Small Business Brief


Comm 101: How to Help Your Employees’ Workplace Communication

Miscommunications in the workplace can be very costly. In fact, a survey reported in “The Cost of Poor Communications”, found that in companies of less than a hundred employees, poor workplace communication leads to a loss of as much as $420,000 a year. 

That’s a lot of dollars that could have easily been redirected into making profits for your business if you took a little time to establish better communication methods. Read on for tips and advice to get started.

Be Present and Check-In with Your Employees

You will need to learn about communication tips for management if you want to improve communication across the board.

A manager should be present as often as possible to establish accountability at the office. Try to check in with your employees at least once a week so they can let you know what is going on. 

One good way to do this is by establishing a weekly meeting where everyone comes together to set their schedules and to-do lists for the week. By taking the time to meet altogether regularly, you will be able to iron out miscommunications as they come up instead of wasting time with your employees working in contrary directions.

Centralize Internal Documents for Easy Access

When you hire new employees, they may take some time for them to learn the ropes. But one way to speed up the process and encourage them to communicate with more veteran employees is to keep the training materials on an intranet that all of your employees can easily access. 

With this kind of portal, you’re able to establish a standard and easily reference it in times of miscommunication or differences of opinion.

Evaluate Your Current Internal Communication Strategy

Before overhauling your communication techniques for your business, you need to establish what isn’t working in your current system.

Do your employees feel their voice will be heard if they speak up or do they think nothing they say can make a difference? And when they have things to say, who do they report them to?

If your internal communication structure only moves vertically and not laterally, then it can cause new employees to not speak up when they see a change that should be made. 

Establish an Open Door Policy for Workplace Communication

If you want your employees to feel like they can speak up and let you know what’s going on at any time, then you need to maintain an open-door policy in your office in both a physical and literal sense. 

When you are in the office, you should have your door open so that employees can flow in and out easily without thinking they are interrupting you. And when you are out of the office, your employees should have a solid way of reaching you if problems arise. 

If you make your employees feel like they are bothering you every time they bring you a problem, then you discourage them from seeking solutions. 

Establish Your Internal Language

Many businesses use acronyms and internal terminology to easily reference aspects of their business. This language has two roles. 

One one hand, it helps to streamline term usage so that everyone knows what is being talked about. The other benefit is that this internal lingo can create a feeling of camaraderie in your office by improving workflow and making your employees feel like insiders.

Look for Common Goals

If you choose to have a weekly meeting, it is a great time to discuss common goals for your company. While many businesses divide their work into different phases or different teams, your meeting should focus on the way all of those efforts will tie together in the end.

Use your meeting to create a bridge between the different facets of your business and encourage them to work together towards meeting the expectations you set forth.

Consider Sending Internal Newsletters

Internal newsletters are a great way to let your employees know what is going on with the company on a regular basis. You can also use these newsletters to send shout-outs to high-performing workers such as those that never miss a day, do their work outstandingly well, or accomplish something that will benefit the company.

These newsletters can act as fodder for internal office conversation creating a dialogue between departments.

Rearrange Your Office Space

One very simple way to improve your office communication almost immediately is by moving the furniture into a more beneficial layout. 

For many years cubicles and dividers have littered the office space creating divisions between employees and preventing the free sharing of ideas. 

With a more modern office layout, you can open up the floodgates for collaboration and communication by creating a floor plan that makes sense. This will help create a more productive office environment.

Improve Your Company Culture

If your company culture isn’t good, then no one is going to feel like it is worth it to speak up when they have an issue. Instead, they will just hold on to their frustration until they find another job that’s a better fit.

Don’t lose great employees because you can’t establish a code of conduct around your office that everyone sticks to. If you have any employees who aren’t receptive to other employees who need help, then perhaps it’s time to consider terminating your relationship.

More Advice for Small Business Owners

Workplace communication is key to the success of any small business. If employees don’t feel like they can communicate, then you are sure to see a reduction in your revenues over time.

Don’t waste another dollar! Check out our blog for more advice for running your small business and more tips on increasing productivity.