrant mass emails or texts.
2. Attach Specific Numbers to Communication
Don’t be vague. Don’t tell employees they “should be more productive,” for example. Instead, share specific metrics they can strive to reach, or explain the step-by-step processes they should follow more closely. It’s frustrating being criticized without knowing exactly how to improve. So, guard against this with your internal communication.
3. Focus on the Consistency of Communication
Make consistency of communication a main goal in your culture. Show them that they can count on quality communication from the top and that they should imitate that. Encourage employees and managers at all levels to build habits and routines of communication. This can include weekly or daily scheduled meetings, more frequent feedback, timely sharing of relevant news, and more.
4.Make Communication Two-Way
Employees on the front lines know what customers want, what is working, and what can be improved. Collecting more information from them can only help your business operate better. Set up consistent, periodic methods of soliciting suggestions from employees at all levels. Very importantly, put those suggestions into action, showing that they’re truly valued.
5. Multiply Communication Principles through Technological Tools
Good communication habits can be enhanced with technology. Employees can use messaging apps, such as Slack, to collaborate and produce more. Leaders and administrators can use a mass texting service to send important information to employees. Even a basic cell phone with no Internet connection can receive an SMS text message for emergency office updates, deadline reminders, scheduling changes, company news, and more. Mass texting software has become very simple to use, only requiring a few minutes to learn.
The quality of our lives, in general, is proportional to the quality of our communication with the people who matter to us. So, the quality of your business could be proportional to the quality of your team communication.
Pick just one of the ideas above and work on it until you’ve completely mastered it. Watch for improvements in your business, then repeat with the next idea. As you build a culture of consistent, helpful communication, your employees will be happier with your company, more productive, and more likely to practice good communication habits without being reminded.