Communication is one of key pillars for any relationship. It could be a personal relationship, a friendship or a business relationship. People sometimes think that rules for personal communication don´t apply to a work environment but this is not true. Every human has needs, emotions, hopes, values and dreams. And each person faces situations in their personal life that may sometimes impact job performance.
Staff turnover is one of the main challenges many companies face. While employees come and go, many are less likely to leave if they are in an environment where they feel respected, rewarded, safe and comfortable. People tend to be happier in work environments where they are confident enough to speak to coworkers and managers about their lives – this includes work related topics and personal ones too.
This is why communication is so important in the work environment, both among employees in the office and for those that work remotely. While maintaining good communication with employees who work together in the same place each day may seem straightforward, it is sometimes less obvious how to improve communication with those working off site. As an agency that specializes in connecting nearshore technical talent with U.S. companies, we’ve got some worthwhile insights into this challenge. Follow along for helpful tips to improve work communication, including communication between onshore and offshore workers.
Four Helpful Tips To Help You Improve Communication At Work
1. Employees are human beings, not numbers or metrics.
Many companies focus on growth, revenue and developing new products/services or improving existing ones. Sometimes by doing this, employees start to feel more like numbers, or pawns in a game of chess. When dealing with human resources, emotions play an important role. Employees are much less likely to make sacrifices for companies that make them feel like a cog in a wheel. It is tough to go the extra mile for a boss that doesn’t seem to take interest or care about anything but the bottom line.
According to Dale Carnegie, author of the award-winning classic: “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the main thing people care about in life is themselves. Every person wants to feel important, valued and appreciated.
Henry Ford surely recognized this back in 1914 when he started paying his employees $5 a day. (This was a big salary increase.) He also reduced shifts from 9 hours a day to 8. By doing this Ford quickly solved a high staff turnover problem that his company was experiencing. This led to notable increases in production.
If a company can make its employees feel important, feel that their job matters and that they are important assets for the company, they are far more likely to do the extra work needed to go from good to great, and to take care of the company as if it was their own. While a motivated employee will communicate better, it is an employer’s responsibility to make sure employees know they are free to express what is on their mind.
2. Body Language Matters.
Over 50% of the things we say are non-verbal. Given this, learning body language is an important part of developing more effective communication.
If you are a manager, it is essential that you practice your body language skills so that when you speak with your employees you can transmit your ideas in the best possible way and avoid any misunderstandings of what you are trying to convey.
Things like maintaining an upright posture, making eye contact during conversation and keeping your chin up will radiate confidence and those around you will see you with respect.
Besides using body language to communicate well at work, it’s also important to understand body language signals in others. This might be especially important when dealing with offshore employees that normally communicate through apps like Skype or Zoom. Knowing how to identify body language signals like face and eye gestures and tone of voice will enable you to read between the lines of the message that a coworker wants to transmit.
3. Make Yourself Available to your Co-Workers.
One of the easiest ways to make yourself accessible to coworkers is to simply tell them that you are available. People want to know they can count on you and the only way they will know this is if you communicate it. People want to know that their colleagues are people that can listen to them and understand what is going on.
Sometimes it may be difficult for people to communicate issues directly, especially with a manager. In these times, it can be useful to have a way for people to anonymously ask questions or even express complaints. Having a channel of communication that enables people who are too uncomfortable or shy to speak directly to leaders is a great way for a company to stay informed about situations they may otherwise not know about.
4. Share Something in Common.
Many of the best managers are comfortable sharing something about their personal lives with their coworkers. They might participate in a fun office outing or simply take an interest in the lives of their employees. Something as simple as remembering a birthday can make an enormous difference to a person’s morale at work.
This type of leader tends to be one that can talk about any topic with employees, not just work-related things. Often these more informal conversations help to build trust and work satisfaction. They also improve overall communication by making people feel more comfortable and secure.
Take the time to develop relationships with your coworkers and create a trusting environment for people to open up to you. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by the results.