Why is communication key in the workplace?
Communication does not have to be as hard as you think.
Employers just need to understand the different ways in which we can communicate.
This will allow them to look at their own situation and needs, gathering more options to choose from.
Without having accessible options of communication, employees can be left feeling lost, overwhelmed and unmotivated.
When there are more questions than answers at work, the consequences of this are uncertainty, rumours, frustration and lowered productivity.
Evolution of Technology
Technology is evolving rapidly. With that evolution, fantastic communication methods have come that are easily accessible. Often, employees find it hard to speak up in meetings or difficulty in being given opportunities for their ideas to be heard.
Allowing a range of communication methods such as email, voice notes, texts or phone calls give every employee the chance to communicate effectively when an issue arises. Some may not like to physically voice their opinions; anxiety and disillusion of hierarchy can make them feel too overwhelmed. This barrier can be removed once they are given a different method to communicate from.
Job hunters and recruiters are now seeing the perks of texting. Texting creates a connection that makes communication easy throughout the recruitment process. Work emails sometimes can be lost in spam folders, left unopened or forgotten about.
Texting allows people to find information easily. Having something recorded down rather than a phone call can help an employee with productivity. A phone call is great to get a quick response to a question or issue within the workplace.
However, if you need more than one thing done, having it recorded down will make sure they have the information they need even after you spoke to them.
Accessible 24 hours
Due to the different ways in which we can communicate, it can be a lot to handle. You can easily receive an email at 9pm and feel the need to reply. However, the need to feel ‘switched on’ can leave employees confused.
Understanding that employees must have a positive work/life balance, setting out clear communication guidelines can stop them responding in their own time. Make it known that you do not expect them to be checking in every hour, but rather within the hours of contracted work. By implementing a policy like this, employees will be able to relax in their free time guilt free.
Some employees may prefer ‘screen’ communication. However, 1-on-1’s are hugely beneficial to discuss the needs of the employee and business. These kinds of meetings allow managers to check in on morale, have more in-depth awareness of the team, build more engaged and much higher performing teams.
Cultural differences & Language
Language barriers can fortunately be accommodated and overcome. The employer must understand that it is not the employee’s responsibility to faultlessly adapt in a workplace. Breaking down cultural and language barriers requires effort from the business itself.
Great leadership implicates the changes and sets an example through interaction and communication. HR departments can bring in specialised trainers for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the effort of making accommodations. This will allow all staff members to be on the same page, holding everyone at the same standard.
In some cultures, it is seen as rude to be opinionated, too forward or too blunt, some staff members may wait to be asked for their opinion. They will not freely share their thoughts like their peers.
The language you use can sometimes have a negative impact without you meaning it to. A simple email stating you need the required document ASAP may cause stress and confusion. Stating a date or time will allow more structure and less stress, allowing your staff to be as productive as possible.
Dyslexia can act as a barrier to communication as it affects a person’s ability to read and understand words and symbols. It is a common learning disability and is not a lack of intellect. This comes as a protected characteristic under The Equality Act 2010.
Employers are expected to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their staff members.
Usually, people who have dyslexia understand their own strengths and weaknesses. The best place to start is to ask what they may need. Tools such as; spell-checking, or speech-to-text apps are brilliant to help employees within the workplace. It also allows a better platform for communication.
Here at Diversiti UK we really want to make a difference to your workplace and society.
Great communication is the key to success.