Dara Busch, President of 5WPR notes, in any given work environment, every employee has their own tasks they need to do, but everyone is working toward achieving the same goal. With a number of people working together, there’s bound to be some sort of friction when it comes to agreeing on how to implement different strategies or ideas. The best way to achieve success with the least amount of friction is through communication. Through communication, everyone can listen to each other, openly share ideas, and effectively come to an agreement.
It’s important to have everyone really listen to each other when someone is speaking. If someone ends up writing an email while they’re on a Zoom call, interrupting with their own ideas, or even doodling during a meeting, they’re not actively listening. Active listening means putting away any distractions while someone is speaking, and making eye contact with them. It also means waiting until they’re finished to speak, paying attention to the speaker’s body language and tone, as well as not planning a reply or a question until they’ve finished speaking.
When someone in a management position asks another employee in their department to do a certain task, they should also explain why they’re being asked to do that task. Without an explanation, the employee that’s being tasked might worry that they performed poorly in the past, and that they’re now in trouble when in fact the manager just needs them to keep working. Regardless of what the task might be, and the reason behind it, it’s important to share why someone is asking an employee to do certain things. This strategy is also helpful in avoiding miscommunications and misunderstandings inside a team.
If a company starts holding meetings every other day, there are going to be a lot of unhappy employees. Improving communication skills inside a company doesn’t mean having more meetings, but rather about making the meetings more meaningful and efficient. That means figuring out which meetings are essential to hold, and which ones are better as an email to specific people. Holding inefficient meetings only ends up wasting time, especially if people that aren’t supposed to attend them get invited and have to be present. Every meeting should also have a clear outline to keep everyone on topic, it should end with defined and actionable tasks, and it should be followed up on with the same people who attended it, in order to ensure that everyone understands what they need to do next.
Open communication is a two-way street, which means that aside from checking in on the progress of employees and holding effective meetings, companies should be open to feedback from employees on their own performance too. The feedback can happen with the help of a regular survey that employees fill out anonymously, or during a one-on-one meeting. Then, when the feedback is received, it should be addressed in a way that minimizes the weaknesses described in the feedback, instead of ignoring any comments from the employees and moving ahead as planned.
Dara Busch is President of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.
5W Public Relations is a full-service PR agency in NYC known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses, issues and ideas. With more than 250 professionals serving clients in B2C (Beauty & Fashion, Consumer Brands, Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Travel & Hospitality, Technology, Nonprofit), B2B (Corporate Communications and Reputation Management), Public Affairs, Crisis Communications and Digital Marketing (Social Media, Influencer, Paid Media, SEO). 5W was awarded 2020 PR Agency of The Year and brings leading businesses a resourceful, bold and results-driven approach to communication.
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