You need your employees to talk to each other. When there’s silence between departments, even if those departments are small, then resentment and misinformation build. When coworkers don’t feel comfortable chatting, they’re going to have fewer reasons to stick around with your company. Even worse, when employees don’t feel comfortable talking to their managers, they’re going to actively look for another job elsewhere.
1. Organize your office’s setup.
One of the best ways to encourage communication is to have multiple avenues for people to talk. If you have a physical office space, redesign the space with plenty of small meeting rooms and a comfortable break room. It might seem counterintuitive based on traditional workplace styles, but the more your employees talk to each other, the better the whole office functions. The hard part is augmenting it with enough team activities and positive management examples to keep the chatting from turning into too much gossiping or complaining.
2. Integrate communication tools in your CRM.
Also build up communication channels with online tools. Emails and telephones aren’t enough. Instead, have more informal but ultimately work-driven instant messaging tools. These can include Salesforce’s Chatter function, where employees can leave quick notes, ask questions, and communicate with account managers.
3. Encourage less formal (but still professional) instant messaging.
Incorporate Slack or a similar tool where work teams and departments can send messages or chat about personal news. Public but relaxed platforms for regular communication help coworkers interact while still ensuring that things stay professional. Informal work tools also make employees feel more comfortable asking questions or getting confirmation about potentially confusing official memos.
If you have employees who telecommute or offices in different regions, it’s even more important to establish friendly ways to communicate. It makes everyone feel included instead of isolated, even if they don’t regularly contribute to the conversation. The better your company’s office environment is, both virtually and in the building, the better your business will be. Contact us at Tangram for more strategies.