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How good communication can boost workplace security

Communication between employees can be an extremely important factor in the success of any business, particularly smaller firms where tight-knit teams have to work closely together to achieve their goals.

Efficient working methods and employee engagement are two of the clearest benefits that can result from good communication, but one advantage that might not be so obvious is an improved sense of safety and security in the workplace.

Read on to find out more about how communication contributes to office security and how to improve it.

Why is communication important for security?

One of the ways in which good communication across all levels of your business can lead to stronger security is by creating an atmosphere in which people feel confident to speak up with any concerns or questions relating to potential safety risks.

If employees don't feel entirely comfortable talking to their colleagues - particularly managers and people in positions of authority - they are much less likely to raise these kinds of issues.

In a recent survey by the Trades Union Congress, four out of five women (79 per cent) who had experienced sexual harassment at work didn't tell their employer about it. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of women in this group thought they wouldn't be believed or taken seriously, while a fifth (20 per cent) felt too embarrassed.

Working hard to build an open, honest relationship with your staff will make it much more likely that they will come to you with any safety-related issues or concerns, whatever they might be.

If you have invested in professional security for your workplace, you can pass this information on - being sure to guarantee discretion and anonymity for any individuals involved - to ensure that your security service is aware of any potential threats.

Having high standards when it comes to communication can also help to reduce the risk of workplace conflict. If people are encouraged to speak to each other openly, rather than harbouring grudges or gossiping, they are much more likely to work through their problems in a civil, professional way. This will help the business run efficiently and ensure that small disputes don't get out of hand.

Furthermore, colleagues talking and being at ease with one another will help to create a sense of togetherness and collaboration in the workplace, making employees feel much more secure. A member of staff who feels isolated and overlooked in the office might also feel that they are not adequately protected.

How can I improve workplace communication?

Getting people to communicate with one another might seem like a difficult goal to achieve, but there are strategies you can employ to get people talking and feeling comfortable with one another.

Possible approaches include:

• Putting good communication at the heart of your induction process and ongoing training, so employees are fully aware of its importance from day one and throughout their time with you.

• Arranging social events and team-building activities so colleagues get to know each other outside work.

• Enforcing a policy that people should speak to each other in person whenever possible, to reduce reliance on email and electronic communication.

• Setting an example from the top, with managers making a special effort to speak to people at all levels in all departments, particularly new starters.

• Providing good feedback and recognition when employees have communicated effectively and this has delivered a tangible benefit for the business.

 

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of iStock/g-stockstudio

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