The exchange of information between people seems like a basic human skill. But with different styles of expressing ourselves and different ways of interpreting what we hear, communication is a lot more complex than it seems, and there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. But clear, communication in the workplace is an essential part of running a successful business.
In any relationship, clear, functional communication creates a harmonious, productive rapport. It’s the same in business. Good workplace communication leaves room for every employee to contribute to the conversation. It’s an interpersonal skill that benefits the business at every level, from employee engagement to the bottom line.
Simply put, effective communication is an interpersonal skill that every employee in your company should master.
What is Workplace Communication?
Workplace communication is the flow of information between individuals in order to fulfill the company’s mission. It can include verbal communication, emails, text messages or notes. The most effective communication in a company is open and transparent, with room for every employee is able, and encouraged, to contribute ideas and participate in discussions that can grow a business.
Communication is more than just what we say. It’s also body language and eye contact. It’s the tone we use in conveying our words and, when in person, the body language and facial expressions that accompany the verbal communication. For example, crossed arms are often a sign that a person is not very open to another perspective. Eye contact, a smile, and a relaxed position often reveals an open mind and someone who values what the other person has to say.
Pro tip: Good communication can be learned. Lead by example and practice the communication skills you want to see in your employees.
When communication is open, clear, and consistent, everyone is aligned and working towards the same goal. When a company has unmotivated employees, disconnected managers, and unhappy customers, the culprit is almost always poor communication.
Why Is Communication Important in the Workplace?
The success of a company is often measured in numbers—the amount of money made in a quarter or the growth in customers. But behind the scenes, there are core cultural elements that drive those successes. But exactly why is communication important in the workplace?
- Effective workplace communication creates a healthier, happier work environment.
- Clear communication leads to higher engagement. When employees are a part of the conversation, job satisfaction and engagement go up.
- Interpersonal communication fosters collaboration by building connectivity between colleagues for a greater sense of belonging.
- Effective communication skills in the workplace radiate out to impact external business elements, like improving customer service and greater financial returns.
- Clear and transparent communication eliminates ambiguity and reduces conflict.
- Communication between peers fosters collaboration and leads to greater innovation.
“Beekeeper has really helped to make sure we’re all communicating in the same way.” -Gianna Marx, Wireless Vision’s Internal Communications Manager
More Effective Communication in the Workplace with a Mobile App
In today’s workplace, where 80% of the workforce does not work behind a desk, and even desk-based workers communicate more on their smartphones than their computers, companies are adopting mobile-first digital communication tools.
These tools do a better job of reaching every single employee in real time. Companies with a dispersed, mobile staff see a dramatic increase in engagement when they connect their frontline teams to internal communications. A mobile workforce solution creates channels of communication when face to face isn’t always an option.
Another reason to include a mobile app for communication is due to the changing composition of the global workforce. By 2025, 75% of employees worldwide will be Millennials. They’re digitally savvy and communicating via mobile device is second nature to them.
Not only can a digital workplace create lines of connectivity that didn’t exist before, but it also builds a portal to create unified messaging, like a company’s vision and mission, to keep employees aligned. Another perk of an employee app is a translation feature to ensure every employee is able to clearly understand communication and participate as well.
Pro tip: Track employee communication with Beekeeper’s analytics dashboard to find out where your weak spots are and how to strengthen participation and engagement.
How To Improve Communication in the Workplace: Top Tips for Communication Skills in the Workplace
If you’re wondering how to improve communication in the workplace, you’re not alone. Companies lose $37 billion every year due to miscommunication. Here are five strategies to help lead your company to better communication, from the C-suite to the frontlines.
- Remember that effective communication is always two-way. Less than 30% of employees feel that their opinion matters to their managers. Remember that you are only half of the conversation. Communicating includes listening to what the other person has to say. Be empathetic to truly understand the other person’s point of view.
- Give your employees regular feedback. Get into the habit of connecting with individuals regularly. Employees often only hear from managers when they’ve made a mistake. Touch base to simply to check in, see how they’re doing and if they need anything. Give feedback that is specific and constructive. Remember to get in touch with employees for positive purposes too, like when you notice they’ve gone above and beyond in their jobs. Employee recognition goes a long way in boosting morale.
- Be authentic. To create a culture of transparent communication, make sure you are authentic in your delivery. In person, make eye contact to signal your full engagement.
- Be clear and specific in your communication. In any communication method you choose, use clear, simple language. Make sure you use the right words to make your point so there is no room for misunderstanding or conflict.
- Follow up all communication on your workforce app. After you have a companywide meeting or a one-on-one with an employee, follow up your messaging on your company’s mobile workforce app. This accomplishes several things: it’s a space to reiterate what you said, leaving no room for misunderstanding. It also gives employees a chance to review communication in depth and creates a channel for their input for a culture of communication that encourages everyone’s participation.