How to improve communication in an organization is a challenge many of my clients face. The lock-down due to the pandemic has made the issue even more critical.
Communication is an important aspect of life. However, most people are not good at it.
To make matters worse, 70% of workers believe their workplace has ineffective communication channels. Fortunately, there are some ways to improve communication in an organization. Whether you're a student looking to better your performance, or a manager leading a team.
Importance of effective communication in organizations
According to research, businesses that practice excellent communication do nearly three times better than those that don't. That is true whether you operate a small business or a large corporation.
Some of the benefits of improved communication:
You become their listening post
Do you wish to offer exceptional customer service? Then communication is even more vital to answer any questions customers may have about your products and services. If your consumers feel heard and their recommendations are implemented, your firm will be able to create greater money from repeat customers.
Encourages employees to come up with fresh ideas
When you encourage your workers to come forward with fresh ideas and proposals without fear of getting fired, you'll find that they have the most to contribute to the conversation.
By discussing ideas with one another regularly, a company might become innovative overnight. Your finest employees may also offer ideas that might help your company flourish.
Effective communication makes your company productive. Workers feel comfortable talking to one another and providing feedback on how their teams are performing. That can offer incredibly advantage to your company.
Errors are mended faster
Errors are rapidly corrected when communication between various divisions in your business is fluid and feedback is continuously exchanged.
In business, communication is a two-way process. Employees provide feedback to management on how they are doing and how they can improve. In contrast, management offers input on how the organization's principles are being followed and can be done better.
Contributes to the company's growth
Effective communication acts as a type of backbone for your company. That may seem like a bold statement. But how can you run multiple operations across divisions without effective communication inside the organization or with your customers?
Most organizations struggle to survive and develop without efficient internal and external communication. Improved Communication also guarantees that your company's rules are followed correctly and without delay. Your firm will undoubtedly expand and flourish as productivity rises.
When you communicate effectively both internally and externally in your business, your company becomes more transparent. When it comes to building confidence in your company, its policies, goods, and services, transparency is critical. This way, when harsh decisions need to be taken to better your firm, you'll have an easier time explaining why the decision needs to be made to your clients and staff.
Nine Tips on How to Improve Communication in an Organization
Here are nine simple ways to improve communication in your organization which will lead to better productivity.
1. Be On Time
A punctual man is respected. We see many top bosses don't understand the importance of being on time. They keep people waiting for them, arrive late, and give excuses for being too busy.
When you think of how to improve communication in an organization, you should demonstrate that you respect yours and others' time.
According to Business Insider, 86% of the time is lost in commuting. This is all because people are generally late or forget about things. Sticking to your schedule is one of the best ways to achieve better productivity in the workplace.
If you are the boss, it is also important to keep your employees accountable. If you are punctual, your teams will follow you eventually.
That discipline applies not only to physical meetings but to written communication as well. If you promise someone to respond over Email by the next day, make sure that you honor that commitment.
Yet sometimes, things may not be in your hand. In those cases, be prompt to let the other side know that you would be late.
Nothing upsets people more than waiting indefinitely.
2. Create a Culture of Trust
Trust is a key factor for any organization to function smoothly. A lack of trust between employees and managers creates a negative environment.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, trust and authenticity are vital in establishing productive relationships. Without trust, you won't be able to trust your coworkers. When you chalk out your plan on how to improve communication, a culture of trust is a must.
Employees might feel uneasy or exposed because they don't know how to react when they disagree with you. Sometimes they are unclear about what you want from them. The lack of communication causes employees to leave their jobs as it becomes harder for them to do their work effectively (Harvard Business Review).
To gain trust and honesty, you need to share your thoughts and concerns.
3. Be Clear and Concise
Your quality of your writing shows your quality of thought. To achieve a positive impact, make sure your words are clear and concise. According to The Success Journal, we have a finite amount of time for communication.
In order to get the most out of your time, you need to be concise and to the point. There's no point in sending a single paragraph email. You have to give an organization's readers enough information in less time.
Don't forget to take the time to properly proofread your work. Writing clearly is an excellent way to improve your organization communication.
4. Follow Your Leader's Lead
Don't try to lead by example if you don't know what you're talking about. When you share information, be sure to follow the lead of your organization leader.
5. Use the Right Channel for the Right Message
Some people think a bunch of verbose emails is the best way to get your point across. An email is good to communicate but it has to be effective.
The issue is, most people in the workplace don't understand the power of technology to improve communication.
