11 Internal Communication Strategies for the Workplace

Knowing how to communicate effectively with your teams is a measure of the success you can achieve. But first, you need to understand how to communicate effectively. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on effective communication and what it can mean for your organization, your marketing, and your customers’ eyes.

Zight | October 19, 2022 | 11 min read time

Article Last Updated: January 05, 2024

11 Internal Communication Strategies for the Workplace

How many systems, procedures, and programs does your company need to be successful? It’s a trick question because success doesn’t come from those things.  Success, at its very core, comes from effective communication. No digital tool or software program can make things happen without it.  

Workplace communication is the most important component of productivity and achievement. Lost productivity due to poor communication costs more than $12,000 per year per employee and wastes an estimated 7.47 hours each week, according to a poll by Grammerly & Harris.  

So, how can you avoid these pitfalls?

In this piece, we explore tactics instrumental in building effective communication strategies in the workplace and learn why implementing these new procedures will benefit your employees’ productivity and peace of mind — and your bottom line!

What is Effective Communication?

Communication is the exchange of information and ideas between two or more people.

So, effective communication is your ability to exchange information with someone else and understand what isn’t being said. This includes how tone and body language can communicate intent and emotion. You want to get the whole package to understand fully what someone is saying and what they mean.

The most effective communicators find multiple ways to get the point across to reach all possible audiences. When every item, such as text and visuals, reinforces the main point, the message will likely get across.‍

Suppose you can internalize the structure and create positive communication practices for your entire team. In that case, your business is three and a half times more likely to outperform competitors who don’t have effective communication practices.

Why is Effective Communication Necessary?

Effective communication is necessary for giving instructions, learning from your team, and addressing concerns before they become real problems. Good workplace communication creates an environment where employees can thrive. A highly engaged team working together effectively increases productivity. Effective communication strategies:

What are Communication Strategies?

Communication strategies map out how team members will communicate with each other and optimize engagement and productivity.  To craft a solid internal communication plan for your organization, you must first identify your audience and what information needs to be communicated. 

Sometimes, this is a simple, direct path; for instance, a manager provides instructions to a team about a project that needs to be completed. Other times, you face more complicated challenges. A team may need to brainstorm solutions to a problem, or there may be a conflict between conflicting needs. An excellent communication strategy will take the entire team into account. 

Here are some things to consider while designing an environment of effective communication in the workplace. 

8 Strategies for Effective Communication

To encourage your team to perform at their best, it’s vital to develop effective communication strategies in the workplace. It takes more than good intentions to create an environment where employees feel seen and heard. Here are eight ways to encourage better communication among your team.  

1. Understand Your Team Dynamics

In any team setting, each member has a unique personality, communication style, and set of preferences. As you interact with your colleagues, appreciate these differences to foster a more harmonious and effective communication environment.

To truly connect with your team, invest time in understanding their individual and collective needs, challenges, aspirations, and goals. This insight allows you to tailor your communication in a way that resonates with each team member, ensuring clarity and relevance in your interactions.

2. Define Clear Objectives for Team Interactions

Before initiating a conversation or a meeting, ask yourself: What is the desired outcome of this communication?

This could range from seeking input for a project, resolving a team issue, and sharing important updates to motivating your team toward a common goal. Understanding the purpose helps craft your message more effectively and ensures the conversation is productive and goal-oriented.

Consider the following questions to clarify your objectives:

  • Are you aiming to gather feedback or ideas from your team?
  • Is the purpose to inform them about a new development or change?
  • Are you addressing a specific challenge or obstacle the team is facing?
  • Is your goal to encourage collaboration or boost morale?

3. Use Effective Communication Tools

Because remote working is so pervasive, it’s more important than ever to incorporate technology into your internal communication strategy. The communication tools you choose will depend on the complexity of the messages and ideas you need to convey.

