How To Improve Communication Skills at The Workplace

Effective communication has a positive impact on all levels of our lives and there is nothing different for workplaces. So yes, having good communication skills is the way to success. You need to be an effective communicator if you want to have a successful career, business, company, or whatever it is for you.

I am not the only one who says this, according to the research, oral communication is the most important competency for college graduates entering the workforce. It seems like you need to improve your communication skills even to take the very first step in your career.

This doesn’t mean once you entered business life, it is okay to stop working on your communication skills. Actually, you need to invest in it more. Because effective communicators are more likely to have promotions in companies.

The importance of your communication skills in the workplace is doubling if you are a manager, a leader, or a boss. Because improving communication in the workplace is the most important job that you need to get done. You should connect people to each other. This is the only way to improve the productivity and success of your business.

Tips To Improve Communication Skills In The Workplace

So, how to improve communication skills in the workplace? You can be a perfect communicator but is it enough for everything? How can you push your employees to communicate better with the people around them?

In this article, I will give some tips that will help you to improve communication skills in the workplace. These tips will help you to increase your and your employees’ communication skills as well.

Either you are an entry-level employee that aims to advance in his / her career, or a leader who wants to improve his /  her teams’ communication, I believe that you will find beneficial information below and start to take action right away!

Express What You Want Directly

express what you want directly

Offices are like the nest of misunderstandings that occurred by miscommunications. There is a reason behind this. Unfortunately, no one is putting effort to express what they want directly.

Either you are a manager or not, you should express what you want directly in order to prevent misunderstandings and get things done. Don’t forget, the job is the job. There is no need to take things personally or beware of anyone else. Everyone is working towards the same target. Be clear and emphasize your needs.

Read Between The Lines

Leaders and managers are more likely to express themselves directly. The experience and responsibility level that they have gives them more confidence to do it.

For employees (especially for the low experienced ones), it is the opposite. They are more likely to hide their thoughts under the surface. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t imply what they want while they are speaking with you.

So, you need to be prepared to read between the lines. If you can manage to understand your employees’ needs, this will help you to increase communication between you and them.

Note: Reading between the lines requires active listening. You need to let them know that you’ve understood them and you care about what they’ve said by listening effectively. After they finish, you can ask them some questions to understand more.

Give Positive And Negative Feedbacks Properly

If you want to improve the connection between you and your coworkers, giving positive and negative feedback constantly and properly is a must.

For example, if you want to talk about a task that your employee didn’t finish in the time that you want, you can express your negative feedback about this by explaining why it is important to finish tasks on time and how it will help your business and his/her career as well.

Note: Set up weekly or monthly one on one meetings to give and take positive and negative feedback. Try to understand the improvement points your employees need from you and give them ideas about what they need to work on more.

Create An Open Mind Environment

For managers and leaders, it is critical to encourage people to speak in workplaces. This requires an open mind environment. Employees need to feel that when they speak, people will show respect for their ideas even though the ideas that they have are different than others.

There are three benefits that you can get from an open mind environment:

  • People will start to emphasize their ideas, and communication in the workplace will improve naturally.
  • Communication skills of your employees will improve when they start to get new ideas from others.
  • Your communication skills will improve when you start to get new ideas from others.

Use Experienced Employees Effectively

used experienced employees

As a leader or manager, you need to understand the importance of your experienced employees. They are the bridges between you and your newbie workers. Because inherently an entry-level employee will have a stronger relationship than you with them.

In order to improve your connections with new employees, you need to use experienced ones effectively. I am not saying that you need to create a hierarchy between your team. But you need to use them to reach new employees.

  • Use them to understand the needs of new employees.
  • Use them to infect new employees with your company goals.
  • Meanwhile don’t forget to try creating first hand connections between you and newbies.

Written Communication Is Important

Personally, I prefer to talk business face to face. Either it is a small task or an investment meeting, verbal communication is a must for me. But I am not ignorant to refuse the effect of written communication. 

When it comes to writing emails, or texting with your co-workers, you should be clear as much as you are speaking in order to explain yourself in a better way to the other side.

