Training your employees to communicate successfully will be a critical factor in determining their safety and success on the job. The basic elements of most communication exchanges can be broken down into three simple steps:
The sender creates a message in his or her mind, then puts it into spoken, written, or visual communication.
The message is transmitted via speech, mail, email, fax, hand signals, pictures, etc.
The receiver receives & interprets the message, then acknowledges that the message was received and/or acts on the message.
All the steps in the communication cycle are of equal importance, and the cycle is not successful if any step gets overlooked. Understanding the cycle and properly communicating it to your workers will help everyone to better understand how they are sending and receiving messages. Some other tips that will help improve jobsite communication are –
- Pay attention to body language
- Respect the receiver’s communication preferences
- Consider your tone
- Don’t be too casual
- Check your grammar
- Keep criticism constructive
- Restate what you hear
- Use appropriate language
- Never stop improving
In a nutshell, the three most important elements of communication to keep in mind are: the message, the delivery method, and the receiving method. Simply bringing these things to the attention of your workers will change the way people think about their communication habits in the short term, and hopefully improve safety and productivity in the long run. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions…it could mean the difference between life and death!