  • Email is the unrivaled king of informal, written communication between people. It is effective both for complex questions and simple back-and-forth within a team. Here’s how to structure the best emails today!
  • Instant messaging apps distill that quick interchange even further to a rapid, real-time conversation
  • Video conferencing and collaboration software are excellent tools for communication between large groups of people or about detailed topics. Here is our guide on how to host the best video conferencing calls!
  • Internal chat tools allow team members to let down their hair, interact informally, and create good relationships 

4. Be Open to Feedback

It is important to be open to your team’s feedback so you can adjust your communication strategy to match their needs. No one likes criticism, but constructive criticism is an important part of effective communication. 

Pay careful attention to the speaker and note nonverbal cues, such as nodding. Encourage the speaker to be comfortable enough to communicate concerns. If the feedback is negative, it can lead to difficult conversations, so be receptive and non-defensive. However, even harsh criticism can improve the relationship if presented respectfully and discussed without rancor. 

Conversely, sometimes it’s necessary for you to provide constructive criticism to your team. There are strategies that will prevent this from hurting a worker’s drive to improve. Be specific and include some positive comments with the criticism. Give the worker a map to better performance. Keep these conversations private so your colleague can receive your feedback dignifiedly. 

5. Use Visuals

Visual communication uses graphics and diagrams to share and illustrate thoughts and ideas to the recipients. It can enhance the delivery of a verbal message – it provides something people can see and act on, improving productivity. 

Applying practical communication principles within your team often requires support beyond just words. It turns out that the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” still holds, and it’s time to turn to the visual aids.

Visuals such as infographics, charts, and videos can make complex data more digestible and engaging for team members. They aid in simplifying comparisons, illustrating processes, clarifying limitations, and delineating organizational structures.

While replacing text entirely with visuals isn’t always practical, a balanced approach can be more effective. Visuals should complement your message, not overshadow it. They should be used to clarify and emphasize key points, making it easier for team members to grasp the essence of the communication quickly.

Here are some ways visuals can enhance your internal communication:

  • Efficient information transfer: Visual aids can convey complex information swiftly for quicker comprehension of high-level concepts
  • Enhanced engagement and understanding: Well-designed visuals can resonate more deeply with team members and make the message more memorable and impactful
  • Reinforcement of organizational culture: You can use on-brand visuals to reinforce the company’s identity and values and foster a sense of belonging and alignment among team members
  • Clarification of messages: Visuals can help break down information into more manageable parts, making it easier for teams to understand and retain it.
  • Facilitating emotional connections: The right imagery can evoke emotions and create a more engaging narrative across your teams. This will enhance the overall effectiveness of the communication.

The best part? Audio/visual gear and complicated equipment are no longer necessary to create professional quality visual content that can be shared asynchronously and used as a resource. You only need the best software, like Zight, to communicate visually.

See how Zight integrates with Lucid to enable teams to bring clarity and speed to their visual work. Learn more.

With screen recording features, including annotated screenshots, annotated screen videos, GIFs, and more, you can use Zight to create the best visual communication for your teams to reduce any back-and-forth in your workflows.

Remember, effective communication is about the story and conversation. Visuals make it easier and deliver the message in both overt and subtle ways. You get to make a point directly and reinforce it by showing all the related elements without mentioning them directly.

Visual communication software helps you create this kind of communication in a simple and reliable format. It’s also a dependable way to share images and content asynchronously, which is important in the new remote work landscape. 

6. Make Time for One-on-Ones

One-on-one meetings can help you ensure each team member feels engaged and connected. One of the most effective ways to foster face-to-face interaction among remote workers is to schedule — and consistently keep — appointments for video calls and check-ins.

7. Create an Open Environment

The company’s culture has a lot to do with how team members communicate with leaders and each other. A formal, tightly controlled atmosphere does not encourage people to be open and share their progress or challenges. Meetings should be egalitarian. Make sure everyone feels welcome to speak. 

Humor is also a great tool to break down barriers between people. A flash of appropriate humor can disarm employees and create an atmosphere of teamwork. Adding a little fun helps, too. Engage the audience with contests that people want to participate in or games that allow teammates to wind down together. 

