Staff training and development

Communication problems in the workplace can affect morale, retention and productivity. According to a study by the Computing Technology Industry Association, 28% percent of employees say poor communication has been the primary cause of failing to deliver a project within its original time frame.

When it comes to improving organisational communications, there are many options available to employers. The difficulty is in determining which initiatives to invest in. Here we look at how staff training and development can be used to help employees at all levels communicate more effectively.

The role of language in workplace communication

Acronyms, corporate speak and industry jargon have their place. Imagine, for example, working in emergency care without acronyms? When time is of the essence, organisations need to develop their own language in order to get the work done efficiently.

But overuse of jargon can also serve to confuse and alienate those who aren’t in the know, and could even lead to misunderstandings and mistakes. And when you get so used to using company speak with your colleagues, it’s easy to start using it with external stakeholders and customers.

One way to gain a healthy balance is to draw up company tone of voice guidelines. The guidelines can highlight when it’s appropriate to use jargon (such as with your departmental peers), and when it’s not (such as with the public and employees from other teams). You may also want to include a glossary of terms.

Follow this up with staff training sessions, to give employees an opportunity to ask questions, and to ensure the guidelines have been fully understood.

Speaking and listening skills training

Poor communication can not only be a hindrance, but also a source of stress and conflict. What may be ‘straight talking’ to one person could be seen as aggression by another. Communication skills workshops are an excellent way to foster self-awareness around our individual communication styles. They can also help employees improve their listening skills, manage conflicts and tackle difficult conversations sensitively.

If you’re interested in staff communication training, check out our range of courses. Our specialist trainers can deliver sessions on topics such as effective communication, constructive conversations and conflict resolution. We can also help you build a wider staff training and development strategy, whatever your size or budget.

Digital skills training

Digital communications are an essential part of most employees’ everyday lives. According to Bluesource, 44% of employees want a wider adoption of internal communication tools, and 49% of millennials support social tools for workplace collaboration. For millennials who have grown up with digital technologies, using multiple electronic communications channels is second nature. From file sharing to instant messaging, such channels can significantly speed up workflow.

However, for employees who are less confident with technology, such tools can act as a hindrance as opposed to a help. It is therefore important to ensure your employees are equipped with the necessary digital skills to use company systems effectively. A good start is to survey your workers to find out what they find helpful, what they find difficult and what they’d like to see in future. This will help you to identify skill gaps and arrange for appropriate staff training and development.

Find out more

To find out more about how Knight’s Agency can help you improve communication through staff training, get in touch. Our helpful team will help you design a training programme that’s tailored to the needs of your workforce. Contact us via the form below, or call 0207 112 8412.