How do you deal with co-workers in a small business setting? It must be quite challenging to be working in a compact workplace where in just one turn you are face to face with a coworker or the business owner.

Communication is an integral part of an individual’s social skills, more so, in relating to coworkers. If there is a communication gap within the office or business, this aspect of your relationship will reflect in your position with clients or customers, which is bad for the business.

If you are a business owner and this is one of your major concerns, you may want to take a closer look at the dynamics of your employees.

Here are 10 things to consider to avoid communication gaps within the workplace:

Establish a Pre-Shift or Post-Shift Huddle

This is one of the best practices to overcome the communication gap, not just in a small business setting, but within any business setting. Having huddles before or after shifts will help open up each other by encouraging them to speak to what helps the business, by addressing their concerns as a whole, and by driving them to give their best

Treat Each Employee as a Team Player

Remember how it feels to be recognized in school as one of the best athletes or the best member in a group for a school project? That feeling of being worthy will always push you to give your best.

If everyone is given the chance to be recognized as a team player, it will encourage those individuals to open up more, not just to their co-workers but also to you as a business owner. It is not just empowering them, it is giving value to them.

Address the Problem, not the Person

No one wants to be cornered or, in a worse scenario, blamed for any unfortunate scenario whether or not it was done by mistake or not. By addressing a scenario that was committed by one of the team players that can potentially be committed by anyone, it will serve as a warning but at the same time, it will not degrade the colleague who is at fault.

It will not discourage the individual to communicate with you or their co-workers, on the other hand, it will help that person to open up more to his or her weaknesses in the workplace.

Get to Know Each Other on a Personal Level

We are talking about a small scale business and not a corporate one, but even in a corporate setting, it can be applied  Getting to know one or all of your staff on a more personal level will give you an advantage in knowing what goes on with their life. It will be harder for your staff or employees to give an excuse for tardiness or absences since you know better.

Be Appropriate

To avoid too much familiarity that may bring about unnecessary character towards you as the business owner or perhaps the manager, being appropriate is needed. Propriety in the workplace should be observed at all times. This means through words, actions, and intentions.

No Tittle-Tattle Policy

Gossip can ruin not just a person but also a business. To impose such policy in the workplace will not just benefit everyone but will also protect the business from any future implication of gossiping.

Assess Team Members

If there is an arising tension within your staff, assess their intrapersonal relationships as well. Every issue or problem that develops in the office needs to be addressed properly and immediately. If there is one team member who is causing a problem within the team, such as insubordination or negligence of responsibilities, fact-checking is necessary. This is to avoid further conflicts within the business.

Create a Mentorship Program

It will always start with someone who knows more than the others. This is not just giving an opportunity to the staff who had been with the business for a really long time, but this is also to bridge the gap between the old employee and the newbie. It will release the tension and uphold comradery within the team.

Finding Common Grounds for a Culturally Diverse Team

Perhaps being cultural is not just based on race. Every person has a different cultural background within their own family that is different from ours. But this can be addressed one way or another. Food is always a common ground for individuals.

Eating out after shift in a particular restaurant will be a good start. Another idea is to have individuals host a party themed according to their heritage. This will definitely open up communication gaps in a culturally diverse workplace.

What Happens in the Office Stays in the Office

Any work-related issue should be left in the office. It should not at all cost interfere with your staff’s personal lives. Matters can be discussed during pre or post-shift huddles to mend whatever altercation or indifferences that occurred. Instituting a hassle-free environment in the office will benefit not just your employees but most of all you and your business.

Use High-Quality Conference or Speaker Phones

Business meetings are must in order to set goals and encouraging teams to achieve targets. If you are a multi-national corporation or small business, conference calls via Skype or another medium should be in outstanding good voice quality. Companies use speaker phones of high quality to avoid distortion and background noise. Using high-quality conference phones will definitely help your company to reach a new level of communication.

Those who look forward to another day at the office are happy workers. Happy team members or employees are productive, which gives a great vibe to the workplace and business. This will only happen if there is no communication gap between co-workers, employees, and management or with the business owner.