Do you remember a game that is often played in grade school? The teacher whispers a secret to the child in the first row, and then tells the child to turn around and whisper the same secret to the child behind them – and so on – until the secret makes its way around the entire classroom? Nearly 100% of the time, the secret changes along the way. Words can be misconstrued, or one child may hear or interpret the words differently, which can change the message or the meaning behind the teacher’s original statement.
The purpose of this exercise is to illustrate how easily communication can breakdown. Much the same way, in a workplace, communication can be misinterpreted or heard wrong, which can change the meaning or instructions of the original message. Mistakes are often the result of miscommunication. So, how can a manager get messages to the staff members most effectively?
Here are 13 Tips to Improve the Internal Communications of a Workplace:
- Provide opportunities for everyone to speak and relay ideas
- Encourage prompt reactions during difficult moments – Don’t forget, your reaction will dictate their next step!
- Copy email messages, when appropriate, to all team leaders, so that everyone is on the same page and fewer messages must be delivered individually
- End meetings with a question and answer session
- Spend dedicated time with each direct report each month – Let them set the agenda
- During reviews, ask employees to share any observations, feedback or system flaws they feel needs improvement
- Create an environment where failures are openly discussed and used as a learning tool
- Spend more time training new employees, so they will spend less time guessing how or why they must do a certain task
- Use apps or meeting programs online (why spend money on plane tickets?)
- Delegate more, but micromanage less
- Listen to employees and apply some of their new ideas in the workplace
- Conduct a retreat and discuss a shared vision – Put plans in place to make it a reality
- Create an awareness and understanding of different communication styles – This is particularly important with 4 and soon to be 5 generations at work
Do you have innovative methods of internal communications at your business? If so, I’d love to hear how they work for you! Write and share your ideas today!
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