Create stronger teams and advance your career when you prioritize office communication.
Wherever you work, chances are you spend more time with your ‘work family’ than your own family. Making it a priority to increase effective communication in the workplace can help strengthen these office relationships. Here are five ways to put communication first:
- Know the expectations
- Define communication tools
- Bond with your team
- Practice active listening
- Evaluate your performance
Learn more about each of these effective communication tips for the workplace below.
Know the expectations
The root of many workplace miscommunications is a lack of clearly set and defined expectations. After all, everyone performs best when they know their role in the big picture. Before beginning a project, ensure that you know and understand the expectations and goals. If you are confused about what to do or don’t believe you can comfortably reach a deadline or marker, communicate with your team.
Return the favor by being very clear about your expectations when you task your teammates with something new. For instance, if you want to shift the office supply policy from order-as-you-need to a more streamlined approach to help reduce expenses, let everyone know their role in this change. Providing clear, day-to-day expectations – and securing buy-in from all – can help ensure there are no costly misfires along the way.
If saving money on office supplies is on your agenda, check out cash-saving tips on our blog.
Define communication tools
To increase effective office communication in the workplace, consider defining the best channels for different types of needs. For instance, if you have office mates who work remotely or frequently travel, look to tools your team can access from anywhere. Skype for Business, Google Business Hangouts, or other business-minded video calling services can help your internal and external teams stay in touch. Web conferencing tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx encourage virtual on-demand collaboration. For in-house communications, project management tools like Asana and Trello can help optimize workflow and enhance project correspondence beyond traditional email.
Bond with your team
The foundation of effective communication in the workplace is relationships. The stronger the bonds with your team, the more productive you’ll be together. When your group knows each other well, you can better support each other, anticipate strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately operate like a well-oiled machine. To foster healthy relationships at work, don’t rule out casual interactions and non-office related water cooler chit-chat. While these may seem counter-productive, they may actually help to boost your rapport with the people you work with. Attending networking events together, sharing a ride to lunch, and volunteering in the community as a team are just a few relationship-building ways to enhance your office communication.
Are you and your colleagues interested in bonding and helping others at the same time? Check out six ways you can give back to the community on our blog.
Practice active listening
Becoming an active listener is another way to enhance your communication skills in the workplace. When a colleague asks you for something, and you respond with the first thing that pops into your head, you may feel like you’ve done your job well – but have you? Practicing effective team communication is an art. Getting the most out of your team interactions takes effort and honing these skills can help make you an invaluable resource that can help advance your career.
The next time you interact with a teammate, try these simple active listening steps:
- Give them your full attention
- Notice nonverbal cues
- Allow them to finish without interruption
- Respond with patience and empathy
- Ask questions if needed
Putting in the effort to listen actively to your colleagues can help prevent misunderstandings and build a company culture based on open communication and respect.
Evaluate your performance
One surefire way to continually improve your office communication is through periodic evaluations of the tools and strategies you’re using. Keeping tabs on the quality of your interactions and relationships with your teammates can indicate where a change is needed. Taking the initiative to assess your performance can determine where you’re succeeding, and perhaps where you need to focus on increasing effective communication in the workplace. For instance, if there’s a particular department, procedure, or person you’re having trouble with, then consider talking to your manager or boss. They’ll likely be impressed with your willingness to improve the office flow and offer support to help you shine.
These ways to increase effective communication in the workplace can help you create a stronger, more efficient team. For more articles on enhancing your life at the office, head to our blog.
If you’re not yet an EZ Office Products customer, call our local customer concierge to discuss how we can help your Wisconsin-based business thrive at (608) 310-4300 today.