Communication in any situation or setting is important but in a workplace setting, clear and effective communication is vital. But why?
What is communication?
It is not just about sending emails to remind everyone of their tasks for the day – communication is far more than this. It is the verbal and non-verbal communication skills that we all have in some shape or form.
You would think that, as humans and the most advanced mammal on the planet that we wouldn’t need training in effective communication in the workplace. Surely, a conversation at work is just like one at home? One person says something, the other responds and so on and so forth.
The truth is, companies spend thousands of pounds on training their staff to communicate better, from writing reports to emails that get responses.
Understanding the benefits of effective communication helps companies to understand what their customers wants and needs are, as well as being able to push the boundaries of the business too. A workforce that can communicate effectively can deal with international trade partners and other vendors.
The benefits of effective communication in the workplace
#1 Helps with diversity and inclusivity
There is a lot written of workplace diversity and tolerance. Britain has an immigrant population that means there are workers in all sectors and industries from countries within the European Union and beyond.
Language and cultural difficulties are significant barriers. Thus, companies who employ workers from the UK and beyond have long recognised the need to train all their staff in effective communication.
People can feel confused when they feel excluded; others find it a lonely experience and these negativities can become a festering ground for further issues. It may also be a possibility that people feel bullied, or ‘left out’. Clearly, if people are unable to communicate – and do so without causing confusion – then the end results will not be pleasant.
There is no doubt that communication fosters better understanding which means that productivity would increase (in theory), errors decrease and everything should run smoother.
#2 Global Marketplace
We no longer live in a world where we do business with our immediate next door neighbours. The internet has put paid to this, opening up the market for all industries, transgressing all boundaries.
Exporting your goods is now a real possibility but this brings with it, its own set of issues and problems – one of which can be communication.
Just like cultural differences within your staff team, you need to be aware of the differences with customers from the four corners of the globes – and you need to understand how to effectively communicate.
Your teams need to be as efficient and productive as possible. There are many things that can get in the way of teams performing well together.
Feeling of competition can be overbearing, a by-product of poor communication. People can feel singled out, or when important information is missed, it can have disastrous consequences. Poor communication can make work feel like a slog, important deadlines are missed and customers see this too.
People feel valued when they feel included and this is exactly what effective workplace communication brings about. When mistakes are made, the process is analysed and not the person. There are positive relationships between colleagues, as well as with management.
#4 Staff morale
Overall, the most positive benefit of effective workplace communication is staff morale. Feeling valued boosts morale, and when employees feel appreciated, they also enjoy their roles more. Good communication will often start with management being open, honest and transparent with the information that they communicate to staff – and how they do this too.
One of the gripes that many employees have of working for a company is that they ‘don’t know what is going on’. Often, rumours and counter-rumours will circulate that muddy the waters even more. This is certainly true when there is change in the air.
Poor, ineffective or non-existent communication leads to one things – dissatisfaction. The feeling of not being trusted or valued leads to plummeting staff morale. When morale drops, with each downward notch you will need to work twice as hard to improve morale.
Effective communication = happiness!
Who would have thought that an email or phone call, a conversation or an announcement could make such a big difference to how people feel at work? But it does.
Of course, if a business has traditionally suffered from a lack of direct and effective communication, it may take some time to swing the effects around. But it can be done!