Staff Communication Skills

Staff Communication Skills

First of all, I don’t have a staff. That said, I have managed staff and staff communication skills may be utilised in many aspects of business too. For example, I may not have staff but I do collaborate with other freelancers on projects which requires clear communication.

No business has ever or will ever work without those involved communicating with each other effectively. Communication opens so many doors that in the modern world, makes international collaboration easy. Two people, from opposite sides of the world, could run an online business together, for example. This sounds incredible – but it’s true. It happens each and every day. Cut that line of communication though, and things go south quickly. Staff communication is absolutely essential.

Group Chats Work Well For Staff Communication

It can be important to ensure members of your department can instant message one another in a ‘group setting,’ to ensure that all messages are equally given. Email just doesn’t cut it these days. Messages are lost, delayed and overlooked. You might decide to use an instant messaging capability such as Slack (a favourite of mine) or WhatsApp although you need to understand that these apps may cause packet loss). Using messaging apps ensures that those messages are encrypted and opted-into.

As with all staff communications, stay consistent. If you are continually changing where you share relevant information needed to help your employees in their role or those you are collaborating with, they will become confused, and as a result they might even become quite annoyed with you. They need to know where all the important updates are posted. Find a solution, i.e. Slack, that works and stick with that platform only.

The Division Between Work & Home Life

It’s important for you to encourage a healthy balance of home and work life through your communication policies. For example, when an employee heads home after working all day the last thing they want is to keep up on their work emails. You might decide to do so as the leader of your firm, but expecting others to do that as standard can be a real problem.

If you want staff to remain productive and motivated, respect their work life balance and boundaries. Unless a member of staff is on call, for example,  they shouldn’t be expected to be jumping onto the work group chat at 8pm!

Train Staff

It’s not just how you interact with staff that dictates how optimised your internal communication is, but also how they interact with one another. For this reason, it’s important to consider the main necessities when training staff. Email writing is a good place to start. Too short, and your email can be vague and hard to read. Too long, and you take up the valuable time of the recipient, and this can aggravate. For this reason, training staff in brevity and comfortable email writing and formatting can help to streamline communications and avoid confusion. 

Concise email is easier to digest. On top of that, the use of a formatted date might also become detected by a note-taking application, allowing for immediate placement in a calendar. Avoid vague headers when writing email and communicate the relevant information with the “chat”. This will same the sender time, the person receiving it will appreciate it and it will streamline staff communication further.

Communication is Important For Everyone

I am in contact with numerous clients, teams, other freelancers and more every week. By employing the same tips to my freelance business as managers do with their staff I spend much less time in my inbox and more time doing my actual work. Read the Productivity Ninja for some great ideas to improve staff communication and overall organisation. What staff communication or business communication tips do you have?