One of the most important things any business organization can do is make sure its internal and external communication efforts are as seamless as possible. When this is a top priority for a company, the number of misunderstandings that can cause project delays, or work to be done improperly, are kept to a minimum. That, in turn, means there's less backtracking and everyone is maximizing their time on an ongoing basis.
What can you do to make this ideal part of your communications training? We have some suggestions:
1) Assess your current situation
Even before you begin training, you want to make sure that everyone is on common ground and pulling in the same direction, according to Axero Solutions. Put another way, you have to know what your current comms processes look like — and how they may be at least somewhat inefficient — before you can start training for more effective efforts. As such, a thorough review is necessary and will inform next steps as you build out your communications training efforts.
2) Ensure everyone is fully familiar with your software
Often, people come to your company with plenty of experience using all kinds of business software, but if it's not the kind your company uses regularly, all those skills may not be particularly helpful, Axero Solutions noted. Whatever platforms you use for inter-office or even external communications, make sure all employees have a base level of comfort and can effectively use all the features they need.
3) Make documents easily accessible to those who need them
One of the biggest communications breakdowns for businesses is when they need to be able to access a critical document but cannot do so quickly or easily, according to Syndeo. When there are, perhaps, a relatively small number of physical copies available, or data is siloed off digitally and necessary stakeholders don't have the right permissions, that creates needless back and forth that's better off avoided before it arises.
4) Make it a culture issue
Many people want to keep working the way they've always worked, and that may include being resistant to following new training about more effective communications, Syndeo advised. However, if you highlight why this kind of change to a more effective approach is a net benefit for all involved, you're more likely to get the buy-in you need to succeed. When you tie proper communication to your overall company culture, everyone knows what to expect from one another.
5) Encourage openness about sharing information
While total transparency is difficult to achieve, encourage your employees to continually share information and documents about their progress on a given project, according to Jostle. This way, no one has to chase down mission-critical details, and it's all stored in a repository that everyone knows about and can access. Training workers to be more proactive about this kind of effort will help them get used to the change, but eventually change their behaviors to the point that the new and improved approach is second nature.