Tips for Managers: 9 Ways to Achieve Better Communication in the Workplace

Office Communication

Image by Injeongwon

As a manager, you’re not just responsible for your employees meeting deadlines and keeping on top of their work, but also for ensuring that any extraneous factors on their work can be properly accounted for – and most of all, that they’re comfortable and satisfied. Good, effective communication is vital for all those things, plus it’s a handy life skill. So take note of the following communication tips, ranging from general advice to specific recommendations on workplace communication networks.


1) Listen

This is by far the most fundamental. You can’t be a good communicator if you don’t listen closely to what people have to say! A good listener encourages people to be more forthcoming with their opinions and queries – don’t shut people out.


2) Be Specific & Constructive

When setting out work and deadlines, be as specific as you possibly can. Be clear about what tasks should be given priority – don’t constantly push for everything to be done at once, or people won’t take you seriously when there’s actually something important to do! In addition, constructive criticism is far more effective than gushing praise or scathing feedback.


3) Credit Where Credit’s Due

Having said that, don’t hold back from giving someone credit for a job well done. Rewarding hard work and effort gives everyone else more incentive to do well. Don’t shy away from letting everyone know that diligence is prized.


4) Don’t Micromanage

It may be tempting to constantly check up on people to ensure work’s getting done, but that won’t actually help. Allowing people some free reign to complete their tasks fosters trust. Besides, there should be a general system in place to allow employees to keep the relevant people informed about the state of their work.


5) Use a Good Project Management System

An effective project management system like Basecamp allows everyone involved in specific ventures to contact and update each other quickly and efficiently. This saves both time and unnecessary communication.


6) Take Advantage of Instant Messaging

Most employers don’t allow Facebook access during work hours, which is fair enough. But disallowing instant messaging altogether isn’t necessarily an efficient move. Using Skype or Yammer allows colleagues to quietly discuss things with each other without having to leave their desks. This is especially useful in an open-plan office, where talking too much may bother other people.


7) Allow People Privacy

If people ever need to have a private chat, there should be spaces available for them to do so. This should be kept in mind when designing an office. It’s fine to buy glass partition walls for managers’ and directors’ offices as long as there’s some kind of system in place for blocking the view during private conversations or meetings. If not, ensure there is a space where privacy is possible.


8) Make Channels of Communication Known

It’s vital for people to know exactly where to go and who to ask about particular issues, whether work-related or personal. Sometimes this can be fairly intuitive, but if there’s anyone specific to approach it’s important to make this information known to employees early on.


9) Have a Suggestion Box

Of course, some issues and queries don’t necessarily need to be discussed face-to-face. Put out a suggestion box where people can quietly and anonymously send in their ideas for improving the workplace. Of course, be sure to actually go through the suggestions and implement the good ones, otherwise this practice could seem like a bit of an empty gesture.


Do you think there are any other vital means of communicating effectively? Let us know in the comments!