Improving Workplace Communications

John Krautzel
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Whether you're the CEO, an IT manager, an administrative assistant or the director of human resources, workplace relationships are an important part of your day. The way you communicate with your boss, subordinates, colleagues and business partners helps determine the success of the organization and even the course of your career. Consider these six tips to improve communication in your office.

1. Identify the Issues

Before you attempt to improve communications in your workplace, you must first determine what the issues are. If your employees aren't coming to you directly with problems, assess your management style. When workers do approach you with issues, always address them in a fair, honest and reasonable way. Come to a suitable compromise, or make a change to resolve the employee's problem.

2. Watch Your Mouth

Be careful how you respond to employees when they come to you with a problem. Don't dismiss a worker's problem without hesitation. Instead, hear the employee out, and consider making changes to improve the issue.

3. Discover Each Employee's Needs

To improve communication in your office, evaluate your workplace's current communication methods. Determine how well they align with employees' needs. Are some workers left out of the loop? Are your communications reaching employees who spend their days behind the computer screen or in the field? If so, upgrade your communication methods to ensure each employee stays in the loop.

4. Determine the Appropriate Channel

Using a variety of communication methods improves communication around the office and helps you reach workers who may feel they're missing out on vital information. Send a detailed email to announce a new policy, and follow it up with a brief text alert that provides pertinent details. Post a copy of the new policy on the employee bulletin board to ensure it's visible to everyone.

5. Keep the Message Consistent

When you communicate information to employees through various channels, make sure the message is consistent. Some employees may require a personal, customized email, while others might require a phone call or memo. Make sure the information through one communication channel does not conflict with details in another.

6. Don't Overload Your Employees

Regardless of what method of communication you choose to disseminate information to employees, you can improve communication by making sure the details are manageable. Break wordy policies down into brief, easy-to-read sentences., and allow employees to access messages when it's most convenient for them so they have the time and attention to process the information.

Successful workplace relationships rely on clear communication from a variety of channels. To improve communication in your organization, get to know your employees, and find out which communication methods work best for each department. Make sure each message is consistent across all channels.

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