Ways To Improve Communication In The Workplace

Effective Strategies For A Collaborative Office Space

The art of communication will be the bedrock of your business’ success, fostering high levels of engagement amongst your employees and good leadership skills. Therefore every well-established company or startup should implement some efficiency strategies by nurturing a constant flow of new initiatives and innovation.

Communication requires a team effort. So effective workplace communication should support all employees — guided by your organisation's goals, mission and accomplishments.

There are a number of actions you can take to boost workplace communication and allow for smooth sailing in the office. So bring your team to the table and set your business up for success with these essential workplace principles for cultivating a successful collaborative office space.

Do Open Up Your Employee’s Potential With An Open Door Policy

“Your colleagues will feel comfortable about bringing your attention to your key issues if you promote a strong sense of equality throughout the office.”

Employees often feel the biggest obstacle in the face of good workplace communication is actually approaching the manager of CEO of the company they work for. Break down those barriers and implement an open door policy to encourage your staff to speak up and share their ideas or concerns. Your colleagues will feel comfortable about bringing your attention to your key issues if you promote a strong sense of equality throughout the office.

If you’re a CEO or manager (who isn’t in an important meeting) you should keep your office door open to eliminate any apprehension your employees may feel in approaching you. You could even consider making some changes to your office design and fit out. Glass walls are a fantastic way to provide a quiet space for those important meetings with clients, without closing your office off to your employees.

Don’t Discourage Manager And Employee Liaison

“Remember, the intern can be just as important as the CEO in establishing a successful business.”

One of the biggest mistakes any business can make is to place too much emphasis on the corporate hierarchy. Don’t discourage internal communication with autocratic figures — collaboration plays a vital role in your company’s ability to innovate and clarify common goals. Remember, the intern can be just as important as the CEO in establishing a successful business.

To achieve a truly collaborative office space, opt for an open plan layout as opposed to a string of private offices. An open plan will further strengthen the working relationships between executives and employees.

Do Inspire Staff By Underpinning Your Company’s Values

“It’s worth giving your office a makeover if it means you’ll be getting more bang for your buck.”

Open Universities Australia Offices — Melbourne

No one wants to work in a fruitless environment that’s lacking in lustre and closing off ideas. It’s worth giving your office a makeover if it means you’ll be getting more bang for your buck – so display some corporate artwork or other inspirational wall fixtures to highlight your establishment’s core values and spark those fundamental conversations. Think about implementing some out-of-the box ideas for your office fit out to give your co workers and visitors something meaningful to talk about.

Don’t Create Physical Barriers Between Your Employees

“The modern office is engaging its employees with increased flexibility and a sharing of resources.”

It’s time to tear down those dated office walls and invite your colleagues to share ideas in a team-oriented contemporary working environment. The modern office is engaging its employees with increased flexibility and a sharing of resources. Your open-plan design strategy will offer some significant financial advantages over a traditional private office scheme.

Privacy booths and low-level partitioning solutions offer a division of space without dividing staff and obstructing their ability to communicate effectively. Not only will you see a boost in productivity, but you’ll also be helping to drive higher levels of employee satisfaction.

Do Allow Time To Recharge Those Batteries

“...fit your office out with a break room that your employees will want to use so as to enjoy good quality conversation.”

Let’s get back to basics and improve communication the old fashioned way — with face-to-face mingling. We spend most of our lives in the office — so it’s important to establish a healthy, dynamic working environment which allows your employees to happily do their job and share their thoughts and ideas. No one communicates well when they’re burnt out; and so you should fit your office out with an office break room your employees will want to use so as to enjoy good quality conversation. Taking time to socialise and relax is the best way to relieve stress and recharge those batteries before returning to work.

Your break room might include group oriented favourites such as billiards or foosball and comfortable furniture to keep the conversation flowing.

Don’t Chastise Office Socialisation

“Water cooler conversation is an integral part of office culture...”

Red Bull Offices — Stockholm

Water cooler conversation is an integral part of office culture — it’s about building on those workplace relations and taking a moment to pause and reflect upon the working week and other hot topics. This seemingly pedestrian mingling is actually an essential aspect of workplace relationship-building (it also helps to break up the day); and such relationships play an important role in effective communication. Again, your office break room will offer a solution to any disruptions to your coworkers.

Do Schedule Regular Team Building Activities

“Activities outside of the office build on other important skills such as resilience, teamwork and confidence.”

Break the ice and boost the level of engagement in the office with some activities to get the best out of your employees. You’ll form stronger bonds by getting out of the office every now and then with some fun workplace-friendly team building activities. So pencil in some activities or experiences — you’ll be doing a great deal to raise the morale of your employees and open up the potential of having good communication practices in play.

Activities outside of the office build on other important skills such as resilience, teamwork and confidence. Outdoor or recreational challenges can enrich your employees’ adaptability, problem solving and decision-making.

Don’t Avoid Conflict — Address Any Issues Face-To-Face

“Problem solving and bouncing ideas around is always best done in the presence of your colleagues.”

Interpersonal communication skills are essential to getting the job done, building trust and openness among all staff. So it’s imperative you address any issues, emotional content or important news face-to-face with your employees. Face-to-face meetings allow for a rapid response rate with solutions then and there — it’s also valuable for when you require a great deal of feedback. Problem solving and bouncing ideas around is always best done in the presence of your colleagues. And when employees and clients come together they’ll facilitate stronger bonds to support your company’s reputation and success.

Do Utilise New Technologies and Social Media

“There are a multitude of chat programs for businesses and other online tools to communicate effectively…”

Social media and mobile devices have revolutionised the way we communicate at work. And although face-to-face communication is best for handling conflict and other important issues in the work environment, technology and social media is brilliant way to keep your entire office in the loop. There are a multitude of chat programs for businesses and other online tools to communicate effectively, so all employees stay up-to-date whilst your business keeps a record of all internal and external ongoings. Cloud-based technology can facilitate your movements in and out of the office by letting you access your documents or data wherever you are.

Another way to enhance your office’s communication would be to fit your office conference room out with either a simple projection screen or a more advanced integrated video conferencing set up.

Let’s Talk More About How You Can Improve Your Workplace Communication

Try implementing some of these cultural changes to your workplace and see if you notice a difference in your employee’s communication and work ethic. If you ever need any help with an office fit out or refurbishment, speak to Adam and the team at Fast Fitouts today! To find out more about what Fast Fitouts can do for your office environment, call 1300 303 831 or email info@fastfitouts.com.au for a free concept design and budget estimate

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