Communication is as essential as the air we breathe. Without it, we won’t be able to convey our thoughts, express our feelings, and understand what’s happening around us. A lack of communication might lead to negative consequences including misunderstandings, conflicts, mistrusts, and bad interpersonal relationships. Similarly, poor workplace communication is one of the unnoticed factors why many businesses and organizations fail to reach their goals and visions. Additionally, ineffective communication in the workplace could lead to low employee morale and poor operational outcomes. That said; it’s really important to promote communication among the members of an organization at all levels.
In this article, we’ll be sharing the importance of having good workplace communication, plus some tips to improve internal communication within the organization. Let’s dive in.
Defining Workplace Communication
In the workplace, communication is much more than just employees interacting with each other. It’s also about sharing and exchanging ideas, strategies, recommendations, and pertinent information in all forms—verbal, body languages, emails, video conferencing, chats, and notes—to keep the operations running. Workplace communication plays a vital role in every organization as it serves as one of the driving forces to ensure organizational growth and employee success. Furthermore, it is integral in building a positive workplace culture, creating accountability, cultivating client relationships, boosting team effectiveness, and increasing employee engagement and productivity.
Importance of Communication in the Workplace
As mentioned above, having an effective workplace communication is one of the keys to achieving not only organizational goals and objectives, but also employees’ professional growth. Let’s take a closer look on the important role workplace communication plays in this aspect.
1. Boosts Employee Engagement
According to a research conducted by Gallup, engaged employees can produce better outcomes than disengaged employees. Therefore, when a workforce espouses a culture of open communication, it’s no doubt that if employees are more engaged, they are more productive in their work and can deliver high-quality results.
2. Increases Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction
Organizations with positive workplace communication have lower employee turnover rate. When employees are encouraged to share their opinions, deliver feedback, and provide suggestions upward, it gives them the feeling of being an important part of the system. Promoting an open dialog in the workplace involves listening to questions, asking for feedback, and implementing recommendations. These are some of the effective reference points for employee retention and job satisfaction.
3. Fosters a More Productive and Talented Workforce
When employers are connected with their employees, they’ll be able to understand and recognize the skills and talents of their people first-hand. With this, leaders and managers can easily assign workload and designate projects based on their team members’ competencies. Open workplace communication establishes a solid and motivated team, and such team is composed of productive and talented workforce.
4. Enhances Interdepartmental Collaboration
While it’s true that working with other teams you don’t usually interact with poses quite a challenge, collaboration of different departments is essential to produce better business results. Remember that you are all aiming to obtain one common goal: to fulfill the vision and mission of your organization.
5. Encourages Innovations and Knowledge Sharing
Having an open communication in the workplace allows employees to speak what’s on their minds and present fresh ideas that could help the organization achieve its objectives. Moreover, it increases social interaction, improves creativity, and builds trust among employers and employees.
6. Helps Identify and Resolve Conflicts
In all aspects, the only way to determine and address problems and issues is through communication. By being able to talk and listen to both parties’ sides, it would be easy to know all the details on what happened on a particular situation.
7. Builds Positive Client Relationships
When the workplace promotes an open communication, it would be more helpful for client-facing employees to interact with others. They’ll be able to address customer inquiries, offer high-quality service, identify and assess their needs, and eventually establish client relationships.
8. Streamlines Change Management Initiatives
Change is good if it’s for the better. However, one common reason these change initiatives fail is due to lack of communication. Employees need to know what the changes are and how those will affect them.
Tips to Improve Workplace Communication
After knowing and understanding the value of good communication, here are some tips that every organization can heed to enhance communication in their workplace.
1. Improve your communication skills.
One of the skills that a leader must possess is the ability to communicate well. Without this, it’s highly impossible to manage a team. If you can’t communicate well with you team members, how do you expect to fulfill your team goals and objectives? Thus, every leader and manager should enhance their communication skills.
