Why Is Effective Communication Important in the Workplace?
With the rise of hybrid working and working remotely, communication, in its traditional sense, has seen a decline and it can now be a lot harder to develop and build on these skills.
But we all know it - communication is vital for an effective workforce. It’s been shown that businesses using effective internal communication tools are 3.5 times more likely to yield better results. That’s a huge uplift in performance for such a simple skill to develop.
And yet, just 17% of employees strongly agree that there is open communication across all levels of an organization.
There are vast numbers of ways to communicate, and each communication style is unique; from leadership communication to presentations, teamwork, and collaboration in meetings. But without effective communication, businesses lose out on many benefits.
So, what does effective communication bring to a workplace? And why is it so important?
Good communication between employees and leadership creates a two-way, collaborative information flow in which both leaders and employees can be open and honest. Employees are going to be far more engaged when they know that they have good relationships with seniors, and when trust has been established.
Let’s face it, you’re not going to follow or engage with anyone you don’t trust. So, building a good relationship through open communication is going to seriously advantage your employee engagement.
Need more convincing? Highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable for the company, plus you’ll find reduction in turnover and absences too.
With higher engagement levels, productivity is going to be positively affected too.
Not only does communication allow for better instruction, better cooperation, and provides a sense of purpose, but it even pushes towards a more natural, happy workforce. A study by Forbes found that a happy workforce is as much as 20% more productive – a win/win for both you and your employees.
Naturally, communication is the basis of all collaboration. And collaboration opens doors to newer more diverse ideas, increased creativity, and boosted productivity. Without your employees having strong skills to communicate and collaborate, often workflows can get stuck, or even worse stay exactly the same – how boring.
Get your teams collaborating, and innovation will inevitably arise!
4. Promoting transparency
If you were to ask any employee, transparency at work is a key factor in their morale. Why? Keeping your employees in the loop regarding both positive and negative news and updates lets them know there is accountability there, which establishes trust. It’s a key driver in a positive, healthy workplace culture.
In fact, 85% of people are more likely to stick with a transparent business during crises. And what’s the key to transparency? Simple. Effective communication, both to and from leaders.
5. Employee satisfaction
It’s not hard to therefore conclude that communication can bring about greater levels of employee satisfaction. Through collaboration, higher engagement, trusted relationships, and boosted productivity, your staff are naturally going to feel more satisfied at work. And it’s proven that a happy workforce performs far better than an unhappy one.
How can you start to increase communication at work?
1. Regular 1:1s
Regular meetings between managers and employees are a great way to start the process of healthy communication. Even if it is just to sit down and chat about what’s been going on during the weekend, establishing a regular communication flow is a great start to opening up and developing workplace communication.
2. Plan weekly team meetings
Team leaders, don’t underestimate the power of weekly team meetings.
Again, there may not be anything to discuss workwise but be hesitant to cancel. Establishing weekly meetings gets individuals together to develop relationships, collaborate, and share ideas and updates.
3. Encourage your leaders to explain the 'why'
Often, companies fail at explaining why decisions and changes have been made within the business. That leads to employees feeling out of the loop and really stunts positive communication. So, encourage leaders to explain the why, and encourage your employees to ask questions.
4. Encourage an open, relaxed workplace environment
Why? An environment where people feel they can express their opinions automatically opens up communication, allowing people to grow in confidence and develop these skills. This can be crucial to growth and development in a person’s career – after all, being able to communicate your ideas and challenge others is key for any leader.
So, start from the bottom and allow for these skills to develop in junior to senior employees – you’ll start to see a far more confident and productive workforce appear.
5. Get coaching for communication skills
One key benefit of getting workplace coaching is you’ll be able to choose qualified coaches to help you and your employees with their personal goals. Online and virtual coaches with the experience and abilities to develop communication skills amongst your employees can be vital in developing your workforce whilst improving overall communication within a company – EZRA has coaches for all types of communication, from leadership to managerial and even workplace change.
So, start to create a healthy, engaged, and productive workforce with simple changes to develop open and honest communication. Not only will you see employees become happier and perform better, but as a company you’ll reap the benefits of a quality workforce.