The importance of effective communication in the workplace

Knowing how to communicate appropriately without conflicting with other people is a true superpower. If you don’t succeed in developing this skill, you could end up missing a chance of advancing your career, being hired at a prospective job, or closing a life-changing deal. Let’s figure out why communication at work is important, discover what the keys to fruitful collaboration are, and discuss some tools, which can be useful for establishing good rapport within an organization.

The importance of effective communication in the workplace

The secret of a successful business

Business success depends on the staff, its competency, and the ability to communicate. Successful communication enhances relationships between team members and between a company and its customers. It increases employees’ productivity and engagement. Yet, when there are tensions and conflicts between coworkers, they affect the whole company. According to research conducted by the Conference Board, disengaged teams could cost more than $450 billion per year. This leads to loss of profit and sales and the rise of expenses on retraining time. 

So what is the most significant indicator of effective communication? When you see that employees consult with each other, share ideas, and consider others’ opinions, that means that they communicate effectively. This helps to build a strong team with high productivity, interested in cooperating more, and finding the right solution for achieving common goals.

What skills are essential to successful communication?

Productive collaboration inside a company starts at the top. It’s the major task of a good leader to build a healthy atmosphere within an organization to improve the overall job performance, enhance employee productivity, and strengthen relationships within a team. 

Here are the 5 key factors a company should pay attention to:

1) Competent management

Experienced managers with excellent communication skills should be in charge of their teams. They can organize the working process more productively, applying helpful tactics: task delegation, relationship establishing, problem-solving, decision making, building rapport and trust, conflict management, and many others. A strong manager should not only communicate successfully with the team members but also trigger them to talk to each other.

2) Team building

Holding informal meetings for employees is essential for establishing a healthy climate in your working community. It’s not easy to build a cohesive team. But with enough effort and desire you’ll get a solid crew of professionals, who know their common goals, make future plans, and can discuss any issue they face with coworkers.

3) Open-mindedness

When employees are free to express their thoughts without fear of being ridiculed or criticized for excessive self-confidence, they are more likely to generate bright ideas. Development is possible only paired with innovation. Try encouraging freedom of thought - who knows, maybe one of your colleagues will come up with a brilliant solution to an issue bugging you for a long time.

4) Equality

Job satisfaction can rely a lot on the employee’s freedom of expression and opinion, no matter whether they come with a genius idea or an annoying complaint. 

To ensure effective communications in the workplace, every person should be provided with the possibility to communicate with their coworkers, managers, and superiors, without taking their post into account.

5) Good communication skills

Make an effort to work hard on communication skills improvement. Try inviting experienced coaches and psychologists to hold training sessions for workers, where they can figure out how to behave in various situations, how to fight stress, and learn ways for improving working relationships. Strong communication skills will help your team successfully deal even with the most difficult customers, partners, as long as build strong relationships with their colleagues.

6) Verbal communication

Sometimes, spoken words have more power than written words. And good communicators understand that fact.  Actually, verbal communication offers us a better and more effective way to give instructions, describe complex concepts, correct mistakes, and manage team actions.  Developing spoken communication is another essential step toward professional success, stronger personal relationships at work, and a company's development.

What are useful communication tools?

To keep improving professional communication in the workplace, special tools are a must-have. Living under COVID-19 restrictions, we aren’t able to collaborate the same way as a couple of years ago. More companies transferred their employees to remote working places, leaving fewer chances to keep in touch in reality. Then, specialized services for virtual communication come to the rescue.

Let’s have a look at the most helpful tools, which can enhance the remote working experience and help remote employees more effectively communicate with each other.

Business video conferencing

When people switch the office environment into a cozy home working place it has its consequences: more flexible working hours, a lack of physical contact and real communication. That is why maintaining visual contact with other team members is extremely important. 

The market offers a broad range of apps for arranging online meetings. You might have tried some of them, like Zoom, Skype, or Slack. There is another app new to the market, but it has already gained a good reputation - Whoosh. It offers HD video calls, unlimited meetings, a virtual assistant, and the latest web security guard. 

With virtual get-togethers, you can maintain fruitful relationships with colleagues who work remotely, organizing daily or weekly video meetings as if engaging in real life.

