Have you ever had a job where workplace communication was poor? Or even non-existent?
Employees may have spent their whole day on social media. Or, they might not have bothered to show up to work at all.
After all, it’s exhausting showing up to the workplace with no clue of what’s going on. If this sounds familiar, just know that you’re not alone.
That’s right. Unfortunately, a lack of effective communication in the workplace is fairly common.
But luckily, there are a number of ways for you to improve communication as well. I know what you’re thinking.
It’s communication. Just talk to people, right?
Right! Well, sort of.
Communication isn’t just about talking. It’s about how you present as well.
Like what you wear to the office or how you hold yourself during meetings. Communication does seem like a simple thing to implement at the workplace.
But sometimes, it’s easier said than done. That being said, employers who lack effective communication can lead to low morale and devastating effects in the workplace.
But if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you already know just how dangerous poor communication can be. So we won’t bore you with the cons that accompany a lack of communication skills.
Instead, we’ll provide you with the tips and benefits that strong communication in the workplace can yield. Once you improve communication in the workplace, you’ll find that its positive effects will ripple out.
Management will communicate better with employees. Employees will communicate better amongst themselves.
Then customers will receive those same positive effects. The importance of communication in the workplace can not go underestimated.
But first, let’s break down what communication is. And more importantly, the different kinds of communication that exist out there.
Types of communications
Many will confuse communication with simply talking to one another. Like how a comedian gets hired to talk to their audience from the stage.
But what goes into an act is much more than just talking. There are different types of communication that can speak volumes without speaking out loud at all.
Verbal communication is the first thing we think about when it comes to communicating. Colleagues might speak with each other in person.
Or, as is becoming more common, teams may be communicating with each other from remote locations. Either way, that verbal communication is crucial for a company’s ability to last long-term.
But communication is much more than just the words you say. It’s about the way you say it.
So, if you’re a leader in the company, your voice must carry out the objectives of the organization. This might mean using a warm and welcoming tone.
Or, this might mean having a voice that is firm but encouraging. Just think of how entertainers hired for corporate events would address a room of business people.
Funny, yet professional, right? Either way, verbal communication can effectively set the mood of the workplace atmosphere.
So employees, managers, and leaders should all be cognizant of their tone. You’d be surprised at just how much is communicated when someone speaks eloquently and with passion.
If you’ve ever been to the DMV, you’ll know the importance of non-verbal communication. The DMV is notorious for making customers wait long hours.
And even when a customer does get serviced, the employees are not too chipper or welcoming. If you work for the DMV and you’re reading this, I sincerely apologize.
I’m just running with a stereotype for the sake of this example. Like any comedian in a corporate setting might, right?
But all tropes aside, non-verbal communication can deeply impact relationships. Whether those relationships are business-related or not.
Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, body language, eye contact, posture. Even hand movements or gesticulation.
Just think back to a phone call you had with colleagues and one person didn’t know they were on video. They might have clearly agreed to something verbally.
But their body language was less than enthusiastic. For better communication, it’s important to listen to both their verbal and non-verbal cues.
Our bodies, more often than not, are more honest than the words we say. So it’s also important to reflect on how you come across in your physical presentation as well.
Most organizations have a hard time keeping track of emails coming in. But written communication is also a vital way for companies to clearly disseminate information through a single message.
Especially when getting folks into a single room is near impossible. But just because writing something out is sometimes faster than saying it doesn’t mean that it can be carried out in a careless fashion either.
Just think back to an email you received maybe a couple of weeks ago. Or even the other day.
There were typos everywhere. And the sentence structures were completely off.
You tried your best to communicate effectively back to them what you received from their message. But the communication just didn’t seem to land after all.
It’s also not the best image for companies if their written communication is off. So when it comes to good communication, don’t write it off! (Sorry, I had to).
Company culture will vary from workplace to workplace. But in our increasingly digital world, visual communication is on the rise.
And that means yet another way of how to communicate effectively. This may come in the form of memes or emojis in an email or message board.
Or, it might even be images posted in the physical office to boost morale. Either way, the small visual cues you put out in the office can be deeply reflective.
So always be conscientious of what you put out there. And make sure it falls in line with your company’s objectives and positive values!
Bonus: What Do People Find Funny?
Some might not think that listening in and of itself is a form of communication. But it is perhaps the most important kind of communication there is.
Active listening allows employees and management alike to engage effectively with one another. And listening can convey that each party is equally invested.
In fact, listening is the best way to understand how employees communicate. And what forms of communication they prefer over others.
Some people prefer written communication to verbal communication. And knowing the preferences among employees is equally as important as communication itself.
So acknowledging the various communications that can exist in a workplace is vital to a strong workforce. And it helps every employee feel seen in their ability to take in information.
