Written and verbal communication is a key component of any business. Whether you’re gathering your team for a weekly meeting or working to close the biggest deal of the year, the art of communicating clearly and effectively is the key to success. In fact, research shows that over half of employees report not being given clear directions and this lack of communication is one of the leading causes of employee turnover. It’s clear that communication plays a significant role in a manager’s ability to reach team goals, so here are a few tips on how to foster clear and accurate information within your organization.
Know Your Audience
Imagine you presenting a technology seminar to a small group. Now, you wouldn’t address a group of senior citizens the same way you would address a group of twenty-somethings. That’s because you know there is a huge difference between these groups in terms of background knowledge on the topic. For this reason, it’s important to know your audience when you are communicating. You can communicate differently with higher-level executives than you can with a team of account managers. The point is, in order to communicate effectively, you must first know your audience. Some employees do better with emails while others prefer face to face meetings.
Stay on Message
Prior to any communication, have an idea of what your goals are and what you are trying to achieve. Then, be clear on exactly what those ideas are and what you are trying to convey to the other person or group. Stay on message and avoid getting off-topic, as this can confuse people and prevent you from achieving your goal.
Encourage Two-Way Conversation
It can be frustrating for employees to receive feedback without any explanation. When you communicate with team members, try to put yourself in their shoes and think about where they are coming from. Give them an opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions, and express concerns. Encouraging a two-way conversation makes for a more positive experience and can increase overall productivity and performance.
Be Clear About Roles and Responsibilities
Unclear instructions and miscommunication is the cause of many problems in the workplace. If an employee is unsure about what is expected of them, they are likely to fail and fall short of your expectations. Therefore, be clear about exactly what you expect and give a detailed description of roles and responsibilities.
Have an Open Door Policy
One of the best ways to foster healthy communication is by having an open-door policy. By removing the barriers, you are offering a message of transparency and this is essential to build trust and clarity with your team. Waiting until a weekly meeting can eventually lead to frustration and misinformation, and an open-door policy eliminates that problem and allows for accurate and timely information.