Great workplace communication is essential for an informed and connected workforce. Unfortunately, many firms communicate primarily by word-of-mouth messages that are sometimes less than accurate or wordy emails that are easily overlooked. With over 70 percent of employees stating that they want better workplace communication, it is worth the time it takes to improve your methods for sharing information. Here are some guidelines to get you started.
Research Employee Needs
Before you make changes to your current communication protocols, take some time to do some research. Survey your employees about their needs. Find out how your current workplace communication methods are working. Are they reaching some people but not others? What characteristics do those groups have in common? Then, take a look at how your employees spend their time. For example, employees who sit in front of a computer all day might be happy with email messages, but those who are always on the go might prefer more mobile friendly options for obtaining and sharing information.
Use Multiple Channels
The best way to reach workers with different work patterns is to use a variety of workplace communication methods. For example, if you need to let employees know about the open enrollment period for health insurance, go ahead and compose an email, but also send out a mass text to everyone's mobile device to ensure no one is left out. You can also post notices on bulletin boards and in-house social media accounts.
Focus on Reliability and Cohesiveness
Regularly evaluate your workplace communication and focus on improving the methods that work the best. Oftentimes, personalized messages are the most reliable, and digital tools make it easier than ever to customize messages. A busy employee is likely to ignore a mass email but is likely to read a personalized message sent over a dedicated communication app. When sending messages to the same employees through multiple channels, keep the information cohesive. Use the same catch phrases and graphics to reinforce the message.
Keep Information Manageable
Your employees are bombarded with information everyday, so keep messages brief, and use short sentences and paragraphs to ensure the messages are easy to read. Make sure that employees can access the information in their own time in their own ways. This helps give workers control over their information stream while still ensuring access to vital data. Flexible but reliable communication methods work well in organizations that embrace flexible company culture patterns.
Better workplace communication starts with knowing more about how your employees spend their time and their personal communication preferences. After doing your research, begin your improvements by creating multiple communication channels that present cohesive information in small, easily digestible portions. Using contemporary workplace communication apps and mobile-first policies for important messages can make communication more effective among colleagues.
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