Communication, the flow of information between people, is increasingly becoming an important part of the workplace. Creating an atmosphere of open communication contributes to a more vibrant, creative workforce where all employees have a deep understanding of the goals of the business and what needs to be done to accomplish the goals. It gives every member of the business equal participation in the success of the business.

Creating an open and communicative business environment begins with creating a corporate culture that encourages communication within the company.

1. Instant Messaging Services

This is a type of communications service that enables one to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the internet. It is similar to a telephone conversation, only that it involves text-based communication.
There are services that enable clients to connect over the internet for instant messaging.

The instant messaging service can be configured to enable employees to access it with their company passwords and IDs as they would their email, offering more security and privacy. These services are important for project collaboration and communication, especially when working with freelancers, remote employees, travelling clients, or on projects that need immediate attention. An instant messaging service like TDWS Chat Server, can enable quick problem solving, allow users to share information, and send large files in real time.

An example of a solution that offers instant messaging services that are specifically tailored for the enterprise environment is the TDWS Hermes. It allows employees to access the office from anywhere on any browser. With the real time connection, employees can access their inbox, agenda, contacts, and receive documents. Employees can also leverage on the features offered by the service such as the feature that automatically collect and save new contacts and data, and even set and manage actions for employee contacts, such as sending emails and accessing plans.

The ability to communicate with colleagues, customers and partners in real time goes a long way in creating a workplace environment that is open.

2. Intranet

An intranet is a private network that is contained within a company. Its main purpose is to share company information and computing resources among employees.it can also be used to facilitate working in groups and for teleconferencing. It is meant for the exclusive use of the company and its associates, including the customers, employees, supplies etc. and is protected from unauthorized access with security systems such as firewalls. An intranet can provide services such as email, data storage, and search and retrieval functions. TDWS Hermes is good example of such a system.

The intranet would facilitate effective communication both internally with employees and externally with trading partners and customers. It can be a reliable tool for companies with teams, clients, or affiliates who need a common platform to communicate, collaborate and manage knowledge. It provides services such as discussion groups, intranet forms, and bulletin boards. Using intranet tools can help in conveying and distributing necessary information or documents among employees. This results in easy communication and sound relationship between the employees and top level management. Another great example of such a service is Enterprise Mail Solutions.

3. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is internet-based computing where users use a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than using a local server or a personal computer. This offers an advantage in that information stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere as long as one has a device that can access the internet. Companies can leverage on the cloud by using it to foster an open and communicative environment. Employees can communicate with each other, and with clients and business partners through solutions offered on the cloud, without necessarily having to meet and communicate face-to-face.

4. Committed leaders

Being Visible to Employees

The process starts with ensuring that all the company’s leaders are committed to open communication. They should adopt an open-door policy, where employees are welcome into their leaders’ offices with their ideas, comments, complaints and suggestions without fear that they would not be listened. This also means that the leaders should be open to actively listen to and honestly respond to their employees.

Sharing Information

Company leaders should also share as much information with the employees as they can, including meeting notes, customer feedback, key data on financials, targets, fundraising, and new hires. They should also hold open-ended meetings that give each member the opportunity to share concerns, accomplishments and ideas. Each staff member should also give an update of their work, ensuring that all others stay in the loop. The leaders should also update the employees on how the company is performing, sharing the good and the bad. Dealing with all employees honestly helps the staff become more invested in their work.

Constructive Criticism

Much as honest critique and criticism is an essential element of any successful company, company leaders should make sure that the criticism is communicated constructively instead of destructively. They should keep the message positive. When employees know that they can talk about their mistakes or ask any question, no matter how trivial the question may seem, without judgment or punishment, then troubleshooting problems and leveraging opportunities will be faster, easier and far more effective.

While face-to-face communication is important, it might not always be possible due to time and location constraints. Companies can therefore use a variety of tools to disseminate information.

In such an open communication environment, employees feel free to give their input and ideas, information is shared freely, conflicts are openly discussed and worked through, and employees are more willing to express innovative ideas and take risks. Company leaders should therefore evaluate the systems of communications and ensure that processes are in place that allow for vital information to be communicated throughout the business.

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