Communication in The Workplace: The Complete Guide & Tips to Improve

HR Management
Rea Regan July 30, 2021 11 min read
Communication in The Workplace: The Complete Guide & Tips to Improve

Quick Guide

    As a company, you are always looking for ways to lower conflict, boost productivity, increase employee engagement and morale, eliminate misunderstandings, and save time. But how can you accomplish all of this? It sounds incredibly challenging, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. So, what’s the answer? Good communication in the workplace.

    If that’s not enough then let’s let the statistics do all the talking.

    • 57% of employees don’t receive clear enough directions
    • 69% of managers just don’t feel comfortable communicating with their team
    • 57% of all projects fail because of a communication breakdown

    In addition, one of the strongest communication in the workplace statistics from Willis Tower Watson reports that companies with effective communication in the workplace generate 47% higher total returns to shareholders than companies with communication problems.

    The cost of miscommunication in the workplace - Connecteam image

    And the monetary losses of bad communication in the workplace highlighted above also drill down into the importance of effective communication in the workplace.

    It’s crystal clear that effective and ongoing communication in the workplace is a major concern. But what exactly do we mean by communication in the workplace and how to increase communication in the workplace? We get into that below.

    What Is Communication In The Workplace?

    Exchanging information and ideas, both verbal and non-verbal, is known as workplace communication. And when it’s done right, it’s a clear indicator of strong company culture. Whereas, poor communication in the workplace can cause an unmotivated team who aren’t comfortable in their job role and even the company.

    Effective communication in the workplace builds the foundation for loyal and engaged employees that work together to meet the goals of the company. 

    If you’re experiencing communication in the workplace problems then dive into our insightful guide on how to overcome these issues.

    Constantly improving communication in the workplace is a task that doesn’t just get crossed off one time and that’s it. Job done. Instead, it’s woven into the heart of the company. It’s as important as accurate payroll and timely onboarding. (Some may argue that it’s the most important aspect of a manager’s day-to-day).

    Effective communication helps to avoid confusion, provides a purpose, boosts productivity, keeps everyone aligned, creates accountability, and also fosters a positive and healthy company culture. And that’s just scratching the surface.

    Listen to how a field service company with 200+ employees utilizes Connecteam for daily internal communication & engagement!

    6 Reasons Effective Communication In The Workplace Is Needed

    It’s important that we first look into why effective communication is even needed. We have touched on it above, but that is just the beginning. Below we look at the six most important reasons that effective communication in the workplace is a must if you want company success.

    1. Increase Productivity

    When communication is flowing smoothly, nothing has to wait until the next day to get done. Your company should run as smoothly as a Swiss knife because all the proper procedures are clearly laid out. And each employee has the right tools to complete the task at hand.

    When an employee needs an answer or is stuck, they should instantly be able to get an answer. If you think that phone calls are the answer to this problem, you should think again.

    Everyone should be able to work together collaboratively which means that goals and tasks should be clearly communicated to every single employee. In fact, communication can increase productivity because it also helps to empower employees, builds a healthy culture and leads to better individual accountability. All of which translates to better communication and better productivity.

    5 ways Internal Communication Makes a Digital Workplace More Productive
    https://blog.smarp.com/5-ways-internal-communication-makes-a-digital-workplace-more-productive

    2. Nothing Slips Between The Cracks

    If you want to avoid misunderstandings or information slipping through the cracks, you have to have good communication in the workplace. What do we mean? You should have the right channels for each type of data and message sent, everything should be measured, and you must know who read and received the data and who didn’t. If this is a task, you should close the loop and get immediate verification that it’s done so nothing is on an open loop.

    Follow our guide on how to measure communication in the workplace to ensure your communication is a success.

    3. Deal With Emergencies More Efficiently 

    Your company needs to be able to handle emergencies of all sorts. Such as a sexual harassment case, employees need to know how to report a case. Or if you’re a retail store manager with a wet floor and a customer slips and falls, you need to know the right channel of how to handle the situation. You must have a communication route in place, like reports so an immediate response is sent to all relevant parties (for example, if a customer videos a manager yelling at an employee, PR gets this immediately and handles it.)

    There are also other emergencies you need to handle as well, such as man-made disasters, workplace violence, cyber-attack, or a global pandemic like COVID-19By being able to keep everyone on the same page, distribute real-time information, manage stress levels, and more, you help cushion any serious blowback.

    4. Narrow The Gap Between Employees And Management

    If you can’t reach all employees, there is a huge gap in communication in the workplace. Even simple stuff, like announcing a new manager or sharing amazing feedback from a customer – everyone should be aware. On the other hand, employees need to be able to communicate feedback to managers too. Ask yourself: Can I reach all my employees in 10 minutes? How do I know everyone read the message? How long will it take to receive data from an employee – more than a day?

    5. Include Remote Workers

    With more and more jobs shifting to remote work, your communication efforts and channels must also follow suit. Especially considering a Harvard study of 1,100 employees reported many remote workers often “feel left out and shunned from their company, coworkers, and management”.

    By including your remote workers in your communication, you help to improve engagement, productivity, and team cohesion on all levels. Read more here on why your remote and deskless teams need a team chat app.

