Blog Post

5 simple tips to boost workplace communication

Effective communication in the workplace is integral to the success of any business, with poor communication often resulting in both a frustrated and an inefficient workforce.

Those businesses that demonstrate and encourage the best possible communication skills enjoy a whole host of benefits from both a financial and company culture perspective.

  • Improves Teamwork – inefficient communication in group projects can often create barriers. Instead teamwork can be simplified and improved by shaking up your existing communication practices and taking an alternative, effective approach.
  • Boosts Creativity – Creative projects always benefit from a good old fashioned brainstorming session. And you’ll find that with an improved stance on communication, your team will be encouraged to think and express their ideas freely.
  • Increases Efficiency – Clear and understandable communication reduces the amount of time wasted trying to interpret unclear instructions or waiting for answers to a list of follow up questions.
  • Balances Decision Making – Giving your team a say in some decisions, helps them feel more valued and engaged whilst also giving you a more well-rounded perspective. And this, in turn, leads to fewer mistakes and improved employee engagement. 
  • Encourages Knowledge Sharing – A company that encourages healthy communication is less likely to have to spend capital on basic training requirements. Staff feel more comfortable asking each other for help and sharing the skills they’ve picked up.

Although many of us think we communicate to a good level, how do we know if our co-workers or the team around us feel the same?

Here are our top 5 tips to help you easily implement high quality, effective communication in your business.

1. Speak to colleagues face-to-face where possible

Did you know that according to a famous study by Albert Mehrabian on non-verbal communication, only 7% of communication is verbal?

38% is the tone and inflection and a staggering 55% of communication is based on body language!

So, with so many of us working remotely and communicating primarily via email and messaging services like Slack, certain aspects of a message can easily be lost or misinterpreted.

By fully utilising services like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom to enable face-to-face communication as much as possible, you’ll find clarity and understanding is improved, leading to increased efficiencies. 

2. Adapt your method to reflect the audience

Avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to workplace communication. Just because one of your colleagues prefers to be contacted via email doesn’t mean another will be. They may be much more comfortable jumping on a Zoom Call to discuss a new project with you.

Try suggesting that the person you’re contacting decides on the method of communication you use next time you speak.

And if you have a preference of your own, then take it in turns to push you both a little out of your comfort zones and build confidence with using alternative modes of communication. 

3. Listen rather than hear

Going beyond hearing and actually listening is a clear characteristic of good communication skills. It’s important to take in what is being said to you because, after all, it’s being said for a reason.

Listening requires you to focus on what is being said and offering up your full attention. It requires engagement, often through follow-up questions for full clarity.

It also requires the suspension of judgement; others may be less likely to be open and honest if they believe their thoughts and opinions will be dismissed or judged.

Instead of just waiting for your turn to speak, find meaning in what is being communicated to you. Form a reply that advances the conversation through a thoughtful question or your own valid opinion.

And, remember to pay attention not only to what is being said but also how it is being said.

4. Utilise non-verbal communication

With research suggesting that 55% of communication is based on body language. A person who can non-verbally convey their interest and investment in what another is talking about, becomes someone who is trusted and respected in the workplace.

In a physical workplace, this might look like nodding your head as a concept is explained to you, or adopting open body language.

But with so many of us now spending more time working away from the traditional office environment, this could be also be expressed as an appropriately-placed emoji or smiley face to convey excitement or happiness.

5. Keep criticisms constructive

If you work at a senior level, it’s likely that you’re in a position where you’ll be giving feedback to junior team members. 

Unconstructive criticisms can lower morale and dampen creativity so, when reviewing another person’s work, remember to:

  • Refer to specific elements rather than the project as a whole.
  • Suggest how their work can be improved.
  • Balance the positives with negatives.

If you’re receiving feedback from a co-worker:

  • Try not to take their comments personally.
  • Take notes so you can refer back to what they’ve said.
  • Consider the value of this person’s experience in relation to their opinion.

Take a fresh approach to training and development

Learning and development is vital for the continual success of any business. But “off the shelf” training programmes don’t always make the changes you want to see.

That’s why at Puritas we offer bespoke training solutions that put you and your people at the heart of everything we do. Enhancing skills and performance for the long-term.

Book your free consultation here or give us a call on 01473 760692 to find out more.