6 Best Ways to Have Better Communication in the Office
People who work in offices have a lot of unique challenges. Whether you’re a manager trying to keep your team happy or just an employee who wants to make things better, improving communication at work is always a good idea.
For most people, the idea of being more communicative at work makes them cringe. It sounds like something that would be annoying and take up even more time than we already spend at our desks.
However, having stronger communication skills in the office is essential for keeping stress levels low and working as efficiently as possible. The ability to communicate with other employees—and even outside vendors—is one of the most important skills you can have as an office employee.
Here are 6 ways you can improve communication in your office so everyone has a better work experience.
Use digital communication tools
Every industry is going digital, and offices are no exception. You’ll want to make sure you’re using digital tools to communicate with employees, clients, and vendors. For example, if you have a team that’s working remotely, you’ll want to use a tool like Agora to make sure your connection is secured and optimized. You can also use Google Docs or another similar platform to collaborate on projects with your colleagues.
If you work in a big company, you might also want to look into things like Microsoft Teams to keep everything organized. Digital communication tools can help you keep everything organized and make sure you don’t miss important updates, dates, or deadlines.
Communicate during the hiring process
Communication during the hiring process is one of the most important ways to improve communication at work. When you’re looking to bring on a new employee, you don’t just put out a job posting and start interviewing candidates. You need to know exactly what you want, what the job entails, and what the company culture is like. Then, you can systematically compare all candidates objectively on the same data points to ensure a fair and efficient hiring process.
That means taking some time to talk about everything and write out what you’d like in an ideal candidate, what you want this person to do, and what your working environment is like. Once you have that information, it’s a lot easier to communicate your needs to other people.
Hold effective meetings
Meetings are one of the most important ways to communicate in the workplace, but a lot of people misuse them. If you’re holding a meeting, the first thing you need to do is make sure everyone who needs to be there is in the room. This includes people like your administrative assistant, who is often overlooked when it comes to scheduling meetings.
You should also invest some time in making sure everyone knows what the meeting is about and what they need to do after it ends. If all of your employees are clear about why they’re there and what they have to do next, you’ll be able to move through meetings a lot more quickly, which means everyone can get back to work faster.
Establish office rules
No matter what type of office you work in, there are probably some rules you should follow to keep things running smoothly. Depending on your company, you may have strict rules about when you can take vacation time or how you should handle asking for time off.
You might also have to follow certain rules about what you can and cannot do at the office, like what you can eat at your desk or whether or not you can have pets there.
When you’re starting out, you’ll want to learn these rules and follow them as closely as possible. This will help you fit in with your new team and avoid unnecessary office conflict.
Have an open-door policy
No matter how strict your office rules or how well you communicate with your team, you’re bound to run into some problems. When those problems happen, you can use your open-door policy to iron out any issues you have.
An open-door policy means you’re always available to talk to your employees, no matter how big or small the problem is. In fact, you should be the person who goes to your employees when they have problems.
If you’re always willing to listen and help solve issues—no matter how small—you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary stress. If you’re not sure whether you should go talk to an employee about a problem, you can use the open-door policy to clear up any confusion. Just make sure to be respectful of their time, so they know you’re not wasting it.
Don’t be afraid to discipline employees
Communication is a two-way street, and that means you’ll have to enforce the rules you set at some point. When you have to discipline an employee for a mistake they made, make sure you have a clear plan for how you’re going to handle it.
When an employee does something wrong, you have a few options. You can skip the discipline and move on, you can issue a warning, or you can issue a punishment.
Finally, make sure you communicate with your employees about why you’re all working together. This might seem silly, but it can actually help you improve communication at work in a lot of ways. If you have a company mission statement, vision statement, or values, employees will feel like they’re working towards a common goal, which can help reduce office stress.
If you want your employees to feel like they’re part of something bigger, you need to be a part of that conversation. And if you aren’t communicating with your team, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.