2. Keep workplace communication lines open to everyone.
Promoting an open communication should be an important part of a workplace culture. Whether providing company news and updates, discussing human resources policies, explaining job responsibilities, and presenting benefits, make sure that everyone is included and no one is left behind. Take note that this is a key to produce high-quality work, increase employee retention, and reduce job dissatisfaction.
3. Connect with your team on a personal level.
Engaging with employees on a personal level is critical to organizational success. Aside from your ‘hi-hello’ greetings, try to get to know them more. Part of being a leader is to know your team members’ personalities, work ethics and styles, and needs. Removing the barrier between you and your members could build a sense of trust and camaraderie within your team. However, make sure that you set some boundaries and no one crosses those lines.
4. Define goals and expectations.
It’s very important to set clear and achievable targets when explaining projects or assigning tasks to your team members. Having defined goals and expectations will guarantee that you’re in the same boat and paddling in the same direction. This, in turn, eventually leads to a productive and improved workforce.
5. Listen and empathize.
Remember that effective workplace communication is a two-way process. Pay attention to what your colleague is discussing, then wait for your turn to share your insights or ask questions. As much as possible, always encourage dialog. In addition, listening is a sign of respect and it shows that you care enough about what a person has to say.
6. Let their voices be heard.
Encouraging your employees to speak out their minds and express their ideas and opinions has an impact on employee engagement. Facilitate a face-to-face or one-on-one meeting with them. Then, ask for their feedback, inputs, and other necessary information that would allow them to feel that they are being heard as part of an organization.
7. Convey messages clearly.
When communicating with your employees, stop beating around the bush. Of course, you can ask them how they are, but don’t make the topic complicated. Simply and politely tell what you have to say. Moreover, sending a clear message ensures that your team members completely understand what they have to do.
8. Choose (and use) the right workplace communication channels.
While it’s possible to communicate using different platforms, it’s still best to relay your message through the right communication tools. If you think that face-to-face conversation is much more effective than chatting over Google Hangouts, Telegram, Skype, and other online platforms, then go for it. Likewise, take your time to decide whether to convey your message through emails or printed copies. You may also use a user-friendly and more engaging communication application.
9. Organize team-building activities.
Conducting team-building activities at work strengthens the communication and builds camaraderie among leaders and team members. In addition, it allows staff to interface with other members of the organization who they don’t usually interact with. It’s also a good way to free your employees from work stress.
10. Be mindful of how you communicate.
Since verbal communication is not the only way to deliver a message, be cautious of your voice tone and body language. These affect how your message is being perceived by the receiver. As much as possible, make an eye contact; maintain a relaxed stance and facial expression; and put your arms by your sides or in front of you instead of crossing them over your chest.
Workplace Communication amid the Pandemic
When COVID-19 effectively put the world on lockdown in 2020, each country began imposing health protocols to ensure the safety of everyone. Many businesses and organizations have since enforced different work arrangements to keep the operations running amid pandemic not only in the Philippines but also across the world. These setups include work-from-home and remote work arrangements.
One of the challenges that businesses have faced due to the pandemic is workplace communication. With most of their employees working remotely, coordination of tasks and projects seems quite difficult as it requires enough preparation such as securing uninterrupted and emergency power supply, a functional desktop or laptop, as well as fast and stable internet connection.
On the other hand, there are companies that have taken initiatives to provide the needs and resources of their employees in order to continue their business operations. Hence, despite the current situation, employers and employees are still able to hold meetings, perform their responsibilities, and achieve their business goals; thereby maintaining healthy workplace communication.
Workplace Communication at FilWeb Asia
Even before the new normal, FilWeb Asia had been putting strong emphasis on the importance of communication in the workplace as it is one of the common principles to guide our actions in doing business. Our company promotes a culture of keeping the communication open to everyone by encouraging employees to share their insights, provide feedback, and recommend initiatives that will help the company fulfill its vision. Likewise, our leaders and managers conduct one-one-one meetings with each member to make sure that everything is alright.
Are you looking for a company that values the importance of workplace communication and its integral role in employees’ professional growth? Work with us today!