Did you know that the only reason we as humans work so well together is because of our communication? It really does! Through communication we connect, learn new things and reach new heights for ourselves and those around us. At least… when it’s done well. Business communication can make or break your company. In this blog we will give you some tips for clear communication in the workplace.
What do we mean by communication in the workplace?
Communication on the work floor means all conversations that take place internally. This can be face to face conversations, e-mails, instructions for employees, work-related Whatsapps, presentations or a phone call. Everything that is discussed in your company between your employees counts as communication in the workplace.
How important is communication in the workplace?
To be brief: very important. In a previous article about internal communication, we told you that your entire business process depends on it. Imagine not being able to talk, call or email your colleagues for a week. How many things would go wrong?
By communicating well with each other, we can coordinate things, make arrangements, ask for help and learn something new. This is essential for the progress of any company!
Why does communication often go wrong at work?
Everyone is different. Full stop. Some people say exactly what they want from you, but with others you have to make more of an effort to find out. Differences in character can make it difficult to convey – or receive – in the right way.
In addition, companies often think about communication in terms of means/tools. But communication is of course more than implementing a new app or mailing system. This is just the way to communicate. As a company, it is important to think about the scope of communication. By this we mean that you really give your employees the opportunity to provide input or to think along with you.
You don’t want to limit this leeway. An app can give employees a lot of input, but it can also be very limiting. When everything is communicated top-down from an app, it is very easy for the sender, but the receiver does not feel heard if he/she cannot respond – or can only give a thumbs-up.
Did you know that the Bundeling app gives your employees plenty of room for input? Improve communication within your company with an app that suits your organisation! Completely in your own house style. Read more about the Bundeling employees app here.
Tips to improve communication in the workplace
Of course we will also give you some tips to improve communication in your workplace. Had you already thought about this?
Know what is going on
Make sure you are well informed about what is going on in your company. Especially in the case of drastic changes. As we said above, not everyone thinks the same. There is a good chance that you will quickly form an opinion about something yourself. So don’t immediately speak to someone with your solution. But listen to your colleagues, ask for opinions.
Not just for the sake of asking, but to think of ways to get colleagues from all facets of your company to think along with you about drastic changes.
Work on teamwork
Communication on the shop floor goes a lot better when we understand each other. And we learn to understand each other by hanging out together. Teambuilding is extremely important for good communication. Not only in departments, but also between departments. By seeing each other more as human beings – and not so much as ‘the one from sales’ or ‘the one from the office’ – we get closer to each other. A company outing or team building day can contribute enormously to this.
Talk face to face (but also online)
Zoom, an e-mail or Whatsapp can of course never replace a face to face conversation. Many means of communication increase the distance between employees. If you always get your orders from a screen, you will automatically start to see less of the person behind the screen. This is precisely what makes it so important to see and speak to each other physically.
This also ties in with the team spirit. A video call is often short and to the point. While we can also discuss non-work related things with each other at the coffee machine or in the office.
Online communication tools can help you to make communication run more smoothly. However, they must be designed in such a way that they do not narrow the playing field, but rather widen it. With the communication app from Bundeling, you bring employees more in contact with each other and let them actively participate in discussions about developments in your organisation.
Pay attention to tone and body language
Non-verbal communication is often something that is ignored. This is not surprising. It is difficult to map out how people communicate non-verbally. It is also possible that you yourself are not aware of how you come across. You may think that your hand gestures make your point clearer, but your colleague may see them as intimidating.
Try to consciously watch your tone of voice and body posture when communicating with colleagues or conduct an (anonymous) peer review.
Online, this can be a real problem. Here, it is even more difficult to detect someone’s tone of voice. Short messages are very practical and to the point for one person, while someone else may see them as short.
Stick to the facts
A very important one! Stick to the facts. This tip is related to our first tip; know what’s going on. It is almost always better to leave your opinions or feelings about a situation behind. When discussing or mediating in a conflict it is good to stick to the facts and the current situation. Otherwise, a situation can quickly turn into mud-slinging, finger-pointing or yo-yoing.
Not every conversation is for everyone
This tip is particularly relevant when we are talking about online communication. It is very annoying to constantly listen to conversations or read chats that are not important for your work. As a company, it is best to minimise this ‘noise’. Therefore, use break-out groups in meetings about chats.
In the Bundeling app, you can quickly respond to threads and divide employees into different channels. This keeps conversations clear and you don’t have to keep scrolling through missed messages, not knowing whether the information is important to you or not.
Keep it formal (but not too much)
Your colleagues are not your friends. Having a good time is fun, of course, and there’s no need for a grave atmosphere in your office or workplace, but make sure you maintain a professional distance where necessary. A little fun is always possible and certainly advisable, but it also has a downside.
When serious matters need to be discussed, they need to be dealt with seriously. Not every conversation on the shop floor will be about the weekend or the premier league; sometimes communication is less fun. Make sure you remain formal in these situations and remember your professional attitude. As a manager, you must never forget, for example, that you have to make the decisions and that you have to do this objectively; there are no friendships involved.
There are no ‘sides’
A second tip that ties in with this is not to look at conflicts or situations from ‘sides’. In the end, everyone in your company is each other’s colleague. You will still have to do it together. Whatever your challenge is! Try to maintain a healthy balance, because at the end of the day, you are all working towards the same goal – growing your business.
Make clear in your communication where we have to go “all together” and that everyone is needed for this. Internal communication is not about what he or she wants, but how you can move forward together.
Communication is all-embracing. Whether we are talking about e-mails, telephone calls or a face-to-face conversation, there can always be some miscommunication. This is not a reason to panic, but just say sorry when you make a mistake. Apologising gives you a more human image among your colleagues. Besides, you can always count on understanding when you apologise sincerely. After all, we all make mistakes!
Bring your colleagues closer together
Would you like to change the way your company communicates? Do it with Bundeling! Our communication app brings your colleagues closer together. Thanks to various functions, you can keep conversations between colleagues easy and clear. In addition, the Bundeling platform gives you ample opportunity to let employees from all layers of your organisation think – and talk – about the latest developments.