According to a Gallup, 87% of modern employees feel disengaged at work. With an increasingly disengaged workforce, it’s crucial that we improve workplace communication. This article will discuss the top 5 ways we’ve found to do just that.
1. Adapt to the Remote Revolution
With more employees choosing to work remotely than ever, it’s about time we realize that remote workers are part of the workplace too. Remote employees may feel out of the loop, and scheduling regular check-ins with them and offering support is an effective way to improve workplace communication. Ways to adapt to the remote workplace include:
- Schedule Check-ins: Create a consistent schedule to check in with remote employees and offer support. This will help them feel more engaged with the company and their work.
- Listen: Communication is a two way street. It’s important that leaders listen to employees so that employees can see the value of their own thoughts appreciated.
- Empathy and Transparency: Ultimately, we want our remote employees to feel valued and trusted. By demonstrating empathy and being transparent about the company dynamics, leaders can improve workplace communication and engagement.
As remote work continues to become increasingly more mainstream, it’s more important than ever for us to keep employees engaged and improve workplace communication. Scheduling check-ins, listening with empathy, and providing transparency enabled our organization, Gift Card Partners, Inc, to be recognized by the National Association for Business Resources as the Best and Brightest Company to Work For® in 2022.
2. Constant Communication, Follow Up, and Resolution
While effective communication is important in every situation, it is especially important when the employee is experiencing a personal problem. When an employee reveals something personal such as the death of a loved one, a pending divorce, or the distress they experience about aging parents, how will you respond? Ways to improve workplace communication in such situations include:
- Consistency: It’s essential to communicate regularly, follow up when appropriate, and ensure that there is a resolution if you are able to do so.
- Flexibility: Take this opportunity to communicate that your organization values work-life balance, and let the employee know that it is ok for them to take some time off.
- Support: Communicate your support to the employee, and refer them to any resources you might be able to find on the topic. Be sure to use your judgment and only offer resources as is appropriate.
Constant communication, follow up, and resolution are the essential steps to follow for improving workplace communication. Emphasizing flexibility and offering support are simple and effective ways to support employees in times of distress.
3. Listen to Your Employees; They Know More Than You
You can improve workplace communication and make your employees feel more engaged at the same time by just listening. Remember that employees often know more than you about how to solve certain problems within an organization. Ways to improve listening skills with employees include:
- Let Them Speak: This might seem obvious, but it’s basic enough that many people forget to simply give the person in front of them the space and time to speak. If your idea of a check-in is to dump information on the employee and then ask how they’re doing in the last 2 minutes, you’re not giving them that opportunity.
- Practice Active Listening: You can let employees know that you’re actually listening by practicing active listening. Be present, show interest, and listen to understand rather than listening to respond.
- Be Ready to Hear Anything: It’s crucial that you prepare yourself to hear both positive and negative feedback. How you respond to your employees will directly affect their willingness to offer their thoughts in the future.
To improve workplace communication, it’s essential to actively listen to employees and let them know that their thoughts matter to you, even if we don’t like what they have to say.
4. Come Together… Right Now
This is where we can take our communication with employees in the workplace to a whole other level. If your company has the budget, organize a team get together where employees can engage with each other on a deeper level as opposed to a professional context. Some suggestions for team get togethers include:
- Sports Events: If your employees are into a particular sport or a local team, you can get tickets and bring everyone to the game.
- Sports Activities: You can arrange any number of sports activities, including soccer, bowling, basketball, or ping pong! Customize this according to your employees’ interests.
- Fun Challenges: Try out an escape room together or do something that teaches you a new skill such as a wine and paint event.
To take communication from purely professional to something a little more personal, try organizing a get together for employees.
5. Acknowledge and Reward Employees
Communication goes far beyond simple verbal communication. According to the SHRM, acknowledging and rewarding employees is essential for enhancing employee engagement and performance. Let employees know that you care about their practical needs by offering AutoZone® gift cards. Most employees will recognize the brand and will be able to put it to good use.
- AutoZone gift cards can be redeemed at over 6,215 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, or online at AutoZone.com
- Low initial purchase requirement
- No fees or expiration dates
- Fast fulfillment service
As part of your communication strategy, be sure to acknowledge and reward employees as part of the process. AutoZone gift cards are an easily recognizable and practical gift to reward and acknowledge employees.
As the workforce continues to go remote and employees continue to report feeling disengaged at work, improving workplace communication is becoming more crucial every day. By developing some of the skills mentioned above, your workplace can become far more competent in communicating and engaging with employees.