Communication is a skill often overlooked: perhaps because it’s a necessary and natural thing, we forget to reflect upon the way in which we communicate at work. With improvements in this area come improvements elsewhere: Lilli Hender, from workplace experts OfficeGenie.co.uk, explains how productivity and morale (and more!) can be boosted by better communication.
Why is it important?
When a company is past the chaotic start-up stage, generally the more method you can have in the madness, the better. Effective communication helps to ensure the smooth running of a business and there are a few areas in particular that benefit from it:
Productivity and efficiency
In order to get the best out of someone, they need to know what it is they’re expected to do. This requires clarity on the part of the employer and comprehension on the part of the employee: both of which rely on good speaking and listening skills.
This is true of many workplace issues: the sooner a problem is discussed and understood, the sooner a solution can be found. Business owners often talk about the need for everyone to be ‘on the same page’, this can only happen when the ‘page’ is communicated well.
A happy life in the workplace depends very much on good communication but comfortable and pleasant surroundings should not be overlooked when it comes to productivity and efficiency. Calibre Office Furnitureprovide modern and stylish office solutions that offer both comfort and functionality.
Team building and working relationships
There are a variety of ways to create and strengthen bonds with clients and co-workers; the simplest way is to aim for pleasant (and productive) interactions. People like to feel valued and if you can get that across in your communications, you’ll have a better working relationship.
Success comes when people manage to create a genuine connection while, crucially, remaining professional. Working life is much easier when everyone gets along - or at least makes an effort!
Office Genie’s research into productivity found that praise came in well above fear when it comes to motivating staff. This suggests that positive communication is far more effective possible scaremongering techniques.
Morale and motivation
The workplace should be a place in which staff feel comfortable and, in an ideal scenario, look forward to spending time. People are more likely to feel this way if they have healthy working relationships and feel clear (and happy) about their role within the company.
Paying attention to the staff general health and wellbeing will also help improve morale in the workplace. The modern workstation should feature well designed ergonomic office chairs and desks, including executive office desks, which offer practicality. No-one looks forward to a day in the office if the furniture is not fit for purpose, uncomfortable or even falling apart.
There are a few things you can do to develop your workplace communication skills; if you abide by the following advice, you shouldn’t go far wrong:
Communication is a two-way interaction: remember to listen
Don’t underestimate the impact of body language
If you’re unsure about something, there’s no harm in double checking
Be clear: in person, on the phone, and via email
Reread emails before you press send! If this is a real problem, you can add an email delay to allow for any revisions
Feedback is important: make sure it’s constructive
If you spend time with them outside working hours, they’re still your colleagues so remember to treat them as such
Small talk helps working relationships tick over - but don’t let yourself get too distracted to work
Counting to ten (or 100) before responding can help when things are getting heated
The first step towards improving communication is acknowledging its importance. It should arguably be an organic process, but taking measures to boost communication skills will no doubt pay off: try the tips and see for yourself!
Lilli Hender is staff writer at OfficeGenie.co.uk: a desk and office space marketplace for freelancers, start-ups and SMEs.