Alternatively, you may consider using social media like LinkedIn and Twitter to post videos and updates.
Those will allow you to get information to your team or peers more quickly. Of course, you need to make sure that you're using the right platform to do this.
6. Eye Contact is Key
It is a good idea to make a point of making eye contact when having a conversation with others. The human can mind can process and understand information when we make eye contacts. You can see more communication when there is eye contact.
Eye contact is especially important for long conversation. If you're having a phone conversation, try closing one eye while looking directly into the other. This will help clear your mind and will improve the clarity of your thoughts.
Use Texts to Improve Communication
Texting is a good way to communicate. If you feel comfortable, you can text at times where face to face meetings aren't required. This allows you to write notes and keep track of the conversations you're having.
7. Practice Active Listening – Red Brain Mode
Listening to others is extremely important. Listening is an active verb that requires an active engagement of both the speaker and the listener.
Active listening involves listening with the mind and the ears. You become aware of the emotions of the other person and can easily understand the message being conveyed. Active listening involves listening with your whole body as well as your mind.
To listen to others and improve your communication skills, you must learn to close your eyes sometimes. In the Red Brain Mode, you will place your listening focus on the speaker. As your mind becomes more active you will be able to grasp and interpret what the speaker is saying.
Four Key Benefits of Active Listening
A. It fosters trust and respect.
Active listening skills demonstrate to the other person that you care and are interested in what they say. When people trust you, they are more likely to come to you. This could be a partner, a child or adolescent who wishes to confide in you. Or, that can be a co-worker who wishes to resolve some issues at work.
B. Motivates people to communicate openly
Nonverbal communication skills, such as eye contact, leaning in, or nodding your head, let the other person know you're interested and paying attention. You appear to be interested. This makes the person to be more open and honest.
People are more likely to speak openly if they believe they are being heard.
C. Gives clarity
Clear communication enables people to understand what you intend to convey. Misunderstood communication, coupled with non-transparency can defeat the purpose.
D. Eliminates conflict
Active listening skills can help eliminate conflict, anger and resentment. When we don’t communicate with people, we tend to assume what someone is thinking and feeling. That's a mistake.
If you choose to use active listening skills you will learn, rather than assume, what others are thinking and feeling.
8. Communicate with Patience and Understanding
If you want to improve your communication skills, start by being patient. There is a difference between having patience and being a complainer.
Try to be patient in responding to your coworkers and peers. Remember that everyone has different opinions and ideas. Also, everyone does not have the same personalities and ability deal with stress.
Once you learn to communicate with patience, you will find it easier to build and maintain a positive working environment.
Use Mutual Communication
There are various types of communication in your organization. All of those are to be taken care of, when you meet the challenge of how to improve communication in an organization.
There are short communication, team communication, formal communication, and informal communication.
Although these are different, the concept of mutual communication should be the same.
9. Say I’m Sorry When You Make a Mistake or Misstep
Apologies can disarm people. Apologize to people for all the mistakes you make. Whether they are small or large, an apology can make a world of difference.
An employer should be able to see the value in hiring someone who is willing to admit when they've made a mistake. Do this by apologizing after the event.
That simplifies the situation and shows the employee that you understand the impact their actions have on the business.
Importance of Mutual Respect and Behavior in the Workplace
If there is a fight or a snarky remark that goes on in the workplace, don't allow it to go on. There is no excuse for bad behavior.
It's important to maintain a level of professionalism and be considerate of the people who work for you.
When you focus on how to improve communication is an organization, your 80% battle is already won. You can't achieve perfection in a day because perfection is a continuous process. However, a little progress each day can add to significant improvement over some time.
Here is the summary of what we discussed.
1. Respect everyone's time, including yours.
2. Create a culture of trust across and outside the organization.
3. Be clear and concise in your communication.
4. Follow your leaders.
5. Choose right channel for the right message.
6. Maintain frequent eye contact through the conversation.
7. Practice active listening, When on a phone call, close your eyes to mentally connect with the speaker.
8. Communicate with patience and understanding.
9. Admit if you make any mistakes and say sorry.
Although efficient communication may appear to be a minor aspect of a successful organization, it is one of the most critical components.
Lack of good communication is a simple problem to solve. If you believe your company's communication isn't up to par, take steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Internally and externally, an efficient communication system necessitates a particular level of expertise in receiving and delivering communications.
It is, in a way, the foundation of every successful business.
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