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Poor communication can often lead to problems. If your team is failing to communicate, here are a few ways in which you can improve things.
Be approachable and available
Communication problems can often start at the top. If you don’t make yourself easy to communicate with, you could find that your employees start to pick up similar habits.
Make sure that you’re firstly approachable. If you get angry when an employee passes on bad news or treat questions and concerns as inconveniences, your employees may start to grow uncomfortable approaching you and may even start to withhold questions and information. Try to be polite and friendly when approached so that you aren’t scaring your staff off.
You should also try to be available. If employees can’t get hold of you because you’re always out of the office and you don’t reply to calls or emails, it could also discourage employees from trying to get hold of you. Make sure that your employees can always contact you and don’t ignore messages (you can always schedule a meeting/conversation for later if you don’t have the time there and then).
Host meetings to encourage feedback
Encouraging feedback from employees can help them to open up. Try to host group meetings and one-on-one meetings with the intention of gathering as much feedback as you can from your employees. Show concern for any problems they may be having and encourage them to share their opinions and advice. This could help encourage employees to approach you more and it could also encourage them to share issues with one another more regularly.
Give everyone a clear role
When everyone has a clear role, it’s easier to know who to approach with relevant information. With large companies, this can be particularly useful as you can go directly to the right person rather than having to pass information through multiple colleagues.
Put things in writing
Information can sometimes get forgotten or misheard when relying on verbal communication. Get into a habit of following up meetings with emails summarising all the important points. You can also encourage your team to take notes.
Share information with software
You can also improve communication by using software to share information. The likes of meeting room booking software for instance can prevent two people booking the same meeting room for the same time by putting this information in one accessible-to-all location. Software may also come in handy when sharing diaries or even monitoring progress. It allows people to easily get the information they need without having to ask it.
Get to know each other on a personal level
Our unique personalities affect the way in which we communicate. By encouraging your team to get to know each other more personally, people can find the best ways of communicating with each other. You could ask employees to take personality tests and share results – a lot of companies are now using the Myers-Briggs personality test to get the best out of their employees.