Effective communication in the workplace plays an important part in organizational development on the whole. In this article, we will focus on the importance of communication at the workplace, besides having a look at some tips that help achieve good communication.
Communication is an art, but not a difficult one! This is what I believe, and most of you would agree to it. What exactly is communication? Let us have a basic understanding of the subject first, and then go ahead with its application in the corporate world. Communication is the process of sharing information between two or more people. Now this is just the basic definition of communication, and we know that the process is not just confined to information sharing. Rather, it is a mode of sharing thoughts, feelings, expressions, and many other things too.
As I have said earlier, communication is an art. For some it comes naturally, while others are too nervous when it comes to communicating. Communication is necessary in all walks of life, be it professional or personal, so to master it, one needs to practice this art, and this comes with knowledge and experience.
Can you imagine a workplace where people are just working quietly and there is no communication between the employees! Certainly not. Communication forms an important constituent of every organization. It is necessary that every person in the workplace communicates with one another for better coordination and maintaining good working relations, besides keeping everyone on the same page as far as the company’s goals are concerned. Here are some basic but important tips that can help in a big way to improve communication at work.
Workplace Communication Skills
Communication is vital in every phase of life, and it might take several years to learn effective communication, which is not a bad thing really, as there are different types and different levels of communication, more so at the workplace. Now there are two types of communication; formal and informal. Informal communication is between family and friends, but when it comes to formal communication, there are some etiquette and rules that need to be followed. Here are some tips for effective communication in the workplace with your subordinates, colleagues, as well as seniors.
Be Clear and Transparent
You need to be very clear and transparent in the way you communicate, especially at work. Avoid statements that may be dubious or with a double meaning. Whatever you communicate, be it any changes in the rules, regulations or policies, everything should be explained properly and clearly with examples.
Be Well Prepared
Remember this is professional communication, so you should always have a proper documentation of all the points to be covered while communicating with your employees or colleagues. Include everything that you want to communicate, as missing out on even a single important point might create a hassle later on.
You are here to communicate about organizational matters, and so you need to honor the time of everyone involved directly or indirectly. For this, you have to be precise. So do not drag the discussion unnecessarily and come to the point directly.
Communicating on a professional level needs discussion on a generic level. Pointing at anyone’s mistakes or errors is not desirable, as this might result in a conflict. Use the word ‘we’ for success as well as failures, and try not to use the word ‘you’ unless there is a need for mentioning something specifically.
Communicate in an assertive manner. It should be such that you, as well as the person in front of you should be benefited. Be open and honest about what you say, while respecting the feelings of others.
Do Not Assume
Never work with any assumptions, at least as far as communication is concerned. For example, if there is a set of tasks that need to be performed, make sure you specify all of them along with the end result, and do not assume that everyone involved will know most of the things needed to be done anyway.
Encourage Two-way Communication
Always give the other party a chance to speak. Ask questions, and take the other person’s opinion too, once you have finished speaking. Such a two-way conversation forms the basis of a healthy communication, and you also come to know about people’s thoughts over certain things. You never know, anyone can come up with a great idea when least expected.
Importance of Communication in the Workplace
Employees would always feel motivated if the management communicates about any changes in the working strategy or the company policies. This boosts the employees’ morale and builds trust and confidence between the management and the employees. It always allows everyone to know what’s going on and what they need to work towards as a team.
Good Working Relations
One of the most important benefits of workplace communication is establishing and holding good working relations with peers, subordinates, and seniors as well. Good working relations at the workplace ensure a friendly and conflict-free working environment. There will be no room for difference of interests and any sort of confusion whatsoever.
No workplace is ever free of conflicts, contradictions, and problems between the employees! However, communicating with colleagues and seniors about the issues help to solve the problems and thus prevents them from further aggravation. Festering of problems inside only leads to bigger conflicts and problems later on, which will adversely affect the company in some way or the other.
Healthy from Business Point of View
Now let us shift our focus from employee relations to hardcore business communication. Communicating with the employees about any changes, amendments in the rules, regulations, policies, work rules, etc., helps in getting a better idea of things, and implementation of the work becomes easy. This further results in increased productivity and accuracy, minimizing wastage of resources and time. It is like everyone taking the shortest route to a designated point in the simplest way, all together.
These tips would have given you an idea on how to communicate in the workplace, and mind you, they work the same way in our personal life too. As mentioned earlier, effective communication skills are developed with practice and the right attitude. Good communication in the workplace helps in maintaining a long-lasting relationship with your colleagues and clients, something that is extremely essential for any organization to do well.