    6. Give Everyone A Voice

    Don’t just get ideas or feedback from managers, include employees that on the ground, they know the customers and product better than anyone else. So make sure you give them the platform to offer their opinion that is accessible all the time. Offer employees a weekly survey because the more frequent the survey, the more likely you are to boost satisfaction and engagement. Also, have a suggestion box that’s always accessible, and be sure to review what your employees wrote.

    When you have effective and good communication in the workplace, you’ll promote a positive atmosphere, there will be more understanding on both sides and team spirit gets a boost. As you effectively increase communication, success surely follows. However, remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. If you stick with it, you will reap the benefits in the long run.

    If you’re interested in creating a communication strategy from the bottom up, download our free eBook on how to build an effective internal communication strategy.

    How To Improve Communication In The Workplace

    Define Goals And Expectations

    Map all communication channels and information flow in the organization, understand where the bottlenecks are and where there is unstructured information flow Additionally, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page, so when you identify and clarify what the common goals are, you will have a large team that is working on delivering said goal. It’s important to have everyone in the same mindset.

    Use The Right Software

    Make sure you have the right software to support all communication in the workplace channels.

    Email and Skype are the right solutions if your employees sit behind a desk the majority of the day.

    If you’re using Whatsapp then you need to read more here on why that’s not the best software for communication in the workplace.

    But if you have a majority of deskless and mobile employees, you need an employee communication app like Connecteam to be able to increase employee engagement, morale, and productivity, and reinvent communication in the workplace

    cleaning company communication
    • Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: every employee’s voice can be heard through a suggestion box to gather feedback and make decisions based on organizational surveys and live-polls.
    • Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates: communicate one-on-one, to a group, or the entire organization with rich and engaging content. Advanced features include pre-scheduled updates, social engagement support for likes and comments, share GIFs, videos, and memes, and automated follow-up capabilities.
    • Employee Recognition and Acknowledgment: recognize star employees, share employee ‘spotlights’, and allow team members to nominate peers for awards. Celebrate company-wide by sharing birthday wishes, anniversaries, personal milestones, and organizational achievements.

    Still not sure how to choose a communication app? Read our insightful guide to make the process easier.

    Listen And Offer Feedback

    Use surveys, have a private suggestion box, give one-on-one feedback, offer positive feedback, have open meetings, etc. Employees need to feel valued and heard otherwise you will only have a high turnover rate year in, year out.

    In fact, Gallup proves that employees don’t get enough feedback. You may think it’s enough, but your team cares to disagree. 

    Employee feedback is key
    https://trailhead.salesforce.com/pt-BR/content/learn/modules/manage_the_sfdc_way_motivate_and_champion/motivate_and_champion_giving_feedback

    It’s important to listen to your employees but don’t just stop there. Allow your team to feel empowered by being comfortable enough to approach you with their concerns, their triumphs, their ideas, and everything in-between.

    Managers must remember that most of their employees will leave the company if they are experiencing a poor relationship with their manager(s). To put that into a better perspective, 12% of employees will leave their job for higher salaries while 75% leave their company because of a bad relationship with their manager.

    Studies have found that most managers, 69% to be exact, feel uncomfortable communicating in general. But, as the manager, you must change.

    By regularly gaining feedback, your team experiences better employee engagement, productivity, morale, and retention. Your employees need to be able to share their voice with management so that you’re hearing from everyone and not employees you’re most comfortable with.

    Organize Team-Building Games And Activities

    Gallup reported that companies with engaged employees tend to earn 2.5X more revenue. An easy way to develop more engaged employees is through organizing weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly team-building games.

    Not only can you really boost productivity and engagement, but you can also build trust, enhance collaboration and communication, leads to fewer conflicts, and also improves the company culture.

    However, make sure to include your in-house and remote workers in these games.

    Consider The Delivery Method

    Make sure the delivery method you choose is based on the medium most effective way to effectively and efficiently convey the meaning of the message.  

    For example – face to face communication allows you to create a personal connection, and this extends to video communication as well.

    Email is quick, you can even add attachments to drive and deliver the overall message. It’s also the most common communication in the workplace tool.

    Team meetings reach a large group while notice boards are preferred if you’re hesitant to undertake technology.

    As a manager, you must consider all of these delivery methods and choose the best choice that works for your entire team. Sometimes, a combination of a few methods is best.

    Now you know how important communication is in the workplace and how you can improve it, but what tool do you need to actually bring it to life? The answer is so simple…with an employee app!

    The Bottom Line On Communication In The Workplace

    The key to long-term success rests on effective communication in the workplace. Above we outlined how to increase communication in the workplace and detailed recommendations to improve communication in the workplace. By incorporating everything you’ve learned here, you will be able to communicate like a pro. And remember, communication can only be effective if it’s ongoing.

    Take the time to remain up to date on the latest communication in the workplace trends to ensure you aren’t missing anything that could help you, your company, and your employees when it comes to effective communication.

    Improve Communication in the Workplace

    Reinvent communication and engagement in your organization with Connecteam’s complete set of communication tools.

    See How
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