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Top 3 Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace

A lot of misunderstandings stem from things getting lost in translation. When you’ve got a team of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees across an office, it’s easy to lose sight of key objectives. So how do you make sure you and your team members are all on the same page? The answer is simple – communication. You’ll never get anywhere without actually talking about how to get there. In almost every part of life, maintaining success and happiness rely heavily on communication. Relationships cannot thrive without this openness, and the same goes for organizations both large and small. If you let communication slip through the cracks, your team’s success will follow suit. When I first started Hoopla, I quickly noticed a number of practices that worked really well in keeping our team engaged and on track. Granted, some worked better than others – so here’s a list of my top 3 ways to improving communication in any workplace:

1. Encourage feedback

Communication is a two-way street. While you may be great at communicating tasks at hand to your team, make sure you’re also listening and encouraging feedback on the information. It’s important to involve your team members and let them in on the plan. The McKinsey Global Institute found that connecting with employees can increase productivity of employees by 20 to 25%. To start, lead by example. Quick 5 minute stand-ups at the start of each day can bring an amazing amount of productivity. Initiate conversation with your team about items on their agendas and what they need from you to accomplish these tasks. Regular and efficient updates can clear any misunderstanding and keep your team on track. Once you create and reward open dialogue, your team will begin to see the merits in sharing their input and giving feedback.

2. Make objectives and goals visible

Set clearly defined goals and let employees know the direction of the company. This applies mostly to team leaders, but if your manager isn’t communicating key objectives to you, make sure you have this talk. In a study by Cognisco, businesses with 100,000 employees are losing on average $62 million per year due to misunderstandings in the workplace. So – what better way to negate miscommunication than to publicly share company, team, and personal goals. Here at Hoopla, we share our OKRs publicly on large TV screens throughout the office. A simple goal tracking system adopted by Intel and Google, OKRs map out your company’s Objectives and Key Results. Through Hoopla’s Google Sheets integration, we map custom metrics to track Goal Progress and Quota Achievement percentages, which are then auto-populated and fed in through the Hoopla TV for all to see (learn how). I love the idea of knowing exactly where our company stands with reaching our goals, as well as realizing which metrics need just a little more work. Understanding key objectives and company progress helps teams and individuals better realize the steps necessary to reach these higher-level goals and stay motivated while doing so. It’s extremely rewarding to see goals being met and real progress move on leaderboards displayed on the big screen. The best thing about this is – when goals are met, the whole office is notified through a Breaking News alert on every TV. High-fives are in order!

3. Eliminate emails!

Let’s take away the company-wide email blasts and long threads of unread, forgotten messages. Emails are formal, take time to compose, and ultimately waste tons of valuable time. We live in a world of fast technology and thrive off instant feedback. For me, Slack is a great tool for quick and easy communication. We use Slack at Hoopla to message individuals, teams, as well as the entire office. Slack makes it easy to send a quick message to a colleague via direct messaging, as well as open channels for a transparent view of all that’s going on. We also use Hoopla TV to broadcast Slack messages and content with our new integration with Slack. The constant flow of communication through Slack and Hoopla TV has definitely created a more inclusive and engaging environment – and the relay of information has never been quicker. While better communication won’t happen overnight, take small steps to make it happen. Start your day tomorrow with a 5-minute stand-up with your team or download Slack for your office. Growing clear communication between management and employees can have a powerful influence in creating a more open and engaging environment. Thank you for reading – I hope this helped! Please feel free to share how your team keeps communication flowing in the comments section below.