How to Improve Communication Climates

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A positive communication climate is crucial to the success of a business.
A positive communication climate is crucial to the success of a business. (Image: Stage de communication image by Francis Lempérière from Fotolia.com)

A communications climate is the environment in which words and ideas are exchanged within a business or other organization. In a business with a poor communications climate, management may not trust the workers, one department may not work well with another, or individuals may develop personal conflicts in the workplace. Establishing a positive communications climate will improve productivity, retention and overall happiness within a business.

Regularly encourage employees to contribute ideas about how to make the company run more efficiently. If workers feel hesitant to publicly speak to management about problems in the workplace, consider establishing an anonymous way for them to communicate, such as a message board or comment box. According to allbusiness.com, "conveying the message to all employees that their ideas are valuable and central to proficient company operations is vital to its overall success. "

Be aware of cultural and personal factors affecting communications. According to Allen, Shea & Associates, "each of us is a walking system of values" with "personal biases." Create a workplace where different values are respected by being aware of your own biases. Avoid characterizing others as a group using terms like "they." Words like "they" often imply a personal bias toward someone.

Balance negative critiques with positive feedback. According to allbusiness.com, many supervisors only comment on employees performance when they make a mistake. "Commending employee accomplishments through positive verbal gestures and accolades will ignite incentive to continue performing at an advanced level."

Resolve any complaints of one staff member against another promptly and sensitively. Immediately meet with both staff members, either separately or--if the situation is calm enough--together and allow them to air their complaints in an impartial atmosphere. Attempt to come up with a solution that is amenable to both members. Alternately, invite both staff members to propose their own solutions and work together on a fair outcome.

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