Real-time messaging

With messaging, employees can keep in contact when working remotely, staying abroad, or being unable to talk at a certain minute.

There are two options for texting: 

  • Traditional SMS
  • Texting via messengers

The first one uses a cellular connection, while the other one requires mobile data or WiFi. Messengers are more convenient because usually, they are free. Texting can’t replace a phone call or an online conference, but it may serve as a quick and effortless way to catch up. 

Phone calls

The traditional phone call is one of the most reliable ways to keep in touch with your colleagues. When you need to get some information as soon as possible, it’s the quickest way to contact a client or a partner. In case there is no answer, phones offer to leave a voice message, so a missed call won’t be unnoticed. 

Moreover, you can make a free conference call, installing such apps as Whoosh, Skype, or Facebook Messenger. They require an internet connection, so make sure it’s available.

E-mail

E-mail is a practical tool for office work or B2B communication. You can use a web client or a mobile app for emails. It’s a more formal way of communication, becoming less popular these days, due to the growing popularity of instant messaging. Still, it’s convenient for sharing documents or sending a newsletter to clients or partners.

5 useful tips on how to communicate effectively in the workplace

1) Enhance your active listening skills

It's a well-known fact that communication is a two-way process, involving speaking or writing and listening. Did you know that an average person that engages in a conversation spends 45% of the time listening? But listening in its classic form doesn't guarantee effective communication. That's what active listening is for. It means being fully concentrated on what other speakers say rather than just hearing what they say. Great communicators listen with all senses, giving the speaker their full attention.

What are the signs of active listening?

  • Smile, usually combined with nods of the head
  • Eye contact
  • Slightly leaned forward posture
  • Unconscious mirroring or reflection of the speaker facial expressions
  • No distraction on other things: phone, watch, playing with hair or a pen

Although this skill can be rather challenging to develop, it's possible to master it with practice and hard work.

2) Ask your team for honest feedback

Who knows your communication skills in the workplace better than your colleagues? That's why another good way to develop them is by asking coworkers for their feedback. Internal communications in a group show our major strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you can ask a team member who is always around and whom you can trust about your communication with them and use the acquired information to improve your communication skills.

3) Work on public speaking

Public speaking is a perfect solution for those workers who feel a lack of good communication skills. Delivering a speech in front of a group of people - no matter whether it's large or small - is always a stressful event requiring effective communication skills, expressive body language, and the ability to engage the audience.

So even if you feel a bit nervous when speaking to a crowd, don't miss this great opportunity to become an effective communicator.

4) Pay attention to body language

Another practical way to enhance communication skills is to concentrate on non-verbal communication. Many people neglect this essential component and focus on spoken language more. But that's not really a good strategy. Effective communicators understand that body language usually shows more than a person intends to show and may even contradict their words.

That's why next time you're taking part in a conversation, pay attention to the signs other people show non-verbally: how they stand, facial expression, smile, nod, cross arms, and even look at you.

5) Be more empathetic

Empathy and sympathy are two concepts of different nature. While sympathy is connected with understanding from your own perspective, empathy is more about putting yourself in someone else's shoes and seeing the situation from their own point of view.

This skill is useful for many spheres of life, including business communication. Understanding why people behave a certain way, what they want, and what troubles them, you can better deliver your own ideas based on what is more meaningful for them. This, in turn, will help build mutual trust and shared understanding resulting in better relationships.

Why communication is important for a business team

Each business leader should give priority to the development of good communication skills in the working place. It may not be evident why they carry significant meaning, so we’ve brought together all the benefits of effective communication.

What are they?

  • Team building improvement
  • Success and growth boost
  • Development and innovation
  • Productivity enhancement
  • Increase in working efficiency and loyalty
  • Fewer conflicts and misunderstandings
  • More engaged employees
  • Soft skills development

If you look at a typical vacancy, good communication skills will be at the top of the list. And there’s a reason for this. Communication is a building block for a close-knit team, which successively is a building block for a prosperous business. Remember the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication in a business team, fix your poor communication skills, and be sure: all the work will be done smoothly.

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