How we communicate with each other personally, with our clients, with suppliers and with our workforce depends on our relationship with them. It’s also influenced by the culture of the company and especially that of the management. To misquote a famous comedian ‘It’s the way you tell ‘em’.
Communication experts have worked out there are key ways in which we communicate:
Foremost is Verbally, by speaking face to face or to a group, which in turn is influenced by our Body language – and don’t think crossed arms is always a bad thing either. It could just be a more comfortable stance for the speaker; not everything has a hidden meaning! We also communicate Electronically using a phone, or these days via a video call is a popular option, and in both business and in our personal life we communicate digitally using emails and apps.
In every case the words we use and the tone in which we deliver that information will influence how the message is communicated.
The phrase we hear – workplace communication – is the way we speak to each other, offer instructions or share information between colleagues, work teams, visitors, contractors and others at work. Again, the tone and clarity in which that information is delivered will influence how the recipient interprets and deals with it. So – how can you govern that to ensure people are receiving the correct information all the time and why should you bother?
Effective Workplace Communication
Effective workplace communication saves time and helps drive success for the company. A united team will work together, make less mistakes and as a consequence the improved morale that ensues will increase productivity and subsequently the profit margin should improve. It’s a benefit for everyone, with the likelihood of developing a positive working environment and better relationships at every level of the hierarchy. Knowing what is expected of you in your job is paramount in avoiding stress and certainly minimises the chance of mistakes creeping in.
These same ethics can be applied from day one with employees, contractors, drivers and even visitors, with a clear, concise bespoke online induction being completed prior to stepping foot on site. Knowing you are joining or visiting a company who has taken time to create an effective induction, explaining the key elements they need to know to remain safe on site, will support your safety culture and enhance the knowledge people have. This is communication at its best.
From the person coming to site’s point of view knowing, when you arrive, what the registration process involves, what you need to wear, what’s acceptable on site – for instance is it a COMAH site with particular regulations applying, or are you able to take your mobile phone on site – will reduce time spent booking in on arrival and raise confidence that the site is safe. Understanding what the main hazards are, how you can move around the site, or what PPE is mandatory is also important. Remember that not everyone needs to understand everything, so developing a modular account for each person so they don’t suffer information overload is good.
From the organisation’s point of view, a digital induction brings knowledge that every induction is delivered with the same emphasis and inflection the company culture needs to impress – and it’s much more than that. The individual induction records created for everyone on site can record whatever information is needed in relation to the job – from a simple ID photograph and contact details for that person, to when they arrived and left site, whether they are qualified for the task, their car registration and more.
Online digital inductions can, and will, become an integral element of any organisation’s communication strategy. A good induction will evolve alongside the aspiration of the company. It can deliver information beyond the day-one mandate for health and safety information. Consider toolbox talks – why should these be delivered in a cold site yard? Why not set up a rolling programme of effective messages – imagine how this will elevate the role of the Health and Safety Team plus offer a reassuring record to demonstrate to the HSE should an investigation be launched in the future! More than that, having an effective channel of communication across the whole workforce will help to reduce confusion and workplace accident, and if needed it means a message can be delivered rapidly to deal with unexpected situations.
As you can see, workplace communication is much more than gossip in the mess cabin, or around the office water fountain. If you would like to explore the difference a great Online Induction System can make to your own company communications get in touch now.