Developing pathways for effective communication in the workplace30 Apr 2023
The golden rule of real estate is "location, location, location" because a property's whereabouts are what determines its worth. Similarly, when we think of an organisation's success, it all comes down to "communication, communication, communication." Being able to convey ideas clearly, patiently listen to concerns with empathy and reach resolutions respectfully is essential to any company's well-being. Without healthy employee relationships in the workplace, a business is on a fast track to failure.
Human resource managers in particular know this to be true, but the importance of effective communication is something that every team member should understand. Strong connections between colleagues aren't an undertaking reserved for the HR department: Everyone in an organisation is responsible for promoting effective communication in the workplace.
Let's take a look at the importance of developing pathways for communication, how to build relationships through dialogue and strategies for creating a workplace that's contributes to effective communication.
Why are communication pathways so essential?
Healthy communication is crucial for an organisation's success. For a business to thrive, everyone needs to be working toward a common goal, so every team member needs to be on the same page. Colleagues must also be able to treat each other with respect and kindness to avoid conflict that could potentially disrupt the team's overall productivity.
To enable that effective communication, people must create communication pathways. This means laying the groundwork for an environment in which people feel comfortable voicing opinions, addressing concerns and tackling interpersonal problems. Without these foundations, any attempts to improve communication are unlikely to succeed. You can establish this footing by drafting a policy that outlines your workplace's communication goals and expectations, as well as any relevant procedures or processes.
Using communication to develop connections
Once you have your pathways in place, you can begin building interpersonal relationships between team members through open and honest communication. Good connections are built on trust and mutual understanding, and productive and respectful dialogue is the way to develop both. You can use team building exercises aimed at helping employees get to know one another on a more personal level.
Communication is a two-way street: That means both talking and listening. Team members need to be given chances to voice their opinions and share information about themselves and, at the same time, hear other people's stories. In this way, colleagues become more than just a name and a title. It's this bonding through communication that will allow your team members to become closer and stronger together.
Fostering a communicative working environment
Implementing workplace communication policies and giving team members opportunities to bond are great first steps to developing effective communication in the workplace. But, as with any other initiative, you need to follow up and troubleshoot. Establishing healthy communication is an ongoing process, so it's helpful to hold workshops and administer surveys to discover if there are any kinks that need ironing out.
Practise what you preach by addressing any workplace conflict head-on through mediation or taking corrective action when there's been a transgression — but don't punish instances of genuine miscommunication. Show your employees support if they come to you with any issues or concerns by actively listening, engaging and developing a plan of action. You need to demonstrate that the workplace is a safe place for employees to chat, spend time, work together and air grievances.