Clear, consistent communication is the bedrock of business success.
Here are 15 ideas to boost workplace interactions and connectivity:
1. Don’t chastise people for mingling.
Chatting around the watercooler (or in Slack) might seem like wasted time, but conversations build relationships. If your employees enjoy mingling or having a debate during the workday, let them.
2. Discourage one-way communication.
Many businesses take a top-down approach to communication. Don’t call us; we’ll call you. Making communication a two-way street will empower your employees, boost engagement and help you uncover potential problems.
3. Prioritize regular content creation.
Encouraging employees (from different departments) to create high-quality content helps people inject their personality into the company. Responding to colleagues’ content on social media promotes engagement.
4. Incorporate mobile technologies.
Smartphone and tablet use continues to rise, so it pays to adopt a mobile-first strategy in whatever you produce or use.
5. Attend conferences as a team.
Conferences can be great for team-building and getting to know your colleagues beyond surface-level conversations.
6. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
If you have customers, your employees should be communicating with them efficiently. Using a CRM platform keeps employees on the same page regarding a ticket or inquiry, which speeds customer services and prevents duplicated effort.
7. Put orders in writing.
If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist. Whatever is important to your company—whether it’s rules, policies or customer requests—write it down and set it in stone.
8. Schedule daily status meetings.
Employees appreciate getting the feedback, instructions and guidance they need to succeed. Daily meetings don’t have to last more than 10 minutes; just carve out time to make sure everyone’s on the same page and focused on the right things.
9. Identify and reach out to shy employees.
Introverts often have tremendous ideas, but they might not feel comfortable speaking up during a meeting. Give the shy folks on your team an opportunity to speak in private or wherever they’re comfortable. You might find untapped reserves of genius.
10. Use video conferencing.
When you’re managing remote employees, building trust and rapport can be tricky. Video conferencing is a great way to connect with your colleagues and get a better sense of how they’re doing.
11. Use an anonymous suggestion box.
Providing a forum for discreet feedback will help you learn how people really feel. You can direct remote employees to a virtual suggestion box that offers anonymity.
12. Hold teamwork in high regard.
Collaboration builds camaraderie. Teamwork also tends to spark creativity, efficiency and greater precision. Encourage your workers to take a team-based approach to tackling projects. If you notice certain people work well together, create dream teams.
13. Assess your own communication skills.
Every CEO wants his or her employees to communicate effectively, but what about your own communication skills? Emphasize your strengths, and actively work to improve your weaknesses.
14. Ask questions.
Regularly ask your colleagues for feedback, input, ideas and questions. What’s working well? What’s bugging them? What has to be addressed? This is a great way to monitor the pulse of your organization. Find out how your workers like to receive information.
15. Celebrate your achievements.
When good things happen, take time to celebrate accomplishments, share praise and recognize outstanding employees. This can boost morale, solidify rapport and keep positive communication flowing. That’s the key to a harmonious, healthy workplace.
Tim Eisenhauer is a co-founder and the president of Axero Solutions and author of “Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Break Down the Invisible Barriers to Employee Engagement.” A version of this post originally appeared on the Axero Solutions blog.