How to Foster a Culture of Communication in Your Organization

As you move up the hierarchy in an organization, you become less involved in day-to-day operations, including communicating with team members. To break down communication barriers and create a more cohesive and productive organization—and retain your talented employees—you need to find concrete solutions. Follow these steps to improve communication in your company.

The higher the position in your organization, the further away you are from day-to-day business. In many cases, you may even be removed by your co-workers, hindering collaboration without knowing it. These obstacles create opportunities for miscommunication and misunderstandings that can create tension in the workplace and ultimately be detrimental to your organization as a whole.

As a busy executive, one solution to these problems is to prioritize stronger communication practices across your organization. That doesn’t just mean that your door is always open. It means taking steps to show employees how to communicate effectively with each other and with colleagues upstream and downstream.

One of the main benefits of making sure your communication logs are solid is that you’re less likely to lose great performers. According to a report by Salesforce, employees who feel heard are nearly five times more likely to do their best work. This naturally makes them more inclined to stay with you because they feel they are an integral part of your solution, mission and culture. If you have remote workers, it’s better to communicate too much so that both in-person and remote workers feel connected to your company overall.

The good news is that you probably aren’t starting from scratch when it comes to creating sustainable communication in your organization. But you can always find ways to improve and give employees even more reasons to stay. You can start with the following recommendations to build on the communication methods already in place:

  1. Take on your role as a communications mentor.
    Leading by example is a proven way to inspire others to adopt your preferred communication methods. For example, let’s say you want your employees to feel comfortable providing proactive, thoughtful feedback. If you don’t do the same, your employees probably won’t either.

    As Gys Kappers, co-founder and CEO of Wyzetalk, writes in an article on corporate communications: “Simply flooding employees with information and expecting them to engage will not work.” offer internal communication strategy, do not hear from their employees and therefore do not retain them.”

    Fortunately, strategies like Kappers’ do not need to be heavily documented or overloaded with protocols. Instead, your strategy should start with the communication behaviors that you initiate and use on a daily basis. By asking for and responding to feedback, you can open the door to more knowledge sharing between everyone in your organization.

  2. Test different communication tools and channels.
    There is no one size fits all solution for corporate communications. Some teams enjoy using Slack, while others are content with myriad synchronous or asynchronous communication tools. It may be wise to research all possibilities and then try them one at a time to find out which communication system produces the best results for your team.

    Don’t overlook the channels you’re currently using. You may already have some communication channels in place that are underutilized. Case in point: your project management portal could be useful for promoting dialogue between teams and not just for organizational updates. Gallup research shows that 93% of workers feel that the communications they receive at work are not timely or accurate. So start looking for ways to improve the accuracy and reliability of your team’s messaging by giving team members communication options and educating them on the best ways to use these systems.

  3. Invest in the professional development of your employees.
    Sometimes people are not ready to communicate because they are not sure what to say. They might feel uncomfortable offering their insights for fear of being seen as uneducated, unskilled, or useless in certain areas. Consequently, you make decisions without their potentially valuable opinions.
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Fortunately, you can help everyone on your team feel more confident about working together by offering retraining and upskilling programs. You may also find that you improve your memory retention as you do so. In a LinkedIn survey, 94% of professionals said they would stay with an employer if the employer offered them regular learning and development opportunities.

The more know-how your employees gather, the more likely they are to speak up. You will not remain silent during brainstorming sessions. They might even offer to train their staff on their newfound discoveries. Ultimately, you will develop a workforce that is willing and eager to lead and communicate.

The possibility of freely exchanging information at any time via a large number of portals is an enrichment for every company. While you may not be able to sit down with every employee, you can certainly make sure everyone is heard. Your reward is fewer “loose ends” in communication and a company that operates with cohesion and productivity.

Written by Rhett Power.
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