Proper communication can improve relationships, and that includes relationships in the workplace. When employees are able to communicate well with one another, they may become more productive. Likewise, when employees and managers are able to talk with each other effectively, workplace morale could improve. If you’re looking for ways to improve the communication in your workplace, check out these five tips.

1. Team Building Exercises

Getting employees to engage in activities together could help them form stronger bonds. When managers and employees do something else together besides meet deadlines, there’s a chance they might get better at working together to solve problems. Team building exercises might also help employees develop skills that can help them on the job, like listening skills. Plus, there’s evidence that when adults engage in play, they can become more imaginative and open-minded. Playing team building games can also reduce stress in managers and employees. Set aside just 1 hour a week for team building exercises to see how they might unlock your team’s potential.

2. Create a Trusting Environment

Trust is also another important factor in effective communication. If the parties in conversation don’t trust one another, they’re less likely to speak openly and honestly. Team building exercises can help create a trusting workplace environment, but there are additional strategies. For example, showing support for members of the team when they’re stressed or facing hard times can boost trustworthiness. Also, try to be respectful of everyone’s ideas, even if they aren’t your favorite. Finally, make sure that your words match your actions. In other words, be honest with your employees and behave as you have said you would.

3. Catch Up with Employees

Scheduling one-on-one catch up sessions with each employee is another way to improve communication. Holding one-on-one meetings benefits the manager-employee relationship the most. Whether you catch up once a month or once a week, taking the time to listen to your employees shows them you have compassion and are interested in their ideas. Private meetings with each employee may also help you suss out problems in the workplace you didn’t know about. Then, you can use that one-on-one time to come together and solve the issues that arise.

4. Explain the Value of a Task

Believe it or not, employees do a better job at working together when they understand the value of the project. So, the next time you’re filling staff in on a new project, explain how this new venture will impact the company and their jobs. Being transparent about the impact of projects and task helps employees feel like they can ask questions and share new ideas. Plus, you may even see an uptick in productivity, because now the staff understands how getting this project done with help them as well as the overall company.

5. Brush Up on Communication Styles

How well do you know the communication styles? If you don’t know them well, brushing up on them could help you learn how managers and co-workers communicate. There are four styles of communication: intuitive, analytical, functional and personal. You may be able to infer what each style is like by the name. For example, people who have an analytical communication style prefer clear expectations. Each of these styles differ, but understanding your style and those of co-workers and employees can help you reach each person. Plus, using communication styles to steer the conversation may help you defuse confrontation and avoid misunderstandings.

Communication is Key

Creating a workplace with effective communication can be the key to uncovering the hidden potential in staff and management. Start with team building exercises. That can lay the groundwork for creating a trusting environment. Then, scheduled one-on-one meetings with your team members. During team meetings, discuss how the work employees are doing benefit the company and each individual. If you’re still having trouble encouraging effective communication styles, learn more about each team member’s communication style.

Photo credits: eOffice

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