Communication – why is it so important?
It has been said many times in the past that communication is key, and quite simply this statement still holds true.
Good communication is an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships. This has been highlighted during the COVID-19 lockdowns where many people have been forced into working remotely. Employers who invest time and energy into delivering clear lines of communication will rapidly build trust among employees, leading to increases in productivity, output, and morale in general. Meanwhile, employees who communicate effectively with colleagues, managers and customers are always valuable assets to any organisation.
Poor communication in the workplace will inevitably lead to unmotivated staff that may begin to question their own confidence in their abilities. This in turn can lower morale and leads to a less productive workforce.
There are five key reasons that highlight the importance of strong communication:
Team building – Building effective teams is really all about how those team members communicate and collaborate together. Effective teams increase camaraderie which flows on to better morale, stronger motivation, and unified company culture.
Gives everyone a voice - Employee satisfaction can rely a lot on their having a voice and being listened to, whether it about an idea they have or about a complaint that they need to make. Well-established lines of communication should allow everyone, no matter their level, the ability to communicate freely with their peers and colleagues.
Innovation – Where employees are enabled to openly communicate ideas without fear of ridicule or retribution, they are far more likely to bring their ideas to the table. An organisation which encourages communication is far more likely to be an innovative one.
Growth – Communication can be viewed both internally and externally. By having strong lines of communication, it ensures that the message you are delivering externally is consistent. Any growth project relies on strong communication and on all stakeholders, whether internal or external, being on the same wavelength.
Strong management – When managers are strong communicators, they are better able to manage their teams. The delegation of tasks, conflict management, motivation and relationship building are much easier when you are a strong communicator. Strong communication is not just the ability to speak to people but to empower them to speak to each other – facilitating strong communication channels is essential.
5 easy ways to improve how your organisation communicates
Define goals and expectations – Managers need to deliver clear, achievable goals to both teams and individuals, outlining exactly what is required on any given project, and ensuring that all staff are aware of the objectives.
Clearly deliver your message – Ensure your message is clear and directed to your intended audience. To do this it is essential that you speak plainly and politely – getting your message across clearly without causing confusion or offence.
Choose your medium carefully – Once you have created your message you need to ensure that it is delivered in the best possible format. While face-to-face communication is by far the best way to build trust with employees, it is not always an option. Take time to decide whether information delivered in a printed copy would be better than in an email.
Keep everyone involved – Ensure that the lines of communication are always kept open. Actively seek and encourage progress reports and project updates. This is particularly important when dealing with remote staff.
Listen and show empathy – Communication is a two-way process, and no company or individual will survive long if it doesn’t listen and encourage dialogue with the other party. Listening shows respect and allows you to learn about any outstanding issues that you may need to address.
The Money Edge | Debbie Chapman | Bundaberg