The benefits of communication in the workplace
It’s clear that poor communication is simply not enjoyable. Nor does it inspire employees to come into the workplace with new ideas or even a positive attitude.
But it’s naive to think that good communication can’t spread its positive effects to other areas of the organization. Below are some of the main benefits that good communication in the workplace can provide.
#1. Good communication can prevent conflict
Most conflicts that occur in the workplace can all be boiled down to miscommunication. This might look like one employee who prefers written communications.
And another employee who prefers verbal communications. Before long, their communication patterns just don’t seem to add up.
And both are left feeling like lackluster participants on the team. But identifying employees’ preferred communications can prevent such misunderstandings from happening.
It’s important to create a rapport when talking about good communication. Making communication effective looks different to everyone.
But imbuing this into the training process can make for a more effective workforce down the road. It’s all a matter of whether you’re willing to create such tools in the first place.
Developing these tools will not only promote growth between employees on teams. But it will also promote innovation in the workplace when it comes to effective communication.
Remember – communication is not one size fits all. It is a spectrum that employees and managers must develop an understanding of together.
See Related: How to Drive Employee Engagement
#2. Workplace communication provides purpose
You know that sweet rhythm that happens when you work on a team and every employee is in sync with one other? There’s a sense of purpose behind the work you’re putting out.
And the productivity of the team as a whole just seems to pour out effortlessly. That’s the sweet spot that good workplace communication can provide.
And it can even boost the morale of each individual employee on the team. Not only does this make internal affairs all the more smooth.
It makes project after project feel like an exciting challenge that teams get to solve together. Without that impetus, teams can feel lackluster or just plain tired.
But positive communications that exist amongst the team can boost business and engagement. And it might even be the key to brainstorming new ideas and initiatives.
#3. Effective communication improves employee engagement
Workplace communication has a huge effect on employee engagement and satisfaction. Just think about it.
If you walked into work knowing that employees wouldn’t be able to communicate, would you want to stay? Or would you even show up?
When communication is weak, a person is far more likely to disengage. And this can contribute to the lack of positive relationships found throughout the organization.
But positive workplace communication gets employees excited to come into work. They walk into the company knowing that their voice will be heard.
And their team will be there to provide feedback and encourage their productivity forward. It’s the small things that get us out of bed in the morning like the potential for growth.
Not that one page you’ve dedicated to doodling on because nobody can communicate. Sure, that doodle page is impressive but still.
#4. Communication in the workplace encourages team building
Workplace relationships are the key to any business and its success. So it’s only fitting that effective workplace communication can bring a team together.
Team building is so much more than what sounds like kumbaya around the campfire. It’s identifying the unique skills of each employee and utilizing them to the team’s strengths.
Organizations and companies that don’t invest in team building aren’t able to see how communication and success are related. So, even if it’s in training new employees or re-training employers, team building is an integral part of leadership.
After all, companies are not made by a single person. They are created by all managers, employees, colleagues, and customers alike. So lead everyone on the team to feel important and seen within their specific job and role.
#5. Effective communication boosts productivity
Any company knows the importance of productivity. In fact, most companies and organizations are constantly seeking out how to increase productivity to boost sales and results.
But sometimes, the most effective thing you can do at your job is not to hammer home an important deadline or key objective. It’s about leadership taking the time to communicate with the company as a whole.
When management, leadership, and employees are all in agreement, productivity will rise by default. It might not be about reaching a particular goal or landing a specific customer.
It could just be about doing good business and prioritizing innovation over blind ambition. Ultimately, when the internal affairs of a business are in order, the output will reflect only what exists on the inside.
#6. Communication in the workplace builds a positive company culture
More often than not, a lack of job satisfaction for both employees and managers alike stems from negative company culture. Nobody likes to walk into a place of business that feels dark and gloomy every day.
But workplace communication can positively impact the feel of a business. It’s tangible when leadership is there to encourage new ideas among employees.
In fact, the whole atmosphere feels a bit lighter. Positive company culture can even be felt by customers when they walk in.
Between strong communication and solid skills, a company can accomplish any project with vigor and enthusiasm. And they can also become customers’ favorite place to conduct business in.
The bottom line
Communication comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. But understanding the different communication styles of your employees is integral for your business’s success.
You might think that taking the time to consolidate all of these communication skills seems tedious. But trust that the long-term benefits will far outweigh any tedium you have to endure in the beginning.
There’s a different sense of purpose when you walk into an office with good communication. So make your office the place that employees want to be.
Don’t wait for communication to fix itself. It never does. But you can push it in the right direction forward.
Keep Reading: What is Dry Humor?
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular comedian for corporate events, magician, and virtual speaker. Find us on LinkedIn.