More Than 80 Percent of Employees Would Rather Have THIS Benefit Over Health InsuranceJune 2, 2015 - By: Sharon Swanson
We’ve all grown up learning that “communication is key” and have seen it put into practice in forming relationships with family, teachers, colleagues and others. Communication is especially prevalent in the workplace where we engage in conversations every day and gain stability and comfort from good communications. But how important is good communication in today’s tech-filled office? A recent survey found that 81 percent of employees said they’d prefer to be a part of a company that utilizes “open communication” in the office rather than a company that offers great benefits such as health insurance, paid parking or extra vacation days.
So how can companies achieve effective, open communication?
The truth is, it may be hard for workers today to see open communication strategies being implemented in their everyday office life. Only 15 percent of the 1,000 employees who took the survey said that they were “very satisfied” with the quality of communication in their company and with their managers. There are many factors and challenges that play into why having open and successful communication can be hard to come by these days. We created a list that shows some frequent challenges we see with communication in the workplace and ways to work through them.
Challenge: Generational differences
Solution: Understanding communication preferences
The work place is now a combination of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Each generation has a variety of preferred communication channels and standards range from face-to-face conversation to phone calls to email. Learn how each generation is different and pay attention to preferences that overlap. It’s beneficial when employees learn each other’s communication style and then take turns accommodating one another. Everyone becomes more well-rounded in the process.
Challenge: Varying personalities
Solution: Everyone can get along with a little effort
Not everyone at the company will go out to lunch or partake in happy hour together; however, professionals will be able to work together and put aside their differences for the good of the company in day-to-day activities. Certain personalities work best in group settings in order to have productive conversations, and others do better with minimal interruptions. Figure out who mixes well with whom and encourage conversation from there.
Challenge: Inconsistent availability
Solution: Scheduling is key
Everyone in the office may have drastically different schedules. Between meetings, phone calls and deadlines, it is important to make sure employees feel as though their time is valued and respected. Good communication skills come into play for impromptu questions or conversations. A courteous “Hey, do you have a minute?” will go a long way to get a colleague on board for a brief, important conversation.
Challenge: Interdepartmental miscommunication
Solution: Spend time learning each department
Each department normally has its own best practices, jargon and even inside jokes. Making an effort to learn a department’s unique language will break down communication barriers and allow for more positive and productive conversations.