By Jackie James

You finally got the job of your dreams, but you never considered the various personalities and quirks of your fellow employees. How can you create a peaceful, productive workplace? It all starts with communication.

Learning how to connect with your employer and co-workers will make your job easier and you can take these communication skills with you throughout your life! Here are a few tips for learning how to communicate effectively with others at your place of employment:

  1. Ask for feedback from your boss. Understand that you are not being criticized; you are being given suggestions on how you can do your job better. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  2. Know your company’s culture. Make sure the values of the company don’t compromise your personal principles, and that product/service you offer is one you can stand behind. See a potential problem? Speak up!
  3. Recognize that not everyone learns the same way, so you may have to vary your communication practices to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Some people are visual learners; others take a hands-on approach. Learn how to best communicate with your fellow employees and bosses to make sure everyone feels valued and heard.
  4. Everyone loves rewards; having a workplace where you are recognized for your achievements is one way to keep happy employees from going elsewhere. Healthy competition among workers and being noticed for your strengths—whether that’s a raise, a trophy, verbal kudos, or an incentive contest with a prize—are ways you can feel appreciated at work.
  5. Nothing is worse than coming into work and being thrown a curveball. Didn’t know the new product was going to launch today? Have a brand new item on your menu you know nothing about? Cover all the bases—send email blasts, post flyers in the breakroom, or schedule a weekly meeting to discuss any work-related information so everyone is on the same page. It might seem redundant, but by communicating effectively on different levels, everyone will be included.
  6. Remember—you are at work to…work, but you should also have fun! Work sanctioned events and competitions can get you communicating with someone you don’t see every day, and you are able to get to know other employees on a personal level. Employees who feel respected and feel part of a team are more likely to work well together and that results in less turnover in the workplace. Engage with your bosses and other employees so you can learn best practices and make your job easier and more fun!
  7. Excited about being hired, only to find out you don’t like the duties you have been assigned? You can sulk, pout, complain, quit, or…. communicate! Maybe there’s a different position that is perfect for you, but your boss doesn’t know you are interested. Maybe you possess skills that would make you an excellent candidate for another task at your workplace, but no one knows you can handle it because you have not conveyed your expertise. Don’t be shy; having a job is more than just earning a paycheck!

Practicing healthy communication skills in the workplace can not only make your job enjoyable, but it can help you forge friendships with your co-workers. As you acquire additional communication experience, you can use it in school, at home, with friends, in your relationships, and even to further your career. Successful communication is the key!