By Joe Fortunato
Whether it’s in a tiny cubicle or a wide-open area, every office could improve the way people communicate in their establishment. Communicating makes everything run smoothly, so it’s extremely important that everyone has a way to contact each other. Here are a few effective ways to improve office communication.
Get New Phones for Everyone
Having a policy that allows employees to be on their phone at work, as well as providing them with a company issued phone, is the best way to improve communication. Even better, pre-load the phones with everyone’s contact numbers on them. If a problem arises, they can communicate with the person directly. Most major brands offer great deal to companies looking to launch a company-wide mobile device plan Inter-office communication can be greatly improved by to giving everyone in the place the newest technology, enhancing their ability to tackle problems quickly with new approaches.
Break the Walls Down
A huge barrier that exists in corporate America is the massive amount of walls that we put between each other. Reduce that amount by opening everything up. Ditch the cubicle walls and have an open environment between everyone, from the new intern right up to the CEO. By doing this, you’ll create an environment where everyone’s on a level playing field, making it easier for people to talk to each other.
Deliver the Message Across Multiple Channels
Don’t ever let “Oh, I didn’t see the e-mail!” be an excuse again. If a huge announcement is coming up, deliver the message across multiple channels, such as an e-mail, a conference call, daily reminders, and voicemails. By hammering the message home, there’s no way that an employee could miss the memo.
If you decide to hold a meeting, institute a “no technology” policy. With so many devices available today, it has become habit to pull one out and browse the Internet to combat boredom. By removing that option, you’ll force people to pay attention to the message that you’re trying to deliver.
Ask for Feedback
Sometimes, you’re not going to get the feedback that you’re looking for. Thanks to a weak economy, many are afraid to publicly speak up out of fear of losing their job. To combat this, you should consider offering an anonymous suggestion form. This will give workers the opportunity to speak their mind behind a veil of anonymity. Who knows, they may actually have a useful suggestion instead of a common complaint.
Trust That They’ll do a Good Job
One of the worst things an employee can encounter is a micromanager. You know the type—doesn’t think anyone can do a great job, thinks they have to oversee everything, and sometimes, will even stand over your shoulder as you work. Don’t be that person! When you back off and let the employees take care of everything, they’ll usually get things completed properly.
You’ll need to routinely analyze work performance, though. One bad link in the entire chain can bring everyone down. Give them space to breathe, and if they have any questions, they’ll come to you. Sometimes, the best way to improve communication is by not having communication at all.
Have Employees Install a Messenger Program
If you’re in an office where everyone’s on the Internet at once, why not have everyone install a messenger program? This will allow messages to be sent back and forth to employees instantly, allowing them to talk privately and securely. Most messenger programs have webcam support now, so if your employees need to have an immediate conference, they’ll be able to, regardless of where they are in the office.
Hold a Weekly Meeting
Different from regular meetings, this meeting should be held on the last working day of the week. Give the floor to anyone that wants to speak. They can share personal or professional victories this past week, what needs to be done, and mention specific people for doing a great job on a particular task. This makes everyone feel much more like a group rather than a set of coworkers working at the same place.
These are just a few suggestions to improve communication around the office. Have you done anything to improve office communication? If you have, what did you do? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at @joey_fort.