Communication is the keystone of any healthy company, though it's tricky to get it right and working properly on all levels. Recent Gallup research underscores the importance of putting in the legwork to dial it in as nearly 70 percent of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged — a truly troublesome statistic for managers everywhere.
But when company leadership prioritizes communication and allocates the necessary time, energy, and resources required to get everyone on the same page and heading in the right direction, huge gains can be made. Greater communication leads to improved access to information, upticks in employee recognition and appreciation, deeper engagement and relationships, and an all-around better company culture.
Here are seven ways to improve your company's communication.
1. Go horizontal and vertical.
An effective communication strategy relies on the free flow of information across several layers. It needs to go horizontally, between peers, as well as vertically, from the top down and vice versa. Having one layer working smoothly — say between peers — but not the other can spell disaster. A well-designed workplace culture study, even an anonymous one, can identify areas in which employees feel that they are not being heard as well as potential weak points where communication efforts are being hampered.
2. Set the example.
Your team looks to company leadership to set the example and that includes how communication is handled. If managers prioritize communication — such as consistently providing feedback, sharing pertinent updates, and being open to hearing input from others — then like tends to breed like. The team will fall into the same pattern, especially if their behavior is also positively reinforced by leadership.
3. Aim for active listening.