Communication. This is something we do with each other every day. We talk for a variety of reasons, but each time we talk, we are communicating information from one person to another that can help us in some way or another. In the workplace, a lot of communication goes into creating good team bonds, securing new clients, strengthening customer relationships, resolving issues or disputes, collaborating on projects and so much more. You’re going to have to ensure that your business enables communication to the best of its ability to maximise its success. But how can you go about doing this? Well, the answer is that there are a number of steps you can take to promote good communication in your workplace. Here are a few suggestions that could help you to achieve this important goal!
Creating Clear Rules and Guidelines
Communication in the workplace can range dramatically. It can be lighthearted and fun, it can be serious and professional, it can be highly productive, it can be laid back and relaxed… the list goes on. Communication differs according to different situations and circumstances. But you should set some clear rules and guidelines regarding what forms of communication at work are acceptable and what are not. This can help to prevent disputes and larger scale problems that could damage your company and team. Make sure that you come up with clear rules about what is acceptable and what isn’t at work. When staff talk to each other, you may want to request that they don’t swear, that they always maintain a respectful tone and that nobody crosses personal boundaries, making others feel uncomfortable. It’s generally best to write this information down in a code of practice for the company, so you can hold people who break the rules accountable.
Offering Staff Training
Of course, your staff are going to talk to individuals outside of your company too. This is particularly true for customer service agents who need to resolve customer queries, complaints and more. It’s important that you offer comprehensive staff training on how you want your team to communicate with members of the public and customers who want to discuss your brand and its products or services. This can ensure that you maintain a consistent tone of voice and style of speaking that will be associated with your company. It can also provide staff with information that can come in useful, such as the answers to commonly asked questions. Create a training programme that will ensure all staff know exactly how to respond to customers, including those who may be angry or upset.
Investing in the Right Tools
Now, we are living in a digital age. Nowadays, more and more communication is being done using different tools and technology, rather than on a face to face basis. This is increasingly common when your staff are working remotely and away from the office. It’s important that you provide your team with all the communication tools they need to thrive. Here are some examples that you might want to invest in.
Phone call is one of the most easy and straightforward ways for people to talk to one another when they are at a distant from one another. Your team may need to call clients, business partners, customers, other team members or anyone else while they are working. This is where a VoIP phone will come in useful. VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol and is a form of phone that uses the internet to make calls. You may also hear it referred to as a Cloud Phone. It is more secure than other forms of phone call, helping to keep information and data private, and also often comes at a lower cost – especially if your team are going to be making international calls.
Instant Messaging Software
Whether your team are working in office or working from home, it’s important that you offer some sort of instant messaging software for them to use. Popular options tend to include Microsoft Teams and Slack. These are professional platforms where you staff can hold user accounts and get in touch with each other by message, simply and easily. It can encourage general chatting between your team members, strengthening team bonds, but it can also serve as a good way for your team to pass on messages when they are working from home, or to pass on messages when they can see someone is in a meeting or busy, allowing them to check back later.
Video Call Software
Video calls have grown massively in popularity since the rise of the pandemic. When people are working in different locations from one another, a video call can allow them to speak and see one another, in a very similar way to how they would when talking in person. Video call software can ensure that people see one another’s facial expressions and body language while talking, reducing miscommunication and offering a more personal experience. There are many options, with platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack having video chat options included, but the most popular platform by far at the moment is Zoom.
One of the more professional modes of communication is email. All of your staff should have email accounts set up. Ideally, their email address will be organisational, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This gives emails a more authoritative and professional look and feel. This can give customers, clients or partners more faith and confidence in messages received from this address. You may want to create email footers for your staff with your business name and logo, as well as contact details in.
If you’re going to offer staff digital means of communication, you need to make sure that they also receive cybersecurity training. This can prevent cybercriminals from targeting your business and causing problems. Cover things like phishing and make sure that staff never respond to unknown email addresses or click links they haven’t expected.
These are just a few tips and tricks when it comes to managing communication well in your business. Hopefully, they’ll work for you and can help to keep the ball rolling when it comes to effective and productive communication between you, your employees and anyone you come into professional contact with.
Image Credits: Negative Space