The relationship a leader has with their team forges the success or otherwise of a business, writes Brandon Pena in his ‘Five tips for effective workplace communication’, for Entrepreneur.
Communicating the requirements and goals of a company in an effective and constructive manner builds rapport that helps achieve and surpass those goals: It’s that simple. It increases productivity and inspires teams to become more involved and feel empowered to contribute.
Pena cites five ways of encouraging effective communication:
Have the right tools
Whether it’s WhatsApp, Zoom or a simple phone call, finding out which platform team members prefer to use makes them feel empowered and ensures an open flow of information. A collaborative approach helps operations run smoothly and team members feel supported.
Be specific when giving feedback
Employees often need to make quick and important decisions, and knowing they can ask for help and receive concise feedback gives them confidence. Ensure team members feel heard, understood and valued in meetings, which should provide constructive moments of assessment and reflection. It’s also important to recognize success and celebrate a job well done, even if its followed by, “next time, handle it differently”. Strive to create a safe space for conversation and expression where all sides of an issue can be addressed fairly and equally.
Involve teams in decision making
Whether it’s providing a vote on new products or changes, suggesting new ideas or ways of improving workflow, your team’s opinions matter, so take them into account. Give them a voice and let them say what isn’t working and soliciting collective solutions to problems.
Identify and support group leaders
Maintaining direct communication with every team member at all levels isn’t always going to be possible once a business grows (after all, you have a job to do, too). Identify group leaders who can handle some of the work for you, as long as you identify who they are to the staff and how everyone can reach them, then train them to manage groups in line with your way of working. Ensure everyone knows these leaders are your direct representatives, and that their requests and comments are passed on. Creating sub-groups allows self-management, reducing individuals’ workload and making it easier for you to monitor performance — streamlining an ever-growing business.
Team building activities are a good way to boost morale and foster strong relationships, create a dynamic working environment and make people feel safer in expressing their issues. Events such as a field day, games night, birthday or holiday celebrations provide an opportunity to socialise, build trust, confidence and communication. We often spend more time with co-workers than our own families, so strong relationships at work are vitally important.
Investing in your people is always a good idea.
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Empower yourself and your team