Improving communication at the workplace for happier employees

Team communication at the workplace

In this article, we’ll cover how improving communication at the workplace helps your employees feel happier at work.
The ongoing pandemic and the shift from physical locations to virtual meetings has put pressure on the ways of communication at the workplace. Improving communication at the workplace during remote work can be hard, however, sticking to a few principles can help.
The following seven principles of workplace communication, followed by special aspects to consider during COVID-19, will help your company to perform better.

Principles of communication at the workplace

Having good workplace communication is essential even during the best of times. In order to improve your internal communication, follow the following seven principles in your communication to prevent and overcome potential issues: 

Concrete

Your messages should be concrete to create a clear picture for your employees, upon which they can act upon. Backing the message up with factual material leaves no space for imagination.

Coherent

Coherent communication is a logical, well-planned and sequential manner of delivering messages. For example, weekly info sessions or newsletters to your team will keep everyone in the loop.

Clarity

The message you are delivering should be clear, and it should not baffle the receiver. Being clear about the wanted outcomes of the message means there is no room for confusion.

Commitment

This is a major part of workplace communication skills. It is all about the dedication and the degree to which one communicates surety in the argument. Communicating in a committed way leaves a greater impact.

Consistency

Being consistent in the message you are trying to deliver, supported with a consistent tone and voice of the message saves you time. Your words should not leave your employees confused.

Completeness

Each message must have a conclusion and it should not be incomplete. Once again, when the message is not complete, it will result in confused employees or teammates.

Courteous 

Communication that is honest, respectful, open and polite goes a long way. Do not use offensive language or be passive-aggressive.

So these seven principles are a good start in communicating in the workplace. Following these simple rules will make your communication much easier for everybody involved.

Communicating during COVID-19

Now that we’ve established what are the cornerstones of good communication at the workplace, it makes sense to see what additional ways of communication is good to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: 

Choosing your communication methods wisely

Pairing the message with a proper communication medium is important when talking about COVID-19 related issues. For example, it’s unwise to send a Teams message to notify somebody about a potential exposure case. Or on the other hand, sending an email about every single scheduled workplace cleaning is a bit too much.

As most companies have many different communication methods, it is best to plan and decide on suitable channels for different kinds of messages.

Think about the tone of communication

As mentioned in the overall communication principles earlier, being courteous about your communication is key. Embrace an empathetic tone and adopt cues that makes your employees feel grounded in these unprecedented times, as well as showing them that the company and its leadership is situationally aware.

Making sure that your message is boosting confidence, calmness and surety about the situation will ease the pressure on your employees’ side.

Consider employee special circumstances

We’re all reacting and adapting to the pandemic situation differently. Now, as the fourth wave is imminent, it’s more important than ever to address the concerns on a personal level with your employees to ensure their mental wellbeing. Letting your employees dwell with their questions unanswered will only make them feel unappreciated. For example, if some of your employees have to work from the office for whatever reason, it’s particularly important to communicate with them all the measures you’re taking to ensure their safety. In addition, it’s important to periodically ask their thought and comfort levels when working at the office to keep the communication open in the changing situation.

Having concerns about exposures and infections

Employees are anxious about contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, and employers should address these fears head-on. Setting guidelines and procedures regarding the situation in your workplace and discussing how your employees can reduce the risks of contracting the virus will help your employees understand the situation better. You can also discuss the actions already taken for the reduced possibility of contracting COVID-19 at your premises.

New workplace structures & prevention practices

It’s very likely that your company has adjusted to accommodate the new working methods of hybrid working. We at Haltian used the time and space in our office to renovating it to better suit the needs of hybrid and activity-based working. Adjusting the workplace based on your employees’ needs and wants is the right way to do it, and you should stay attuned to how your employees settle into their changing workplace. Providing them with updated “office policies” reminders is a good way to go, as well as creating easy ways to give feedback.

Importance of collaborative feedback

It’s obvious that the COVID-19 situation raises discussion. As personal communication is key, give your employees an equal chance to voice their questions, concerns and ideas. Taking employee feedback and making it actionable to create policies and resources reflecting these contributions from your team. This will lead to your employees feeling heard and appreciated, and that is never a bad thing, right?

As you can see, taking care of these special circumstances in your communication actions is very important, as added uncertainty about work-related matters does not help your employees perform. There is a clear benefit in good and clear communication in keeping everyone in the loop, for example, about policy changes in your workplace. 

What good communication leads to?

There can be clear benefits from following these principles and taking note of the COVID-19 related actions. Better communication at the workplace means a better working environment, as the messages distributed are well-thought-out and clear. Employees then know where the company stands on specific things, they know how to act if any issues raise and they feel heard & appreciated.

Putting these together leads to fewer mistakes made, time and other resources saved by the company and its employees, all while creating a constructive feedback collection method. Having good internal communication at the workplace is a clear way of improving your company.

If you want to read more on how COVID-19 has affected the work environment, and whether you should be going back to the workplace, read our guide about it here.