Effective communication in the workplace is an integral part of an efficient and successful business. It ensures everyone understands their duties and responsibilities, helps build quality client and employee relationships and keeps employees engaged and productive. Business owners should prioritize effective communication in their organization if they want to ensure employee satisfaction and promote high performance. In this article, we explore what effective communication in the workplace is, 10 benefits of effective workplace communication and communication tips to consider.
What is effective communication in the workplace?
Effective communication in the workplace is when the exchanging of information and ideas is done so in an efficient and effective manner. While information and ideas are frequently exchanged in a workplace setting, they aren't also sent and received in an accurate way. Good communication involves not just relaying information but being able to explain it in a way that ensures the recipient understands you.
Communication at work includes several different methods of transmitting and receiving information. The most common forms of communication in the workplace include:
- Written communication, such as memos and emails
- Oral communication, such as speaking to another person
- Nonverbal communication, such as nodding to show understanding
- Listening skills, including active listening
Additionally, an important component of workplace communication is that employees feel understood and heard by management. Employees who feel comfortable communication with their supervisors and managers are more likely to understand what's expected of them and remain productive throughout the day.
10 benefits of effective workplace communication
There are several benefits that effective workplace communication provides an organization. These benefits include:
1. Mitigated conflict
Effective workplace communication can help reduce conflict or tension at work. Most conflicts arise due to ineffective communication tactics which lead to individuals misunderstanding what's being communicated. Misunderstandings can result in employees or other members of an organization feeling not understood, disrespected, disregarded or simply not performing in an expected manner.
For example, if one team member is told to make 25 calls a day and another member of the same team in the same position is told to make 50 calls a day, the employee with the most calls may feel taken advantage of. However, if the team leader holds a meeting to clarify how many calls are supposed to be made by each employee, all employees receive the same information and there is less of a chance for conflict or tension to arise.
2. Increased employee engagement
Effective communication does more than just ensure information is accurately received. It also works to connect others and keep open lines of communication between employees and other members of the organization. This ultimately works to create better engagement between employees, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction and healthier company culture.
Ways that communication improves employee engagement include that it:
- Helps management better understand the goals and needs of employees and what motivates them
- Ensures employees' skills and talents are recognized and utilized when possible
- Improves the connection between employees for a more enjoyable work environment
- Creates better relationships between employees and management as well as between management and c-level employees of the organization
3. Improved productivity
Employees who feel connected to their work and have a clear understanding of what's expected of them are more likely to be productive and perform efficiently. When employees don't understand their role or expectations in a position or have limited resources to perform their duties, they often feel confused or as if they aren't able to perform their job to the best of their ability. Ensuring information is readily available and communicated in an effective manner allows employees to accurately perform their duties and can increase productivity throughout the organization.
4. Improved client relations
Good communication in the workplace isn't just relevant to employees of the organization. Effective communication also directly affects client relations. Organizations that communicate well with their customers or clients are more likely to build solid relationships and retain clients versus companies that don't prioritize client communication. Customers look for companies that value their relationship and keep them up-to-date on changes and are more loyal when they feel connected to these companies.
5. Healthy workplace culture
Effective communication plays an important part in maintaining a healthy workplace culture. Many workplaces employ people of all different cultures, races and beliefs, and conflict will naturally arise when so many differences are present. A culture of open communication fosters a healthy and accepting environment where all employees feel equal and understood.
6. Improved direction for employees
Open communication in the workplace ensures employees understand their part in the company and have a clear direction in terms of what's expected of them. This empowers employees to take the appropriate steps needed to complete their duties and contribute to the organization as a whole.
7. Boosted employee job satisfaction
Employees who are part of an organization that practices good communication in the workplace are more likely to experience increased job satisfaction. A transparent and trustworthy environment supports employee satisfaction by creating a harmonious workplace that is enjoyable to work in and keeps employees engaged in their positions.
8. Increased innovation
Workplaces that encourage employees to communicate their opinions and ideas tend to foster more innovation than those that don't. Employees who feel empowered to speak up and think in different ways often contribute meaningful ideas and strategies that help not only the employees but the organization as a whole.
9. Strengthened team building
In order to work effectively together, team members must know they can trust the other members of their team. Communication is a major component of trust and ensures everyone is of the same understanding in terms of the expectations and duties of the team. Clear guidelines that are communicated effectively help team members know how to behave as part of the team and ultimately bring team members closer to each other for a more synchronized work effort.
10. Improved public impression
Companies that have a good reputation in terms of communicating both internally and with clients often have a strong and positive public impression. This helps attract talent to the company and can even increase interest from investors and banks.
Tips for effective workplace communication
The following are a few tips to consider when working towards increasing effective communication in the workplace:
Practice active listening
Active listening is an important aspect of good communication and ensures employees feel understood and heard at work. Good listening skills support the sharing of information in an effective way and will boost overall communication in the workplace.
Provide positive feedback
Many companies understand the importance of constructive criticism, but it's also important to provide employees with positive feedback to boost communication as well as employee work effort. Positive feedback gives managers the opportunity to point out ways in which employees do their work well and increases the likelihood that employees will vocalize any issues as they arise.
Have face-to-face meetings
It's easy to send an email to convey a message, but doing so doesn't ensure that the recipient fully understands what's being relayed. Face-to-face meetings provide an opportunity for clarification and encourage employees to communicate with others in a more effective way.