Five effective communication goals for a thriving office culture

Encourage active listening, share information, acknowledge employees’ efforts and incorporate well-being strategies

A non-transparent work culture can hinder employee productivity and morale. Getty Images
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From encouraging active listening to building cross-functional teams, communication leaders in organisations can help to build a thriving and productive office culture.

If you are a goal-oriented individual, chances are you have spent the first week of January setting your personal goals for the year.

This time is also perfect for setting professional goals, especially for communication leaders in an organisation.

The new year presents an opportunity to cultivate a thriving office culture where information flows freely, employees are highly engaged and productivity is high.

Some questions I often get asked are: “Where should we begin” and “what should we prioritise?”

Here are my five tips for effective communication goals that can transform office culture.

1. Champion an active listening culture

One of the complaints that I often hear from employees when working on communication strategies is that they don’t feel heard.

The first step to enhance a team’s productivity is to ensure that they are heard. This means discussing and understanding their proposed solutions, concerns and complaints.

This can be implemented by training heads of departments on how to actively listen and garner employee feedback.

Different office channels can be set up to ensure feedback is received such as an online suggestions submission link or regular meetings between section heads and employees.

2. Promote information transparency

From my experience, one of the things that hinder employee productivity and morale is a non-transparent work culture where information is not shared and employees are not kept in the loop about the organisation’s strategy and goals.

This is why communication leaders should ensure that information regarding the company’s plans and the challenges it faces are properly communicated.

This can take place in the form of town halls, question-and-answer sessions with the leadership, surveys, pulse checks and anonymous electronic forums.

3. Recognise employees’ efforts

When I was a child, one of the things that excited me about school was receiving a star sticker from my teacher for a job well done.

Things aren’t very different for adults. Employee recognition boosts morale and encourages work productivity.

For one of my clients, we implemented two strategies. One was where the head of a department has a monthly lunch with employees and shares what they appreciate the most about each team member’s work that month.

Another was at a companywide level where the chief executive recognised outstanding work by different workers.

In addition to the plaque that was handed, employees were given two plane tickets to a holiday destination.

4. Prioritise emotional well-being

Many employees commonly experience burnout and stress even when working in organisations they love.

Various studies have revealed how stress and emotional burnout negatively affect productivity.

Incorporate well-being strategies where employees’ psychology is prioritised.

This can be implemented through weekly circulars on well-being awareness where tips are shared on how to manage stress, scheduling periodical mental well-being sessions with trained professionals, encouraging employees to take holidays and creating a supportive and safe environment for people to discuss what is bothering them.

A different perspective is sometimes just what organisations need to help inspire new ideas
Manar Al Hinai, writer and communications adviser

5. Encourage inter-department collaboration

Some of my best ideas were inspired when I did something outside my comfort zone or spoke to those from different backgrounds.

A different perspective is sometimes just what organisations need to help inspire new ideas.

Encourage cross-functional teams to lead different projects.

By incorporating these five goals, communication leaders can help build an office culture where employees are valued, information flows freely and productivity is high.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications adviser based in Abu Dhabi

Updated: March 06, 2024, 12:16 PM