The importance of good communication in the workplace
Good communication is an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of an organisation. Employers who invest time and energy into delivering clear lines of communication will rapidly build trust among employees, leading to increases in productivity, output and morale in general.
Meanwhile, employees who communicate effectively with colleagues, managers and customers are always valuable assets to an organisation and it is a skill which can often set people apart from their competition when applying for jobs.
Poor communication in the workplace will inevitably lead to unmotivated staff that may begin to question their own confidence in their abilities and inevitably in the organisation.
The importance of strong communication runs deep within a business.
Here are five key reasons you should be paying attention:
1. Team building – Building effective teams is really all about how those team members communicate and collaborate together. By implementing effective strategies, such as those listed below, to boost communication you will go a long way toward building effective teams. This, in turn, will improve morale and employee satisfaction.
2. Gives everyone a voice – As mentioned above, employee satisfaction can rely a lot on their having a voice and being listened to, whether it be in regards to an idea they have had or about a complaint they need to make. Well established lines of communication should afford everyone, no matter their level, the ability to freely communicate with their peers, colleagues and superiors.
3. Innovation – Where employees are enabled to openly communicate ideas without fear of ridicule or retribution they are far more likely to bring their idea to the table. Innovation relies heavily on this and an organisation which encourages communication is far more likely to be an innovative one.
4. Growth – Communication can be viewed both internally and externally. By being joined up internally and having strong lines of communication you are ensuring that the message you are delivering externally is consistent. Any growth project relies on strong communication and on all stakeholders, whether internal or external, being on the same wavelength.
5. Strong management – When managers are strong communicators, they are better able to manage their teams. The delegation of tasks, conflict management, motivation and relationship building (all key responsibilities of any manager) are all much easier when you are a strong communicator. Strong communication is not just the ability to speak to people but to empower them to speak to each other – facilitating strong communication channels is key.
How can you improve how your organisation communicates?
With 25-years of big corporate and small business experience, I understand the value of good communication.
Below, I’ve outlined some of the key areas where organisations can improve and enhance communication between their teams.
- Define goals and expectations– Managers need to deliver clear, achievable goals to both teams and individuals, outlining exactly what is required on any given project, and ensuring that all staff are aware of the objectives of the project, the department and the organisation as a whole.
- Clearly deliver your message– Ensure your message is clear and accessible to your intended audience. To do this it is essential that you speak plainly and politely – getting your message across clearly without causing confusion or offence.
- Choose your medium carefully– Once you’ve created your message you need to ensure it’s delivered in the best possible format. While face-to-face communication is by far the best way to build trust with employees, it is not always an option. Take time to decide whether information delivered in a printed copy would work better than an email or if a general memo will suffice.
- Keep everyone involved– Ensure that lines of communication are kept open at all times. Actively seek and encourage progress reports and project updates. This is particularly important when dealing with remote staff.
- Listen and show empathy– Communication is a two-way process and no company or individual will survive long if it doesn’t listen and encourage dialogue with the other party. Listening shows respect and allows you to learn about any outstanding issues you may need to address as an employer.
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