Communication is crucial to facilitating teamwork, productivity, employee satisfaction, and other important factors of success. Creating an organizational culture that promotes open communication between employees and between departments is a lofty goal — and though achieving this can be quite the challenge, it is well worth the effort. Below, you will find a brief guide to promoting communication in your business:
HR and Company Culture
Your human resources department plays an important role in setting the tone for how your business will operate. For example:
- Hire Wisely. Prioritizing strong communication abilities, leadership, and other so-called soft skills will help cultivate the company culture you aspire to. Craft your hiring standards to reflect such values, and organize interviews in a manner that allows candidates to demonstrate such talents.
- Emphasize Training. Possessing a thorough understanding of your duties — in addition to a fundamental understanding of your coworkers’ duties — is a prerequisite to becoming a team player. In-depth training produces employees who are confident, knowledgeable, and well-versed in industry jargon, factors which make such workers far more likely to communicate their opinions and voice their doubts openly.
- Utilize Company Policy. As the employer, you have the right to lay down certain ground rules regarding employee expectations and day-to-day policies. Wield this power wisely. Companies that reward success rather than punishing failure, for example, tend to boast organizational cultures that are far more communicative. After all, an employee who thinks that asking a superior for help will lead to good performance (and therefore a reward) will probably ask — an employee who thinks that asking a superior for help will draw attention to her shortcomings (and therefore lead to a reprimand) is more likely to mask the issue for as long as possible, complicating the situation more than ever.
Developing a culture of communication starts with you. Here are a few ways you can lead and inspire your team:
- Practice What You Preach. If you actively listen to the opinions of others, openly share your own thoughts, and act as a model of businesslike communication, then your employees will probably follow suit. On the other hand, if you appear totally uninterested in the thoughts, opinions, and observations that your employees bring to the table, then don’t expect them to continue sharing.
- Handle Conflict Gracefully. Have a disagreement with an employee? Prioritize respect and seek mutual understanding. Is your company experiencing conflict between employees or departments? Offer solution-oriented mediation. One common reason why people fail to communicate is because they fear an unpleasant confrontation. Use your position of leadership to create an environment in which disagreements are handled professionally and employees will be far more willing to share.
- Keep Your Office Door Open. This symbolic act is one of the simplest yet most psychologically effective ways of encouraging employees to bring their thoughts and concerns to you.
The Role of Technology
In this day and age, technology can help organizations address virtually any issue, from increasing sales, to improving customer service, reducing operating costs and much more. Facilitating communication is no exception — as the following tech-based solutions to common communication issues demonstrate:
Software-based Communication Solutions. Systems such as UC-One by Epik Networks can facilitate fast, clear communication by allowing for screen sharing, instant messaging, synchronized call logs, and a variety of other features across multiple devices.
Smartphone Integration. Connect user smartphones to your organizational systems to accommodate user mobility and personalized flexibility.
Fast and Reliable Connection. In today’s world, internet connections are the catalysts of most communication — investing in a high speed fiber optic network at your place of business could make a world of difference for you, your employees, and your customers.
Learn more about how tech can improve organizational communication by visiting Epik Networks online today!