Do you enjoy going to work?
Are you able to handle your current workload?
Do you feel valued and appreciated in your position?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might want to analyze and improve communication. Communication is one of the most important issues in the workplace. It is all about relationships. As business relationships grow stronger, it makes it easier to get work done more efficiently.

According to a Watson Wyatt study, companies that communicate the most effectively are 50% more likely to report lower turnover levels compared with the industry average. Clearly, communication plays a huge role in making your business more successful.

Common communication problems that can cause big problems in the workplace are inaccessibility, assumptions, misunderstandings, poor company culture, and lack of trust. Left unaddressed, these issues create a poor company culture and lead to high turnover, lack of efficiency, and decreased productivity.

If your office could use a communication boost, here are some of tips from those who do it best.

  1. Be Friends.

Take the time to learn about the people you work with. Not about their job or career, but about their hobbies, interests, families, and quirks. This foundation of friendship breaks the ice and opens the lines of communication.

  1. Follow Through.

Establishing trust may take time, but following through on the little things makes a big difference in creating a trusting relationship quickly. If you say you will help, show up and help.

  1. Set Aside Time.

Find time once a week, (or every other week) to talk one-on-one with your direct reports. Employees may not want to interrupt your busy day, or may feel embarrassed or unsure of how to approach you. For that reason, setting aside time to discuss work, touch base, and share concerns is one of the best ways to establish relationships and learn more about what’s happening behind the desk.

  1. Listen.

Fifty percent of communication is listening. Avoid multitasking during important conversations. Give the speaker your full attention. Ask questions and seek to truly understand their point of view and the why/how they think the way they do.

  1. Find the positive.

Too often communication only flows when there’s a problem to be solved. Instead, find the positives, the wins, the compliments and good deeds and talk about those as well.

  1. Transparency.

The word transparency often makes executives squirm in their seats, but it’s not a bad concept. Keeping everyone in the loop about what is coming up next is an important way to show employees they are valuable. Keeping changes, strategies, or upcoming news, a secret only breeds rumors, resentment, and disloyalty.

  1. Keep Your Door Open.

This one seems simple, but it’s important. When an office building is full of closed doors, it creates a very defensive space. With the exception of truly confidential conversations, keep your door open as you work to allow yourself to be approachable and available.

Good communication helps everyone feel heard, understood, and valued. As a result, the entire workplace becomes a positive, encouraging, and successful environment.  It’s not too late to change your company culture, make some positive changes, and create new results. As the leader, you set the tone in your business. Start the way by implementing a few changes this week and see what a difference it can make.

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might want to analyze and improve communication. Communication is one of the most important issues in the workplace. It is all about relationships. As business relationships grow stronger, it makes it easier to get work done more efficiently.