None of this is possible if the people at the top don’t buy in. Avoid sending inconsistent messages. A culture where some leaders are friendly and informal, and others discourage free communication will halt any nascent attempts at good communication. Train your management to lead their teams in ways that will foster effective communication.

8. Meet with Employees In Person   

Meeting in person helps to build genuine connections with your team. It can also reduce misunderstandings because you have more opportunities to observe someone’s nonverbal cues; body language is harder to interpret when connecting with someone over the phone. Experts say that nonverbal signals comprise 70-93% of all communication.  No matter how skillfully crafted your words are, they can’t overcome the negative signals your body language is sending. 

Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, body language, and even tone of voice. It’s important to be mindful of your non-verbal communication and body language, even when connecting with someone on a video call. Be careful about fidgeting or doodling in meetings because that indicates you’re not really listening to the speaker. Avoid letting your attention wander or checking your phone because these are obvious signs that you’re not paying attention.

9. Give Clear Instructions 

People communicate in different ways, and it’s important to ensure you’re getting through to your employees. If you’ve cultivated an open environment, it will feel natural for your team to ask follow-up questions and seek guidance when needed. 

When communicating with your team, use clear and concise messages to convey information efficiently. This approach ensures every team member can easily understand and follow the conversation. When discussing complex topics, such as technical processes or software functionalities, break down the information into digestible steps.

Enhance your explanations with visual aids like graphics, video captures, or GIFs to transform a complex discussion into an engaging and understandable dialogue, making it easier for your team to grasp and apply the information in their work.

10. Recognize Achievement

When your team achieves a goal or does something good, it’s important to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments as a group. This creates more opportunities for bonding and shared experiences, which supports a culture of good employee communication. Positive feedback boosts workers’ confidence in their abilities and motivates them to continue working hard and improving their performance. 

Creating an atmosphere of open interaction and support results in highly engaged employees who will work harder to perform and achieve more for the company.

11. Be Timely, Not Just Quick

In a fast-paced work environment, you might feel pressured to respond immediately to every email or message. However, it’s vital to prioritize providing accurate and thoughtful responses over quick, potentially incomplete ones.

When a team member raises a question or issue, acknowledge their concern promptly, but take the time you need to investigate and formulate a comprehensive response. Effective communication within a team involves delivering your message at the right time, often when you have gathered all the necessary information to provide a helpful and complete answer.

Benefits of an Effective Communication Strategy

There are many practical benefits of an effective communication strategy that make the investment worthwhile. Let’s look at the top three benefits of building communication strategies in the workplace:

  • Nurtures a positive work culture: Employees work harder and go the extra mile when they feel like they are safe voicing their concerns or suggestions, and have a clear channel of communication both with each other and with management.
  • Increases productivity: Good communication gives team members the tools they need to perform their job functions, find resources they need, and get feedback, boosting productivity across departments. 
  • Spurs innovation: Employees who feel supported go the extra mile. These kinds of employees become your greatest experts. They will see ways to improve processes, serve customers better, and make your entire organization reach its potential. 

To create an effective communication strategy, analyze your organization’s current procedures and determine where there are gaps. When you identify areas where your team’s communications could be improved, you’re ready to move to the next step by finding collaboration tools that plug those gaps and help create a great communication strategy.

Implementing Seamless and Effective Communication Strategies with Zight

Effective communication will give your organization a solid foundation for growth. Because this creates effective communication strategies, it helps your team stay engaged and boosts productivity. With the right tools and procedures, even remote workers can benefit from an open and receptive environment. A culture of thoughtful, active listening, insightful feedback, and mutual respect sets the stage for a successful team. 

Zight has a range of solutions that help businesses work through inefficient communication practices. Our software allows you to take back your calendar with features like a screen recorder that can provide the context and connection of a meeting without the time commitment. 

Learn how Zight can help you foster good communication in your workplace. Button: Request a demo today.

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