So, if you want to improve your communication skills, you need to work on your written communication as well. Follow these steps:

  • Try to write structured emails.
  • When you are texting, don’t be lazy and explain everything.
  • Don’t forget to include the necessary people in communication.
  • Try to adjust your writing according to the level of your audience. Write as simple as possible if you are sending that content to low experienced people.

These will help you to convey your message clearly.

Networking Works

I know most of you see networking as an unnecessary task. But the truth is the opposite. Networking works and there is nothing wrong with this. Creating strong relationships with your boss, peers, employees, coworkers will help you to manage your career in a positive way.

I am not saying you should create connections with the most important people in your market even though they don’t have the same values towards business as you. Honestly, you can do this, and probably it will work but won’t satisfy you.

Instead, you can find people who have similar values to you in your market and create strong connections with them. This will help you to reach success in business in a way that you believe.

It is the same for workplaces. If you want to have perfect communication flows in the workplace, you need to bring similar people together:

More Similar People > More Networking > More Communication.

Don’t Be Lazy To Have Meetings

Did I tell you that face to face communication is king? I seriously can’t stress enough how much it is beneficial to improve your communication skills and communication in the workplace. As a leader, you need to be the first one who is pushing people for it.

So instead of hiding behind the screen, go out there and be willing to have face-to-face communications with your team. Be a good example for them. Encourage them to have more meetings, communications about work with their peers.

Make Meetings Matter More

Face to face communication is important, yes. But this might have a negative effect on productivity at work. Unless you make meetings matter more.

Don’t let your meetings become a waste of time for everyone. Make sure that every meeting that you are going to have will have a purpose and only necessary people will attend. And then follow these rules.

  • Be prepared for your meetings.
  • Ask your colleagues to do the same.
  • Create a structure and know what to talk about and when. 
  • Don’t leave from the path especially in crowded meetings.
  • If there is something to discuss in detail, determine a new meeting for that task, and move on.

Build Trust

build trust

Trust is an important factor in the relationship that you will have with your employees. If your employees know that you are trustworthy, they will be more likely to share their opinions about work. This is one of the best practices to improve communication skills in the workplace.

The best way to build trust is to be a man of his word. If you can manage to take action according to your words, your employees will trust you.

This is why you need to be careful when you try to build trust.

If you give the promise to do something but don’t take action about it, this will create distrust which you don’t want at all. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give any promises to your employees but you can’t give any promises that you can’t make.

Sell Your Ideas To Your Employees

This is really important if you want to have good results in your business.

“Great minds think alike and they are excited to talk about their opinions.”

Let’s transcribe this saying for business.

“Great employees think alike and they are excited to talk about their opinions.”

This is why you need to sell your vision to your employees at the very beginning. You need to make them believe in the same goals as you. You need to explain why on earth you are asking to do something from someone.

Give details, make the other person see your goals from your perspective. Answer their questions to remove doubts. Be supportive. Provide resources.

And then watch the improvement of communication skills in the workplace.

Avoid Making Assumptions

Make a habit of not making assumptions about things. Instead, ask questions to learn the real reason behind your employees’ behaviors.

For example, don’t assume a person as a not-go-getter if that person is not able to finish tasks quickly. There might be a reason that prevents your employee. Try to understand the reliability of your assumptions by gathering some more information.

Never Give Up On Follow Up

As a leader or manager, you will always need to follow things up. Sad but true. It is not because your employees’ are not able to finish their tasks on their own, it is about increasing communication in the workplace.

A proper follow-up structure will help you to create continuous communication with all of your employees. Moreover, this will help you to have strong relationships with them.

Keep Workflows Certain And Transparent

Give clear and certain instructions about workflow in your company to your employees. Make sure everyone knows people’s roles.

This will give a confidential boost to people when they need help. Because they will know who they can ask for help or to whom they can delegate a specific task. Knowing these kinds of details will make it easier to create communications and make communications effective.

Use Online Tools To Communicate

The world is changing and you need to keep pace with it. If there is a need to use online communication tools, don’t hesitate to make it happen. Take the advantage of technology to improve the relationship between your team. Don’t miss any opportunity to increase communication in the workplace.

That was all. Thanks for reading in case you could bear with it until the end! If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments about this article please let me know in the comments section below.

Furkan Patan

Digital Marketer & Traveller. Blogger @HowToMotivateMe & @OlmeGormeden

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