In the workplace, we are often met with challenges whether it’s from the daily tasks, projects, or the people we work with on a basis. There are challenges we that can hinder and prevent us from working in an environment which runs smoothly. The barriers which create roadblocks for a company to run smoothly is more commonly rooted in communication.
Communication is a barrier we often find ourselves struggling with at times and don’t realize we need to improve on to be able to sync with our co-workers and managers, at times, for the workflow to produce outcomes and involvement we want to see from one another.
Internal communication is an essential part of running a company smoothly and finding solutions to problems within the workplace before they become a huge problem. Plus, it contributes to personnel morale and creating a positive, safe environment, and in turn, build your team and productive employees.
To create a workplace where employees can produce outcomes and exercise some of their input will require us to break down communication barriers, and it isn’t just exclusive to managers and employee but to one co-work to another. We’ve come up with five ways you can start breaking down communication barriers in your workplace.
Build a Coaching Culture
Creating a coach and mentoring culture will increase employee engagement, responsibility, and foster collaborative efforts. Changing a work culture takes time, commitment, and focus especially if you are striving to build your team among other departments or within departments. A coaching culture gives management the opportunity to invest their employees in learning new skills and becoming a better asset to your business. It’s a culture in which there are training opportunities and constructive feedback to allow for growth and a work environment where employees are engaged, productive, and looking for ways to work together.
Open communication is an umbrella term used to refer to being transparent, a role model, and actively listening. One of the best forms of open communication is having an open door policy where employees can meet with you to discuss issues. It helps create a safe place where employees can voice their opinions, give feedback, and even suggest different efforts to accomplish a goal or project. Being an active listener goes hand-in-hand with being able to have open communication. We have to be able to listen without judging or punishing each other; part of listening is understanding the whole picture and not part of it, selective listening is narrow-minded and closes us off from being open and honest with one another. It’s limiting, and when we feel limited, we let obstacles or fear prevent us from communicating freely and openly about issues. Role modeling is another form of opening the way for open communication. As a leader, whether a manager or team leader, by setting a standard we give the first step and incentive our team members need to be open and honest with one another.
Have One-on-One Meetings
Email is the most common form of communication aside from a chat message through software such as Teams, Slack, Trello, or Trillian. Even though email is a default form of communication, it should not be the only form of communication there should still be some one-on-one time where you can discuss in person. Taking the time to meet up will eliminate the barrier we create when communicating through email and allow for more interpersonal reactions we need to build relationships with one another. Not to mention, meeting up one-on-one with an employee or team encourages collaboration, learning opportunities, and clarify any information or doubts you may have.
Establishing Clear Expectations
Is a given, we know, but often if we develop the expectations written or verbally, it leads for little miscommunication to occur for the expectancy of how to treat and interact with others and how to meet their objectives. It helps establish standards and policies when expectations are not satisfied for everyone to know and understand what is acceptable and what is not.
Share Knowledge With Each Other
We all have a job title; however, it doesn’t always convey the skills and knowledge you know. We may know what others do base on the outcomes but how one gets there can be a mystery. If we open ourselves to being open to learn and respect others way of working, we can learn new skills or knowledge about how a business is run and how feedback from the person working can provide insight into improving the process, or create better results. Again, it has more to do with the idea of creating an open work environment where an employee is willing to share their thoughts, ideas, and give constructive feedback.
In a workplace whether in a small or big company we are always surrounded by personnel with different personalities or work processes. We need to be able to respect one another and our work style to create a work environment that runs smoothly. Part of having a workplace run smoothly is breaking down communication barriers which hinder our ability to grow independently and as a business. How do you help break barriers down in your workplace? Tell us in the comments below.