Although it might seem like a cliche, the reality is that communication forms the basis for any good relationship, including relationships in a business environment. Unless you work totally alone, communication is going to play a vital role in the functioning of your business. Here are some ways you can go about improving communications between you and the people you work with.
One really big issue people encounter at work is how everyone uses different communication tools to varying degrees. Some text, some call, some use e-mail, others prefer in-person interaction, and on occasion people communicate through sticky notes. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with using a plethora of communications tools, the reality is that it’s kind of difficult for people to get all the information they need to function at their peak during work hours if information transfer is disjointed. A good solution to this is to encourage employees to primarily use a single communications tool, such as an internet-based application, so everyone’s on the same page.
Take Advantage of eLearning Platforms
While the definition of what communication is and exactly how it works might seem obvious, the reality is that it’s a complicated subject that most people aren’t as well versed in as they could be. Although there are many ways you can go about teaching communications skills, one of the best ways is to take advantage of customized eLearning seminars and courses. There are a large number of companies and services out there which specialize in teaching people how to properly communicate within a workplace environment and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t have benefits for your small business as well.
Don’t Dawdle When It Comes to Getting Back to People
Not everyone likes responding to emails or calls regularly, especially when they’re working, but one of the worst things you can do in a group setting is to take too long to get back to people. There are a couple reasons why, but one of the most significant is that it makes other people’s jobs more difficult. Most individuals rarely go out of their way to ask questions of others, so in all likelihood, when someone is getting into contact with you, it’s usually something they really need to know about. Additionally, not responding quickly to people’s communications can cause resentment, especially if it’s done with regularity.
Reduce the Number of Workplace Distractions
Especially when it comes to any sort of in-person communications, having immediate distractions in your environment can make it difficult to understand what people are talking about. Loud noises, television screens, outside conversations, and physical constraints all add to potential reasons why you might be distracted while either communicating something to someone else or if someone is communicating something to you.
This can make it difficult to have your concerns heard or might contribute to others thinking you’re not taking their input seriously as you don’t appear as engaged in what they’re saying. That’s why it’s important to have access to an open, quiet, aesthetically sparse environment to really maximize the efficacy of communication.
Format Documents So Everyone Can Use and Read Them
One of the most detrimental things you can do in a work environment is for everyone to work on things that exist in completely different formats. This isn’t always an issue, but especially if your small business involves a lot of multifaceted practices like data analysis, video editing, photograph manipulation, and PR, it’s likely that employees will frequently format documents in ways that other people can’t use. This is why it’s important to make sure everyone in a workspace is using the same type of document formatting; otherwise, communication can become overly complex, cumbersome, and excessive.
Improving The Workspace at Your Business
Communication isn’t just important for the sake of convenience or efficiency, it’s indispensable for business growth. It’s very rare that a business operation can remain exactly the same for years on end while also still remaining competitive. One of the best ways to facilitate necessary changes is to have clear lines of communication so improvements can be made slowly over time.