Learn how to improve communication skills across your entire organization.
If you’ve spent any time researching ways to improve communication skills at your manufacturing organization, you’ve probably realized that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Different companies have different dynamics and requirements, and effective communication must be tailored to the needs of your team.
However, on a high level, there are some basic steps any organization can take to help improve communication. Here are seven of the most effective strategies for improving communication in a manufacturing organization:
- Create consistent channels of communication
- Prioritize education and training
- Meet as a team
- Provide language translations
- Ask for feedback
- Leverage technology
- Establish clear goals and objectives
Let’s learn these ways to improve communication with the tips below!
Create consistent channels of communication
If your organization uses a mix of communication methods, things can quickly become muddled. This could include team email chains, individual emails, video calls, multiple messaging systems, corporate documentation, in-person meetings, and more. When a team member needs to share information, they may need clarification on where and how exactly to do it.
Developing clarity around those communication channels can be a game-changer! Focus on pointing employees towards a few platforms that can serve multiple knowledge-sharing needs so they don’t have to constantly switch back and forth.
For instance, your organization can use Pinnacle Series to house all documentation, ongoing knowledge-sharing efforts, and project-specific collaboration. Then, add an instant messaging application for quick one-on-one chats and efficient communication between teams.
No matter which platforms your organization uses, be sure to clarify which channels within those platforms employees should use for communication, e.g., where they should post for tech support, project questions, or simply to touch base with their teams. It can also be effective to establish a routine for messaging, such as a weekly check-in or daily project update, so managers and employees alike understand when and how they’re expected to communicate with their teams.
Prioritize education and training
Every employee comes to the company with their own background, education, and experiences. That makes it extra important to provide everyone on your teams with equal training. When your design teams share the same foundation of knowledge, they will have far fewer misunderstandings caused by conflicting assumptions. Plus, when you have an on-demand training platform like Pinnacle Series, confusion and disagreements are easily solved by simply turning to those resources. This is one of our favorite ways to improve communication skills at the organizational level.
Communication is also just a skill like any other, and it can be improved with training and practice! Host learning sessions on topics like active listening and clear email writing to ensure that everyone has the personal tools they need to communicate effectively. To help increase the chance that employees will actually participate and retain the knowledge you share, consider mentioning the length of time required, e.x. “In this 60-minute meeting” or “This video will take 5 minutes to watch.” This way, your team will know how much time they’ll have to dedicate to a learning activity, and be more likely to take the time out of their day to participate.
Meet as a team
Having regular team meetings is another crucial step for improving communication and keeping everyone on the same page. That said, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Instead of just hosting meetings for the sake of meetings, make sure each one has a clear purpose and agenda. If employees are leaving meetings thinking, “This could have been an email,” they’re probably a waste of time and manpower.
Try to only schedule meetings when they’re genuinely needed. Send out the agenda ahead of time to give participants a chance to prepare and brainstorm ideas or concerns they want to share. During the meeting, have a designated leader to keep things on topic. Your teams won’t dread meetings if they’re quick, efficient, and painless!
If you have team members who can’t make a live meeting or plan on covering important information you want employees to have access to in the future, consider recording them and uploading them to Pinnacle Series. This way, your team can revisit crucial meetings and access the information shared in them whenever it’s needed.
Provide language translations
Whether you have a globally distributed team or a mix of multilingual employees, make it as easy as possible for everyone to get the information they need in a form they’ll understand best. Provide language translations for any materials that will help employees succeed in their roles.
If you use Pinnacle Series for your training and knowledge-sharing needs, this feature is already built in. All content on the platform can be translated into 90+ languages, and it’s easy for each user to set their preferred language. Translations even work for your organization’s custom content!
Ask for feedback
Set a good example by communicating and listening to feedback from your design teams. The people on the ground probably have different perspectives on how to improve communication in their own specific arenas. By soliciting input from them, you can gain insights into areas where communication breakdowns are occurring, such as between departments, shifts, or management levels. Their suggestions can lead to more efficient communication practices, streamlined workflows, and improved collaboration between different teams or functions.
Offer a variety of ways for employees to express their feedback, from anonymous surveys to open-door manager check-ins. This will help them feel comfortable and not fear retaliation for their honesty.
Tools such as video conferencing, online collaboration tools, and even virtual reality can help facilitate faster and easier communication between teams, while also reducing the need for physical meetings. Rely on a tool like Pinnacle Series to handle project management and collaboration between teams and subcontractors. Introduce new manufacturing technologies and use our training to maximize user adoption. The more educated and capable your workforce is, the more effectively they’ll be able to communicate about important issues.
Establish clear goals and objectives
When everyone understands what they are working towards, it facilitates effective communication and collaboration. Clear goals and objectives also provide a framework for discussing progress, sharing updates, and identifying potential challenges or bottlenecks. This helps ensure that everyone is working towards the same common goal and understands their unique role in it.
Are you looking for ways to improve communication and overall efficiency at your manufacturing organization? Get in touch with our team for a free demo or pilot program of Pinnacle Series!
If you’re already a Pinnacle Series subscriber, log in now to explore our manufacturing training libraries, including SOLIDWORKS, that can help streamline communication at your organization.