Good communication is essential in achieving (and improving) productivity, and in maintaining strong working relationships at all levels in an organisation.

Employers and managers who invest time and energy into delivering clear lines of communication find it easier to build trust with their employees, which leads to increases in productivity, output, and ‘office’ morale in general.

Poor communication in the workplace can lead to demotivated staff who often begin to question their confidence in their own abilities – and inevitably in the organisation.

Five steps to help you improve your communication

With 40 years’ experience recruiting people, we understand the value of good communication. Here we have outlined five of the key areas where organisations can improve and enhance their communications:

1. Define goals and expectations

Managers need to deliver clear, achievable goals to both teams and individuals, outlining exactly what is required on any project, making sure everyone is aware of the project objectives – including the organisation as a whole.

2. Deliver a clear message

Ensure your message is clear for your audience. To do this it is essential that you speak plainly and politely – getting your message across clearly without causing confusion or offence, clarifying details where needed.

3. Use the right platform – and medium!

A beautifully crafted message still needs a home and a delivery method. Face-to-face is by far the best way to build trust with employees, but it is not always an option, especially when communicating to the whole organisation. Decide whether something printed would work better than an email, or if a general memo will reach your audience.

4. Keep everyone involved

Lines of communication should always be open. Seek out and encourage people to create progress reports and give you project updates. This is vital when dealing with remote staff, who need to feel included from distance.

5. Listen and show empathy

Communication is a two-way process – and no company or individual will survive long without listening and encouraging dialogue. Listening shows respect and allows you to learn about any issues you may need to address as an employer. Dialogue allows your employees to feel connected, trusted, and that their opinions are respected – key elements of a team.

For more advice on developing your team, browse our engagement and retention articles in our advice section.