An organisation that has an open and effective way of communicating between its teams is automatically more cognisant of its employees, making it easier to recognise those who make positive contributions and those who require more training and professional development.
What happens if communications are ineffective?
At best, ineffective communication can prevent an employee from knowing what they need to do next. At worst, an important message, which might come from a disgruntled customer, for example, can be misunderstood or ignored, and what could have been a simple issue to overcome turns into a major incident.
Why is effective communication important?
To understand good business communication, you need to strip it back to the key core elements of how to communicate - the written word and the spoken word, as well as speaking and listening skills - and developing channels to ensure that the right messages are reaching the right audiences at the right time.
But the benefits go beyond just that.
Anyone who has worked for a company and feels too worried to open their mouth and say something will understand how damaging that can be; damaging to the individual and damaging to the company. A healthy workplace culture is one in which:
- Employees are encouraged to speak openly and constructively.
- Employee opinions are welcomed and, if relevant, implemented proactively.
- Any conflict is tackled openly and creatively.
- Everyone is working towards a common goal.
- There is an overall sense of trust, openness, and rapport across departments, horizontally and vertically.
- A sense of ownership and contribution to a company’s success is encouraged.
In short, effective workplace communication is a vital element in successful business, encouraging employee engagement which will contribute towards better employee retention and improved productivity and performance levels.
Effective communication examples
One target area in which good business communication can be improved is through the way in which internal meetings are held. The key goal for any internal meeting is to ensure employees walk out of that meeting knowing exactly what they have to do and why. To achieve this, you need to answer clearly:
- What is the purpose behind the meeting?
- Where does that meeting feature in the bigger picture?
- What is the outcome of the meeting?
- Who is responsible for the principal actions?
- When should these actions be completed?
- How will those actions be measured?
In order to achieve this, all communications must consist of the following:
- Good use of language, using clear, easy-to-understand terminology that is relatable according to the audience.
- Good listening skills.
- Respect towards others.
- Constructive criticism and feedback.
But this approach could be translated across all areas of business, from communicating business plans and expectations, to implementing a new reward strategy. Communicating clearly, engaging with and acknowledging feedback from the audience is key to success.