69% of managers state that they’re not comfortable communicating with their employees.
If this is how managers feel, then it’s no wonder that internal communication among your employees may not be as good as you would wish.
The trouble is, poor communication can cause a number of issues and even lead to lost sales. That’s why it’s important to try to improve internal communication as much as possible.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do so. Read on as we take a look at seven practical tips.
1. Encourage Feedback
As a manager, it’s important that you provide your employees with feedback about what they are doing well and what they can improve.
Try to encourage employees to do the same. When people are working together, the more feedback they can give each other, the more they will learn. Once the conversation is started, you should find that communication will extend beyond the realm of feedback and into other areas as well.
2. Include Employees in Business Objectives
Your employees are much more likely to communicate with you and with each other if they feel invested in your business.
Instead of simply assigning projects and telling employees what to do, tell them why they are doing it as well. By sharing your business objectives with everyone, not only will you boost positive communication about those objectives, but employees may also be able to offer useful solutions that management hadn’t considered.
If everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, internal communication will be much improved.
3. Shared Inbox
Email is perfect for one-to-one communication. It was never designed with a growing business in mind.
You may find that even with features such as a group mailbox, confusion arises over which employee is supposed to be responding to which email, and you have an embarrassing situation where customers receive the same email from two different employees. What is even worse is when those emails contain different information, because there was no internal communication before the responses were sent out.
That’s where a shared inbox comes in. Not only can every account send and receive email from a team address, but you can also communicate and collaborate with the shared inbox. By using tags or a chat system, multiple employees can work together to find the best solution and then send a single, agreed-upon response that will leave the customer fully satisfied.
Some shared inbox systems will even have collision detection to ensure that no customer receives more than one response to their query.
4. Use Online Tools
Shared inboxes aren’t the only way to use technology to improve internal communication.
Workplace communications tools such as Slack or Microsoft Teams are designed to make communication amongst the entire workforce simple to do, even when people are working from home or are out of the office.
Online tools can also replace some outdated and inefficient systems you may have in place. For example, how often have employees sat in team meetings that didn’t really relate to them when they could have been focusing on other tasks? Online tools can ensure that employees can dip into just those meetings that relate to their work, and can feel more confident contributing to those meetings too.
5. Rearrange Your Office
Although technology can help, there’s still no substitute for talking things out face-to-face.
The easier you can make this for your employees, the better. You might consider rearranging your office space; the traditional cubicle layout discourages rather than encourages communication. Consider a more open-plan layout that will make internal communication easier and make your employees feel more like a team than individuals.
6. Encourage Mingling
Some managers frown upon employees hanging out at the water cooler, talking about things that have no relation to work.
If you clamp down on this type of communication, however, then you’re making your employees far less likely to engage in work-related communication. By allowing employees to bond over these types of conversations, they feel more comfortable talking to one another, and this will only improve workplace communication.
Team-building days are also a great way to help foster better communication for the same reasons.
7. Support Those Who Are Less Outgoing
Not everyone in your business will have the exact same levels of self-confidence.
There will be those who are more than happy to put forward their opinions, even when it hasn’t been sought. There are also those who prefer to take a back seat and let others do the talking.
The trouble is, the value of what your employees might have to say doesn’t necessarily correlate with how confident they are in saying it. Your quietest employee may have really valuable insights, but simply be too shy to put them forward.
That’s why it’s important to support those who feel less able to communicate openly. By offering support and encouragement, you can help every employee feel confident in communicating with any member of your company.
Are You Ready to Improve Internal Communication?
If you’re ready to improve your internal communication then we’re here to help.
We offer a shared inbox that makes collaboration simple and seamless. Each user has their own login details, so there are no concerns about shared passwords. You can chat within the shared inbox to ensure that you’re on the same page about each response.
There’s also collision detection, which helps to ensure that you won’t send two emails to the same client. You can also assign emails across your team, to help you reach inbox zero sooner than ever before.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.