How to Improve Communication in the Workplace

How to Improve Communication in the Workplace

Jun 21, 2023

How to Improve Communication in the Workplace

Are you looking to improve productivity, enhance your leadership team or improve the lines of communication within your workplace? Whatever you're looking to achieve, Mosaic Workhouse provides you with the necessary communication skills and communication tools to help you improve your workplace communication and culture. Poor communication skills can be a major obstacle in the workplace, so the following strategies have been put together to help you get started. But first, we are going to have a look at why communication is a fundamentally important part of any workplace.

What is employee communication and how does it contribute to organisational performance?

Employee communication is defined as ‘the planned use of communication actions to systematically influence the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of current employees’ (Strauss and Hoffman, 2000: 143). Planning and being systematic are essential components of effective communication to ensure that we work to a plan to further the culture of the organisation and support organisational goals. Communication professionals do not only create content, they are behaviour drivers promoting the right actions, influencing attitudes, and driving actions with a specific outcome in mind. They nurture intangible assets like brand, culture, and mindset. As such, using employee communication effectively is incremental to reaching business objectives and creating a healthy organisational culture. 

Why is communication important in the workplace?

Effective employee communication in the workplace brings added value in these four domains (Dewhurst and Fitzpatrick, 2019: 11):

  1. Operating effective systems: A good employee communication strategy will ensure the organisation is operating effective systems to reach everyone and align employees behind clear vision and objectives, capture feedback and overall job satisfaction, and, crucially, make things happen.

  2. Drive outcomes: Impactful communication also drives outcomes by spreading knowledge and shaping behaviours and positive attitudes, minimising resistance to change or new initiatives, building confidence and reducing misunderstandings and conflicts.

  3. Support leaders and key players: Communication professionals understand the audience better than anyone else, and as such, they can act as advisers and support leaders with their goals through effective communication.

  4. Contribute to the growth of intangible assets: Communication plays an essential role in building employee engagement, boosting morale and promoting a positive culture or brand. A good communication strategy will effectively integrate external reputation and brand with employee understanding, beliefs, and behaviours. 

What are effective communication channels in the workplace?

Communication channels in the workplace refer to the various methods or mediums through which information is transmitted and shared among individuals or groups. These channels can vary in terms of their speed, formality, richness of communication, and the types of messages they convey. Examples of communication channels include:

  • Face-to-Face Communication: Allows for immediate feedback, nonverbal cues, and a high level of richness in communication. It is ideal for complex or sensitive discussions, team meetings, presentations, or brainstorming sessions.

  • Written Communication: Includes emails, memos, reports, newsletters, and other written documents. Written communication provides a record of the message, can be easily shared and stored, and allows for careful crafting of the message. However, it lacks immediate feedback and nonverbal cues.

  • Video Conferencing: Allows individuals or groups in different locations to have face-to-face interactions. It enables real-time communication, nonverbal cues, and visual collaboration. Video conferencing is beneficial for remote teams, virtual meetings, and discussions that require visual aids or demonstrations.

  • Instant Messaging and Chat: Real-time text-based communication. Instant messaging offers immediate responses to quick questions, fosters quick information sharing and enables effective team collaboration, but it may lack the richness of face-to-face communication.

  • Intranet and Internal Websites: Centralised platforms for sharing information within an organisation. They allow for the dissemination of announcements, policies, procedures, and other important documents. Intranets can also facilitate collaboration through discussion forums, document sharing, and employee directories.

  • Team Collaboration Tools: Collaboration tools like project management software, shared document platforms, and virtual whiteboards enable teams to work together on projects, share information, and track progress. These tools enhance teamwork, foster transparency, and promote efficient communication among team members.

  • Notice Boards, SMART screens and Posters: They are useful for conveying messages to a large number of people in a centralised location. 

  • Social Media: can be used to share updates, news, or engage in conversations. They offer the advantage of reaching a wide audience and encouraging interaction.

At Mosaic, our take is that every organisation needs a good combination of channels, or toolbox, so that it can effectively adapt to communication needs, style and tone, and target audience within the organisation. To choose the right combination of channels for your organisation or project ask yourself:

  1. What you are trying to achieve: are you homogenising practices across the organisation? or boosting engagement? Spreading knowledge and encouraging interaction may require different, complementary channels. 

  2. Who you will communicate with: are you addressing the entire organisation, or only a small group of people? What is their current attitude towards the topic you are communicating on? What is the most appropriate tone for this specific group of people? 

  3. What’s your organisation’s style and culture: organisational culture establishes communication norms that guide how employees communicate with one another. These norms can include expectations around responsiveness, tone, formality, and frequency of communication. For instance, a culture that values efficiency and speed may encourage the use of instant messaging or other real-time communication tools. A culture that promotes trust and psychological safety creates an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions. 

Change communication: supporting employees through transitions

We understand that if you are trying to change things for the better in your workplace, you may have a few doubts about which strategies to use, or if you feel that change may not be accepted within your team, then Mosaic Workhouse can effectively assist you in implementing and communicating these changes. It is important to communicate openly with clear objectives to your team and to keep them updated with new targets and changes as they arise to avoid miscommunication, misalignment, and resistance to change.

It is also important to understand the likely impact of change on your team and to ensure that they are given support through any transition period. The first step to developing a good change communication plan is stakeholder mapping and change impact analysis:

  • Who is affected by the change?

  • What is their influence on the project's success?

  • What change will they experience?

  • What is their anticipated reaction to change?

  • What do we want them to know, feel, and do?

As highlighted by Dewhurst and Fitzpatrick (2019: 165), this mapping exercise will help us classify stakeholders into 5 categories:

  1. Sponsors - people who need to make this project a success

  2. Champions or change agents - people who will drive the project forward

  3. Promoters - friends whose enthusiasm will be helpful

  4. Neutrals

  5. Detractors - people who may resist change 

We can then establish an effective stakeholder engagement strategy and design a communication plan accordingly.

At Mosaic, we believe the key to effective change communication is ensuring that:

  1. Everyone knows where we are heading together

  2. Everyone knows why we are heading there 

  3. Everyone is excited about the journey - in other words, they believe there is some personal benefits in it for them

We use storytelling to communicate change in an inspiring and convincing way. This helps ensure people understand why the change is needed, believe the proposed solution is the right one, and see the personal benefits in it for them and their team. We also use a range of tools to ensure people are not only informed, but equipped for change so that they feel capable of implementing this change successfully. 

How Mosaic Workhouse can help you improve communication in the workplace

Improving communication methods in the workplace doesn’t have to be a difficult task. We provide a range of communications tools that you can implement in your communication strategy to be able to create a clearer understanding and be able to relay key points across to your team which are all understood. Communication is not only important for relaying information, but it also boosts employee morale and helps employees feel valued and respected, and even more importantly.. helps them feel involved in business arrangements and with each other!

Mosaic Workhouse works with you to achieve your communication goals, we provide an in-depth review of your current communication strategy and channels and help you create an employee communication that drives outcomes, effectively influences behaviours and attitudes, and supports engagement and a solid organisational culture or brand.

We provide a range of communication training methods such as graphic facilitation and video production to help your employees get on board and more importantly, stay on board! Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!