Office Tips from The Business Exchange

February 2019 – One of the major hindrances to effective business activities and relationships in the workspace, is either a lack of or poor communication. Good indicators that communication is not optimal in your office are the high levels of stress, tension and fear exhibited. Good communication goes hand-in-hand with a company culture of stability and predictability.

What Are The Effects of Poor Communication in the Office Workspace?

Poor communication can lead to expectations not being met in terms of deadlines, which affects a manager’s perception of their employee’s performance. This can lead to performance management and other disciplinary measures against the beleaguered employee, adding to the low morale, stress and tension that he or she is already feeling in the office environment.

Once tensions reach a certain level, an emotional upheaval can be expected which will lead to accusations, frustration, anger and hurt – all of which create a negative snowball effect on the company culture and further depress the mood in the workspace.

Another important factor to consider is that dissatisfied employees create dissatisfied clients – which will affect your company’s bottom line.

So, if communication is not important to you, then it should be! You will need to gain insight into the levels of communication in your company. This means that you will need to understand;

  • How transparent your employees’, their teams’ and your communication is.
  • How they feel about your current level of communication with them.
  • Are they comfortable with sharing ideas amongst each other?
  • How frequently is communication about company-related issues happening in your company?

Steps To Improve Communication In the Workplace

Both the quality and the quantity of your communication is crucial to building relationships and handling difficult conversations in the workspace. As different as your employees are from each other, so too are their communication skills, levels and requirements. At first glance, it may seem like a marathon task to begin to understand all the different communication dynamics, but we have a few pointers that will help you.

  • Invest in a good communication course from the Cleaner to the CEO!
  • Consistently encourage a communication-friendly culture.
  • Practice active listening with each other, i.e. a conscious effort to understand what is being said.
  • Personalise your communication according to each individual.
  • Be genuine in your communication with each other – don’t overdo it.
  • Have a preference for face-to-face communication and learn to watch for body language clues.
  • Team-building is a great way to learn to understand and communicate better with each other.

Change the Communication Dynamics in your Workspace From the Top Down

Finally, as a Manager or business owner, it is your responsibility to set an example of good communication within the workspace. You are integral in changing behaviour and culture. Something as simple as walking around and greeting everyone first thing in the morning will slowly help improve the morale. Get to know the employees who you don’t directly work with; ask questions about their families or their work, encourage them to give input on company projects and encourage an open-door policy, where they have access to you when they need someone at a higher level.

Remember – a great communication culture starts with you!

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