Optimum productivity in the workplace is always the goal of management. Methodology is a primary factor in accomplishing effective communication that results in successful collaboration and increased productivity. Is there a disconnect between management and your workforce? Are projects running behind schedule? Poor communication between management, departments, and employees can be disruptive, confusing, and slow the workflow. Consider the following methods for communication improvement.
If your communication is written, have several people proof it for clarity. Never assume the employees or department heads will know what the writer is thinking. Appoint a communication secretary with excellent grammar skills to edit all written materials. Always include a section where employees can ask questions for further clarification.
Spoken communication to a group should establish clear project expectations. Allow some time for questions at the end of the presentation. Not every person hears things in the same way and allowing questions helps the speaker to address any misunderstandings.
Learn to Listen
While it is important for management to disperse clear goals, requirements, and expectations, it is also essential to know how to listen to employees. Passive listening is considered disinterest by the person speaking. Active listening indicates management is concerned and cares about what employees are saying.
Allow the employee to finish speaking before any comments are made.
Use head nods and other signals to let the employee know you are listening.
Make eye contact throughout the conversation.
Summarize what the employee has said to let them know you understand. Never use the phrase “What I hear you saying is…”; it implies you hear a message other than the one given.
Attentive listening lets employees know that you want to hear their concerns. Quite often you will find they are your best source to troubleshoot productivity issues. Because the worker is in the midst of things, he or she can have good ideas about organizing and improving methods.
Structure for employee projects is critical to success. Realistic deadlines motivate employees with a sense of urgency to meet a project’s completion date. Without a precise date and time for the project deadline, employees might procrastinate. If you say the project is due on Monday by 5:00 pm, don’t ask if it is done on Friday afternoon. Set priorities for all ongoing projects, and let everyone involved know if a new project must take precedence over an ongoing project. Establish an update schedule to keep employees informed of accurate details. Productivity will improve with these practices.
Poor communication between management and employees can cause delay, misunderstanding, and tension. Productivity suffers, and tempers can flare when expectations and deadlines are not specific. Make sure clarity is the priority in both written and spoken communications, and you’ll be rewarded with on-time project completion.