No matter what industry you’re in, there is one thing that separates the good workplaces from the bad: communication. When the vibes are off and people don’t communicate, things go wrong fast. There are lots of benefits to open communication at work:
- Avoids office conflict
- Promotes productivity
- Encourages innovation and idea sharing
- Keeps employees around longer
- Catches problems before they arise
In a Health and Community Services career you will very likely be called on to resolve office conflicts. Why not get ahead of the game and proactively build better communication systems for a happier, more productive workplace?
Benefits of open communication
Teams who talk come up with better ideas and get work done faster. It’s important to communicate in different ways so the introverts have a voice and creative skills aren’t wasted on analytical tasks.
A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes. Open communication with colleagues means everyone knows exactly what’s required of them to help the team. If everyone has each other’s backs, then there are no arguments or misunderstandings.
A poor working environment is pegged as the top reason employees quit. Actively engaging workers on the verge of walking out is the most effective way to change their mind. Keeping good people around means a more cohesive team and less time training new employees.
Open communication gives people the confidence to speak up. If there is no fear of punishment for offering genuinely constructive feedback then ideas get better, workplaces become safer, and systems get smoother.
How to encourage open feedback at work
You’ll learn in-depth strategies for managing workplace communication in a Health and Community Services course, but for now let’s touch on a few key ways to improve communication.
1. Identify workplace influencers early
2. Have clearly defined team goals
3. Choose the message and medium carefully
4. Find a way to give diversity a voice (including different personality types)
5. Structure teams based on complementary personalities
6. Encourage and reward constructive feedback
7. Go outside your inner circle for feedback and ideas
8. Coach employees and management on giving and receiving feedback
9. Make management accessible
10. Mix up meetings and brainstorming sessions
Workplace counsellors play a key role in developing open communication strategies and resolving communication breakdowns.
If you’re interested in learning more about making workplaces more productive and solving crises before they cause employees to quit, check out a Diploma of Counselling or Certificate III in Community Services from TrainSmart Australia.