Effective internal communication is vital to the productivity of your company. With the abundance of tools and services available in today’s high-tech workplace, communicating effectively can become somewhat complicated. Below, I’ve compiled a list of tips to improve your communication and keep your company’s operations running smoothly.
1. Use the right channels of communication
In this day and age of advanced technology, there are a number of tools and services available for you to implement into your company. These include email, phone calls, intranet, collaborative tools, newsletters, bulletin boards, and others. Each channel has its own pros and cons, and all of these options can get overwhelming. It is important to choose your method of communication based on your message content and your audience. For example, if your team needs to communicate frequently, I suggest using a collaborative tool like Yammer, Facebook, or Slack. These services allow for instant messages between employees which are usually accompanied by notifications, so people are alerted when someone wants to get in touch with them immediately. On the other hand, email is great for sending large files or lengthy messages, but is ineffective for frequent communication.
2. Communicate clearly
Stay away from sarcasm and innuendos! Although it’s great to be funny, the substance of your message can get lost or misinterpreted in your attempts to make someone laugh. Use words that clearly portray your message. Written communication is less distinct compared to how we speak to each other face to face, so it’s important to make sure your message is understandable.
3. Designate different threads for different topics
When using an internal communication tool or service, It’s very helpful to designate different threads for different topics. For example, you might want to have a thread for general announcements (i.e. when people will be present in the office) and a thread for development specific issues. When only one thread is used for all topics, things can get cluttered and valuable information can get lost.
4. Get rid of unused methods of communication
If you notice that your company has a method of communication that is ineffective or unused by many people, get rid of it. Stick to the channels that you use most often. That way your team saves time because it has fewer places to check for any important information.
5. Utilise team meetings
Team meetings can be very effective when utilised correctly because they’re a form of face to face communication, which allows for the interpretation of tone and body language. Meetings keep everyone involved on the same page and gives team members a chance to provide their input. At teambay, we have team meetings every Friday, and they allow us to check in on our short and long term goals and help us work better together. It is important, however, to make sure you have someone taking minutes or jotting down notes during the meeting. Sometimes, a lot of content can be covered and you don’t want to rely on your memory of what you thought you heard. Being able to read a quick summary is always helpful.
6. Be Proactive
Although you might hold your colleagues in high regard, it’s never safe to assume that they can remember everything. They have their own agendas and are focused on their own issues, just like you are. So be proactive in your communication and don’t be afraid to send out frequent reminders or updates. Although it might feel repetitive, you don’t want to risk any important information being forgotten.
It’s clear that effective communication improves productivity and facilitates operations within the company. With good communication comes a heightened level of cooperation between employees that makes people work together more efficiently. One simple way to improve your internal communication is by using teambay, an online survey platform that establishes a continuous dialogue about workplace issues between managers and their employees.
Author: Alex Weitzel