Communication is one of the easiest but also most challenging issues in the workplace. Success and Failure have always been linked to how effective communication is. Communicating is challenging, but leaders need to be on top of it. Here are 4 approaches for you to build up the quality of communication at work:
- Use the right channel with the type of information
Giving out a message will be more effective if the right channel is being used depending on the type of information being sent.
- Use phone calls for specific, lengthy, and tough conversations.
- Use email for short and instructional information.
- Use chat for general announcements, socializing and informal communication
- Use Video calls (Zoom, FaceTime, Teams, etc.) for lengthy and touch conversations
2. Match the communication
Make sure to respond to the communication using the same channel it was received. For example, if an employee receives a text from his supervisor, the employee should not call the supervisor but rather match the communication by sending back a text. Sometimes alternating the type of communication might be needed but always make sure to make a recap on what was discussed on the 1st communication channel.
3. Set communication expectations
Take charge of informing your team on how they should connect with you and others. For example, an employee mentioned that they would prefer text or chat while you would prefer a phone call or Zoom video call.
4. Establish a formal communication arrangement for the whole company
Establishing a communication agreement company-wide is useful since it will help create formal instruction on how the company employees should communicate with one another.
Clear guidelines on how to communicate is important in today’s digitized and technology-savvy world. A communication agreement would aid in setting expectations, creating a team buy-in, and establishing limits to protect critical jobs and ensure smooth-running communication.
Here are some questions to ask to gain common consent among your employees:
- What is the team’s most-used communication channel?
Ex: Email is the most-used communication.
- Are there communications that need to be prioritized?
Ex: Communications from existing or possible customers should be highly-prioritized.
- What are the expectations for response times to email, phone, text, chat, etc.?
Ex: Email response time expectations should be 24 to 48 hours. If communication is needed urgently, then use text or chat as the response time expectations are 15 to 30 minutes only.
Don’t forget to also create a separate agreement for external communications with clients and vendors. Now if everyone is clear on how to communicate, you’ll be able to successfully lead your employees.