Hey, You! Don’t bypass this information. You are most likely thinking you own a business and have good employees and a customer base. You think you are a good communicator, and maybe you are, but there is always something to learn. 70% of business mistakes are due to poor communication!
Communication in the workplace can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Good communication will lead to stronger workplace relations. Poor communication can lead to a high employee turnover, lack of productivity and poor customer service. Why is communication so important in the workplace? It avoids confusion, it provides purpose, it builds a positive company culture and creates accountability!
The first area of concern should be with your non-English speaking employees. Words can be misunderstood which can cause negative communication barriers. Most of us communicate through another bilingual employee but you must do your best to put the non-English speaking employee at ease. Make sure all your employee handbooks and training materials are in the language the employee speaks. Any training on the equipment should be done by one of your bilingual employees who also have been trained on the equipment. In addition, many time,s dealing with different cultures and their way of doing things can build up walls that can limit productivity. On the positive side, Angela Hood, an entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, states “Companies with a more diverse workforce perform 35% above national industry medians.”
Employees need to feel important. Face to face interactions work best here. Experts have been able to prove that an employee will understand better on a one-to-one basis. BUT, you must be a good listener. Maintain eye contact when speaking with them. Smile. Don’t be distracted. Don’t appear impatient or negative in the event the employee presents an idea. Watch your body language. It is all about interpretation. The best action a leader can take is to understand your own body language (www.employee-motivation-skills.com)
Employees need clear direction. They need to know exactly what is expected and what steps they need to take to achieve this. If they feel they are achieving what they need to, they will stick around longer. You must deliver clear goals outlining what is required for their job. Do not try to cause confusion. Use words the employees will understand. If you are setting goals for an entire team, share updates on achieving the goals. Everyone must feel involved. Setting goals are important but if you do not COMMUNICATE the progress, it is a mute issue.
Communication with generations in the work force can also be a challenge. By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce and they are changing the work culture. Employees from other generations may have a difficult time adjusting to these changes. Some of you business owners are probably having a difficult time adjusting to these new ideas in the workplace. Be open and look ahead to the future. You must prepare your company for this.
Poor communication with your employees can lead to poor customer interaction. Your expectations for your customer service representatives must be clearly defined. This could be the most damaging affect of your poor communication. Proper training is so important and this is a make or break for your business. No exceptions.
I found the following summary from PLAYBOOK – Your Source For Practical Work Solutions. If you follow the following steps for the do’s and don’ts, you can enhance your communication skills
• Do plan ahead to determine the messages you want to communicate.
• Do make sure the timing is right if you need to speak to an employee or manager.
• Do communicate from a position of strength. Get your facts straight before you speak.
• Do make sure your statements are clear and free of unnecessary jargon.
• Do take responsibility for ensuring that what you say is understood by the listener or audience. Ask for feedback and provide clarification before completing the discussion.
Don’t let personal feelings interfere in business or professional matters. Watch your body language for any signs that can be translated as hostile or that may cause discomfort for your listeners.
Don’t assume that an audience will understand your main thoughts on a subject. Spell out your thinking clearly but without being condescending.
Don’t be afraid to make changes if you are presented with new information or a different point view.
Remember Communication Is A Two -Way Street!