Communication is so essential in the workplace that communication skills are one of the first things that employers look for in screening potential employees. Moreover, it is not uncommon for companies to invest a lot in training their employees and teaching them the basics of effective workplace communication. Additionally, firms spend tons of money for internal communication campaigns in recognition of the vital role that communication plays in harnessing camaraderie within the staff and increasing levels of employee engagement.
There are several ways for employees to exhibit their good communication skills. One is through written communication which can be in the form of emails, reports, and memos. Another way is through verbal communication, from the company president delivering a state of the business address to an ordinary rank-and-file employee sharing his grievances with his supervisor.
Regardless of which way their employees can effectively share their thoughts and feelings on matters affecting their work, most company executives should realize why effective communication should be an issue or concern to management. The following reasons would explain why effective communication should be a focus and not an afterthought in any business:
1. It Builds and Maintains Relationships
Communication is a key building block of any relationship. Two people can’t be friends unless they start to talk with each other. The same goes for a supervisor-underling relationship, as the boss should be able to explain to a new office worker how to go about his work.
Communication not only builds relationships, but also harnesses it. Going back to the supervisor-employee example, it will be difficult for the superior to relay feedback on the output or working attitude of the employee if he doesn’t have good communication skills. Simply put, the lack of effective communication in the workplace may make it difficult to build and foster productive relationships within a unit or an organization.
2. It Facilitates Innovation
When employees are comfortable in expressing themselves, cooperation and innovation within the unit or organization can be improved. Employees will be able to convey their thoughts on how to improve a business process, for instance. Supervisors who know the value of soliciting and listening to feedback, meanwhile, should be able to pick up those ideas and implement them if applicable.
This illustrates why effective communication in the workplace is so important. If the staff members have limited communication skills, or there are no opportunities for them to speak their minds in the office, then it is likely that they won’t be able to share their ideas on how to improve a business process.
3. It Builds An Effective Unit
Encouraging an environment where open communication is the focus should turn a department or a unit into a more cohesive and effective team. Employee morale is improved when the staff members are allowed to freely express themselves, or when the management takes every effort to reach out and communicate with the rank-and-file.
Regular internal communication can also foster work ethic in the organization, especially when the staff members are recognized for their achievements. A business unit also becomes more effective when its members are clearly told of their responsibilities, and how each one of them can contribute towards the achievement of a common goal.
4. It Increases Employee Engagement
Experts define employee engagement as to the level of emotional commitment an employee has to organizational goals and values. It is often misunderstood as employee happiness and satisfaction, yet the difference is that an employee can be happy with his company but this does not mean that he will work hard enough to help the firm attain a goal, like posting an increase in net income.
Effective communication in the workplace can positively affect employee engagement. Management that likes to communicate its plans and visions with the rest of the organization should be able to make the employees feel more valued and appreciated. Employees will not only know how the firm is doing, but how they fit into the big picture.
Once the workers realize how their respective assignments can contribute towards the realization of a common goal, they can get the impetus to work harder knowing that the success of the organization lies on them.
5. It Contributes to Company Growth
Finally, effective communication can contribute to the growth of a company.
Good external communication, for instance, can ensure that a company would be able to promote its goods and services to its target market. Communication materials like marketing collaterals, brochures, press releases, and advertisements can improve the company’s brand image and directly affect its sales.
On the other hand, effective internal communication can empower employees, making them more aware of how their respective work assignments can contribute to the company’s bottom line. Good internal communication can ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page as far as achievement of corporate goals is concerned.
Given these benefits, it is not surprising why effective communication is a priority of many companies these days.