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How to Improve Your Interoffice Communications

When everyone in an organization puts important communications in writing, the quality and efficiency of that business improves.
Verbal communication is unreliable: employees misunderstand or forget orders, bosses miss important facts and vital information is relayed improperly. The resultant confusion causes stress.

Written communications increase efficiency. Verbal communications can create chaos. For example: As the boss walks by, a staff member says, “Marge called to say her son is sick and won’t be able to keep the 4pm appointment, but can come at 3pm on Thursday unless you think that’s too far away in which case she can come at 10am on Wednesday if you prefer. You can’t reach her today either, so you will need to call tomorrow at 353-1233.”

Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a note?

Verbal orders instead of written orders can also create confusion. For example, “Jill, get those plants watered, call the fish tank guy to clean the tank, call the landlord about the smell in the ventilation system, make a new sign for the front desk regarding deliveries like we discussed in staff meeting and please do something about that messy desk.” Some managers then wonder why Jill waters the fish tank, cleans the signs and forgets everything else.

Staff members prefer written directions to verbal directions. They know exactly what the boss wants. Staff can give faster, more accurate compliance. A verbal order disappears the second it is said. It may get done if it is simple and immediate. If it is complex and will not be done that day, it may not get done.

Written orders and their details are not forgotten. The urgency is maintained. The specifics are not altered. A written directive sits until the employee writes “DONE” and sends it back to the boss.

When staff send communications to the boss in writing, he or she can read the communication when ready for it, respond to it, file it or whatever. The boss does not need to stop, listen and try to remember the information.

How to Use The ExecTech Interoffice Communication Form

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This form is fairly self-explanatory. It starts by assigning the communication a priority. It can be as high as a high-priority emergency order to a low-priority “FYI” communication.

After you enter the message details, check if you need a response or not. If you are issuing an order, give a completion date.

The recipient fills out the bottom box. For example, reports the completion of a task.

As a boss, when you use the form to issue an order, make a copy or enter it in an Orders Log so you can track compliances. In fact, a key source of stress (staff member non-compliance) is easier to resolve if all your orders are in writing. You simply determine who completes your directives on time and who does not.
As a boss, encourage your staff to put their communications to you and each other in writing. “What you’re telling me is so important I need it written down. Please put that in writing and put it in my basket so I don’t forget.” “If you really want Bob to find that file for you, use the communication form.”

The “why,” “how” and “when” for each order or project is extremely important. Why do you want something done and when should it be done? This information allows the recipient a chance to coordinate their other projects.

Good staff members are happy to do what you want them to do, IF you tell them what, why, how and when.

Interoffice Comm Form PDF Version Interoffice Comm Form in Word Doc