By Bond Collective Staff
Communication in the workplace is an essential component of your business’s success. Without it, you can’t build strong teams, finish projects successfully, or grow your business in the face of challenges.
But even basic communication is a nebulous quality that can be difficult to implement and perfect.
In this article, we’ll make communication in the workplace more tangible and give you five ways to improve the communication in your office.
What Is Workplace Communication?
At its most fundamental, workplace communication is simply the exchange of information and ideas between one or more individuals who work for the same company or organization.
But communication in the workplace goes well beyond simply trading information back and forth. In business, it’s about the effectiveness of your words rather than just the words themselves.
When you send a message, are your team members receiving that message accurately? Does the person on the opposite end understand how this information affects them or what they need to do?
If you answered no to either of those questions, you need to work on improving the effectiveness of your communication rather than throwing more information at the other person.
Making your communication clear and concise can drastically improve the way your teams and your business work. Here’s how.
Why Communication In The Workplace Matters
1) Builds A Strong Team
Strong teams produce strong results. And few things bring a team together like effective communication.
When your team members consult with each other (and you), bounce ideas off each other, consider novel opinions, and discuss their progress, they are more likely to coalesce as one unit rather than a conglomeration of disparate elements.
Communication in the workplace makes that “one-for-all-and-all-for-one” attitude possible.
2) Avoids Confusion
When you exercise effective communication, you can avoid the confusion that sometimes comes with managing a team.
You’ll be able to delegate tasks, manage conflict, build relationships, and motivate your team members clearly and concisely so that everyone knows what they are supposed to do the first time you explain it.
Not only does that save time, but it also saves the individual irritation that team members feel when they’re confused about instructions, tasks, or responsibilities.
3) Promotes Innovation
Innovation relies on creativity and feeling free to express that creativity to others. When your team members are reluctant to share their ideas because of poor communication practices in the workplace, innovation suffers.
If you promote effective communication and keep the lines of discourse open between all individuals on the team, everyone will feel free to be more creative and to pass their thoughts on to others.
That’s good for your team and for your business.
4) Stimulates Growth
Poor communication hampers business growth. Effective communication, on the other hand, stimulates growth because it eliminates uncertainty and doubt.
When your team members are clear on what you want them to do and convinced as to its efficacy, they will be more likely to work through processes and projects at a rapid pace rather than getting hung up on roadblocks and speed bumps along the way.
Without those obstacles slowing everything down, your business can grow like never before.
5) Gives Everyone A Voice
The engagement and satisfaction that your team members experience rely heavily on whether or not they believe their voice is being heard.
Effective communication in the workplace provides that outlet so that everyone feels they have a say in how things get done.
When each member of the team feels valued and that they are a part of something bigger, the way they think about their job — and their performance within that position — improves drastically.
How To Improve Communication In The Workplace
1) Explain Your Decisions
Team members may feel free to share their ideas, but if you dismiss those ideas out of hand — even if for legitimate reasons — communication suffers because no one knows why the good idea their co-worker shared didn’t get traction.
It’s true that sometimes what looks like a good idea won’t work because of other, unperceived variables. But when you know about those variables and don’t tell anyone, the team as a whole suffers.
Make it a point to explain your decisions to avoid this breakdown in communication. Tell your team why a certain idea won’t work or why a proposed process improvement isn’t feasible.
Armed with that information, they can then begin looking for ways to overcome the obstacle.
2) Ensure That Your Message Is Clear And Accessible
Clarity and accessibility are vital if you want to preserve the lines of communication in your business. To achieve this, speak plainly and in a way that is easily understandable (accessible) to your intended audience.
Give clear and polite commands when necessary and avoid ambiguous language whenever possible. Refrain from using jargon unless team members use it often and it simplifies the communication process.
It will take some practice to achieve clarity and accessibility in all of your workplace communication, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice.
3) Deliver Understandable, Achievable Goals
Whenever you’re giving instructions or outlining goals, make sure each member of your team understands — and is capable of achieving — those objectives.
Failing to do so puts undue pressure on your team and can undermine the success of a project. Before revealing your plan to the team, write down what you want to say and review it for clarity and accessibility.
Is the purpose of the goal obvious with the knowledge your team members have? Does the goal need a great deal of explanation? Can you refine what you say to make your meaning more understandable?
Once you’ve refined your words to be as clear as you can make them, ask another manager or your supervisor to review the goals and see if you can improve the message.
4) Choose The Right Medium
Communication in the workplace takes many forms. From email to IMs to hard-copy memos to face-to-face delivery — there’s a best-possible format for different types of messages.
If you need to communicate a quick reminder about a due date, a simple instant message or printed memo on everyone’s desk is effective. But for major changes in policy and procedure, a face-to-face meeting is best.
When considering which medium to use, take a few moments to think about how you would feel receiving the information. Would email make it feel too impersonal? Would hard copy be better for record-keeping purposes?
Pairing your workplace communication with the right medium for the job ensures that your team receives and perceives the message the way you intended.
5) Encourage Progress Reports And Updates
As a manager, you can encourage progress reports and updates as a way to keep yourself informed but also as a way to keep everyone involved with the team and the business.
This is especially vital when you’re coordinating a remote workforce, but it’s also very effective at forging strong bonds between team members working side by side in the same office.
Effective Communication Begins With Where You Work
Where you work — your office environment — has just as much of an influence on communication as do the suggestions above. If you’re constantly worried about maintaining your office space, communication will suffer.
At Bond Collective, we’ve designed our workspaces with your team’s communication, engagement, and productivity in mind.
Each of our shared office environments incorporates inspiring design elements like natural light, open floor plans, vivid colors, and multipurpose workspaces to facilitate communication and motivate your team to greatness.
We provide all of the tools your team needs to get the job done right the first time, such as:
Free black-and-white printing and copying
Access to conference rooms, private booths, and social areas
Photo and sound studio (Gowanus only)
Guest reception and greeting
Regular on-site cleaning
We even go the extra mile to provide amenities you can’t find anywhere else, like:
Complimentary beer, coffee, tea, water, and fresh fruit
Other food and beverages for sale
Rooftop lounge area
Curated and networking events
So, if you’re looking for a workspace that allows you to focus on improving communication rather than the day-to-day details of maintaining an office, consider becoming a member of Bond Collective.
Visit any one of Bond Collective’s many locations in the United States, including workspaces in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas. Or call us to find out more about everything we have to offer.
And to learn more about the advantages of coworking spaces for digital nomads, remote workers, and businesses of all kinds, visit BondCollective.com today.