Communication is as complicated as the people who make it happen, but there are still plenty of ways to keep information flowing smoothly in the workplace. Here are four ways that we find boost communication proficiency.
1. Have clear and specific topics
Have goals on what you need to get done and what you need to talk about. It’s easy to digress. You want to talk about the game, the weather, or Stephen Hawking’s search for aliens. But sticking to a certain discussion topic will increase productivity and you can save time for chatting later.
2. Incorporate humor and fun into the work day
Even though we want to stay on track, we don’t have to wear serious faces all day anymore. We’ve seen the light. Laughter re-energizes people, can snap you out of an afternoon lull, and promotes a more positive attitude and atmosphere. If your employees look like Grumpy Cat, show them a funny YouTube clip.
3. Pick your tools
Group texts and HipChat make it possible to communicate with everyone at once and no one is left oblivious. Cue everyone in on how stuff gets around, no matter what system you use. That way you don’t have that one guy still sending memos by carrier pigeon over cubicle walls.
4. Ask your employees
Some of them have brilliant ideas, but never share them because they’re afraid to speak up. Don’t let them fall into that trap. You want more creative insight, and you don’t want your employees to become a bunch of shaken diet coke bottles, either. Whether you have a 500-employee company or a small business with a few part-timers, getting everyone’s input generates innovative thinking and problem solving.