A business organisation that is built on a culture of success often relies on good and effective communication as well as the establishment of continuously evolving proactive human interactions. And since communication is a vital point when it comes to these human interactions, company leaders and managers are left with the task of using effective communication techniques to strengthen their company’s culture. If you are in such a position, then these 5 communication tips can help you strengthen the culture of excellence that you’ve envisioned for your company.
- Define appropriate and inappropriate communication.
One of the most important foundations of good communication in any organisation is the identification of what the business considers as appropriate and inappropriate communication. For example, most 3PL companies observe a more casual form of communication and is, in fact, strongly encouraged. Some businesses may require an across-the-board formal, business-only type of communication. Some companies may also opt for a blend of formal and informal communication, often relying on humour to brighten up the workplace and earnest approach when it comes down to doing business. Whatever your organisation deems appropriate and inappropriate communication should be clearly stated in the employee handbook or manual.
- Establish terminology to be used in the workplace.
A natural result of the establishment of communication patterns in the workplace – be it formal, informal, or a mixture of both – is the identification and determination of the terms or words that will be used. For instance, individuals may use ‘employees’ and ‘associates’ interchangeably and this is perfectly alright. However, if one looks at the connotation of these terms, there is a very slight difference in terms of how the individual is viewed by the organisation. An ‘employee’ is one who serves ‘for’ the company since he or she is ‘employed’ by the business. An ‘associate’ is one who serves ‘with’ the company that looks at them as ‘partners’ or ‘team members’. It’s a very fine line, but it can make an obvious difference.
- Establish ground rules on digital communications.
Everyone loves to use digital media to communicate. However, not all transactions that occur in the workplace should be coursed through an email, an SMS, or even group messaging on social media. There will always be situations when a more personal approach is required such as person-to-person meeting or even a phone call. Sensitive and important issues in the company should always be communicated in person. The important point here is to establish the ground rules on what matters can be communicated digitally.
- Use very clear language.
Some managers and even company owners love using very vague words when conveying something to their employees. When you say “urgent”, this can be interpreted in different ways. Some individuals may interpret this as “now” while others may think that a few hours would be fine. Instead of using these words, it is better to use specific time frames. But, if you use ‘5 pm today’, then the message is clear. The same is true with the emotional content of the message. If there is a grave concern in the workplace that needs to be addressed immediately, an email message cannot convey the gravity of the issue.
- Avoid using weak language.
Just as vague language can lead to miscommunication in the workplace and put a dent in your efforts to create a culture of excellence, the use of ‘weak’ language can almost always negate effective communication. Avoid fillers such as ‘basically’, ‘kind of’, ‘uhm’, ‘like’, and ‘yeah’ from workplace communication. The same is true with hedges like ‘the way I see it’ and ‘I would like to’. Qualifiers like ‘a bit’, ‘more or less’, ‘almost’, and ‘pretty much’ should also be avoided. Use more specific words when communicating in the workplace.
All organisations want to have a culture that fosters good and effective communication between and among members of such organisations. Adhering to these communication tips should help you create the kind of culture that you’ve always envisioned for your company.