5 Ways to Increase Communication
+ Engagement to Ignite your Training
Corporate Training; Communication; Employee Engagement| By: Erin Patrick
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How engaged would you say your remote team is with your training and communication? Virtual training continues to be our most viable option, even with vaccines increasing and some people returning to the office. In this blog, we’ll discuss effective communication in the workplace, and give you some real life tips on how to integrate gamification to deliver more engagement.
Why is Engagement Important?
Whether we’re working from home or back at the workplace, effective communication is a key building block to a successful business with engaged employees. Communication and engagement are definitely one of the signs of a high-performance culture. In fact, a company’s vitality can be dependent on a good communication flow, which requires good communicators. However, keeping employees engaged in a virtual environment is a challenge, to say the least, and we understand why!
According to a SHRM 2015 Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey, these are the key factors workers say make them connected to their work:
★ 79% Relationship with Coworkers
★ 76% Contribution of work to to business goals
★ 75% Meaningfulness of the job
★ 74% Opportunities to use skills and abilities
These factors may be more complicated when we are virtual, and all the more reason to keep them a priority. Using gamification can help address that issue and bridge your gaps of engagement, which may be more important now than ever, because engaged employees lead to better business.
We recently did a webinar on this very subject, and you can request that archive, or sign up for an upcoming free webinar here
5 Ways to Improve Engagement
1) Clear and Common Goals
Goals that are clear and shared is a commonly cited success factor for an organization’s vision. When we can provide a clear roadmap for a goal (that is reasonable and achievable in an agreed upon time frame), we help actualize intrinsic motivation. This requires transparency, and transparency is needed to build trust, which is a large factor for employee happiness. If we lack these things, we quickly lose the emotional commitment from our team, and it takes a lot longer to build it than to lose it.
2) Communicate to Captivate
Even with all of our methods to communicate at our disposal, it’s still one of the make-or-break factors of our lives at work, at home, at school, etc. It’s a soft skill that is the root of so many successes or failures because it’s not taught to us directly. So, what exactly makes a good communicator?
• Good communicators are good listeners and consistently practice active listening, which allows them to contribute meaningful responses.
• Good communicators are clear and concise. They know when to go in-depth when necessary, but otherwise keep their audience captivated with fewer words that are packed with more value.
• Good communicators cultivate confidence verbally and non-verbally. They are aware of their words as well as body language and how it’s being received.
• Good communicators use empathy...a lot. In order for a message to be received as intended, we should put ourselves in another’s shoes to feel how that looks. This a constant invitation to understanding so that it’s constructive and not destructive.
• Good communicators are self-aware of their own value and contribution and know how to use it. They know that communication, just for the sake of it, is not very helpful and will know when and how to improve the flow of the conversation or project. They’re also good collaborators and will defer to another person’s strength when it’s appropriate. This makes them excellent team builders and leaders.
3) Seek & Give Feedback
The next step to that process is feedback; both seeking it and providing it. It’s very important that your team feels invested and comfortable with giving feedback on a project, task, process or performance of their superior. Create time and space- that is consistent- to have personalized conversations with your team with this understanding. Practice active listening for constructive dialogue. People want to know how they are doing, and it’s not meaningful to receive that feedback only at an annual performance review. Plus, you can prevent any possible problems within the workplace and capitalize on really great ideas when there’s a process in place to capture them.
4) Emphasize Culture
Having a robust culture is quickly becoming one of the top priorities for our workforce because people want to feel that they belong to an organization that matches their values and their commitment to that process. Provide a clear picture of how things are going and where the business is headed with full transparency. Create a culture that inspires accountability and celebrates achievements. That phrase, “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe” works in business as well; we want to attract people who vibe with our culture because then we have a higher amount of engagement from our team, naturally.
5) Blend Work and Play
Last but not least, ‘sustainable engagement’ does require some fun! We need to balance work and play in both our personal and professional lives to feel connected and productive. One of the quickest ways to disengage our team is to allow monotony in tasks or processes. This doesn't mean you have to recreate the wheel every week to entertain people, but do get creative as it does require some intentional thinking about how to catalyze this environment. There’s a good reason that large and innovative organizations have recreation rooms and people ‘work’ while playing ping pong. When we embrace the creative process we encourage a growth mindset and objective problem solving. “But hey, we don’t have that kind of budget or time, and we’re all working remotely…” Understandable. May we suggest some ideas?
• Schedule a walk together during lunch time where people can participate via an app
• Turn the ‘coffee break’ into a virtual chat room where people are just sharing about their lives (and maybe send them a gift certificate for coffee on you!)
• Or maybe, you have some game time together to boost your engagement throughout the week!
How does adding gamification add value?
The benefits of combining virtual tools, such as games, to increase employee engagement and communication are expansive, but here’s the short list:
• It’s engaging and creates fun with a purpose.
• It helps connect the dots- even in a virtual world!
• It’s easy to build and easy to deploy, which cuts costly development time.
• It’s in Rich Media Formats for your modern-day learners who appreciate content that is packaged that way.
• It’s accessible for the audiences who are used to consuming information on their device of choice (usually a smartphone nowadays)!
• It reaches and engages all learning styles and age groups, regardless of the topic.