With the dawn of technology, communication has evolved along with it. And communication has always been the basis of connectivity, be at work or at home. With communication, you can convey the message that you want through verbal or non-verbal communication.
Emails, text messages have become an integral part of communication and has played a very major role in an organization, be it a large scale company or a small scale.
Effective and good communication skills has become a necessity to build a good and transparent company culture. But if there is poor communication in the workplace, it has its own set of drawbacks and can create communication barriers. Barriers leading to a workplace with less productivity with a negative impact on your organization's bottomline.
Here are a few statistics where organizations have ineffective communication:
86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
46% percent of employees rarely or never leave a meeting knowing what they’re supposed to do next.
57% of employees have reported that they are not given clear directions.
69% of managers also report feeling uncomfortable communicating with the employees in general.
Statistics don't lie and somehow this has shown that there can always be room for improvement when it comes down to communication.
Good communication practices are needed for an organization to thrive and become successful. It is one of the important and basic functions that every organization needs for the work to run smoothly.
Lack of communication at the workplace leads to an error in decision making and create a lot of unwanted confusion among teams. Confusion leading to lapse in work and pending projects.
So, how do you solve this problem of being clueless and being more specific about what you do? Workplace communication plays a very vital role in closing down this gap.
What is Workplace Communication?
Workplace communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas within an organization. It may be verbal and non-verbal communication as well. And effective workplace communication ensures that an organization achieves its objective without any disruption or break in the flow of work.
This is possible because teams communicate, have a mutual understanding and have specific details about what they need to work on. Communication also helps in preventing barriers among employees, which might impede progress in moving towards goals and objectives.
Ineffective workplace communication can lead to a major gap between employees and the superiors and create misunderstandings. This, in turn, reduces productivity, creates a bad working environment and increases conflict.
Communicating effectively in the work-place will do wonders in an organization. It will not only increase employee productivity but will also benefit the organization in achieving the required goal and improve its bottom-line.
(Related article: Business Communication as a building block of Employee Engagement)
Advantages of Workplace Communication:
Lack of communication often leads to confusion among teams and their members leading to incomplete projects or work. To avoid such a situation, the team members need to be specific and detailed about the work they will be doing. This will be only successful when there is good and transparent communication among the team.
Better communication leads to efficient work rate and their is fluidity among the team members as there will be better understanding between them. This increases productivity and work performance of your employees.
2. Job Satisfaction:
There might come a time when your employees get frustrated in whatever they do. These can be the signs that your employees are not satisfied with their work. It may be due to low compensation, lack of career growth, poor management, poor work-life balance etc.
Solving such a major issue can be really hard and draining, but workplace communication is very vital regarding this. You need to sit it out with your employees who are not satisfied with their work and listen to the problems that they are facing.
Communicate with them and understand what they want and what they need. When you listen to their problems and make an effort to solve it, the employees feel more satisfied, valued and are more driven towards their work.
3. Lower Rate of Absenteeism:
When there is a flow of communication going on within an organization, updated information like company revenue, product sales etc., are shared among the employees by their superiors.
This creates transparency and honesty in the workplace and employees feel that they are in the loop in terms of the overall plans of the company.
Also, employees should have fair chances to share their ideas and views regarding a project. This often creates leadership qualities, motivates an employee, and reduces absenteeism.
4. Employee Morale:
Employee morale is the job satisfaction and feeling of well being an employee has within a workplace environment. Organizations with good and open workplace communication share job specific information with employees and the managers listen to their employees with respect.
Managers should also conduct meetings, where they can focus on specific areas of each employee’s concerns, development and be supportive to solve any problems. Also, managers should be approachable and willing to listen what employees have to say.
5. Makes Workplace Fun:
Come to think of it, when an employee or employees skip their work every alternate days, what could be the reason? Maybe they are not feeling like attending the job they are assigned or maybe they have not bonded well with their team members. The reason behind this can be lack of flow of communication.
Employees should be encouraged to have constructive talks with their respective teams and ask questions whenever they are in doubt regarding their work. When there is effective communication among the team, work becomes fun and less stressful.
Moreover, employees start to enjoy each others company and thus they look forward to be at work often.
It is important that every employee’s voice is heard regarding an issue. This creates a sense of trust and it improves employee morale overall.
Some Tips to Improve Workplace Communication:
Problem-solving has been an issue that every organization has faced at one point in time. This always holds up the work that needs completion in due time. Communication in the workplace really helps to solve various problems that an organization faces. Here are a few tips to enhance your workplace communication
When you start a conversation with a fellow employee or your superior there is always this chance that you might be thinking about something else. Meaning you are not really paying attention or zoned out.
To avoid this, effective workplace communication is important along with being a good listener. During a conversation always keep a mental checklist of all the important points. This helps to portray yourself as a good listener and the person feels more valued.
2. Physical Communication:
Communication, when done virtually, like emails or text messages often does not convey the message that you want to send. It is due to the fact that it does not allow you to use the tone of voice that you want to. There might be chances that the message gets perceived in a different way than you thought and create misunderstandings.
Physical communication allows you to see each other’s facial expression and body language. This gives credibility and value to the message that you want to convey to your superiors or colleagues.
3. Constructive Feedback:
Constructive feedback is one of those factors which helps employee morale. To give feedback, communication in the workplace is very necessary. Less communication among team members or superiors at the workplace leads to incomplete work and decreased productivity.
Giving constructive feedback is all about positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback is all about appreciation and negative feedback expresses concern about someone’s work performance.
When giving constructive feedback one should be specific about information, focused on the issues they are facing and avoid criticism. This way you can be more direct about your feedback without hurting any employees morale.
4. Bridge the Gap between your Colleagues/Superiors:
Knowing your colleagues and superiors at your workplace helps in building good and open communication. This helps in team building activities and transparency in an organization.
When you know your team members in a personally, there is a more open culture at your work and you can approach your team members for help when needed. Thus, leading to more productive work within an organization.
5. Providing Clear Information:
When employees are provided specific and clear information about their work, they are more productive and focused in what they do. Also, give the employees the freedom to ask questions when they are in doubt, this gives them a clear picture of what they need to do.
Activities like this can be achieved when there is effective communication between the managers and the employees. This will eventually lead to the successful completion of a project.
6. Maintain Diplomacy:
When someone misunderstands something you communicated, talk to him or her about it as soon as possible. Doing so can prevent unnecessary confusion and loss of productivity. To prevent a misunderstanding from turning into a major crisis, handle it right away.
When handling a conflict, respond with an open mind and refrain from personal attacks. Ask questions and listen carefully to the responses and communicate as much as possible. Doing so will help you reach a resolution that is acceptable to everyone. This leads to effective communication within an organization.
(Related article: 7 Reasons Why Internal Communication is Important in the Workplace)
Summing it Up:
Communication is the basis through which people can send and receive messages. And it has become a vital and necessary part of an organization. It might seem easy but requires a lot of finesse.
With the rise of millennials in the workforce, managing and organizing work between employees has become a hard task. To have a systematic work schedule, a manager has to communicate with their employees so that there is a mutual understanding in an organization and work towards a common goal.
Remember, it is necessary to work as a team and share ideas and information to boost productivity which will eventually help an organization's bottom line.d