Why Communication in the Workplace Is Critical for Success
Why is communication important in the workplace? How can you communicate better? Below are the seven most important questions you need to ask when determining how communication affects your company's ability to succeed. (Bonus: 5 actionable steps that can immediately improve your workplace communication.)
Ninety's comprehensive platform of tools helps companies learn to communicate better. But how does effective communication translate to success? What can you do right now to improve workplace communication? Let's start here:
"Why is communication at work important?"
The importance of communication in the workplace cannot be understated. Communication enables better collaboration among a diversified workforce. When people share knowledge and ideas robustly, no matter where they work, they can harness the power of essential information and take control of a project's integrity with satisfying results.
Despite the obvious need for communication at work, most people report that ineffective communication causes serious issues. The surveys are pretty shocking:
- More than half of companies (60%) do not have a communication strategy that defines a complete process for idea creation that will drive their futures.
- Ineffective communication is cited as the main cause of failure across industries for 86% of companies.
- Three out of four companies rate teamwork and collaboration as "very important," but 39% of workers worldwide say people at work don't collaborate enough.
Why is communication important in the workplace? To follow the road to success, companies need to consider both the quality and the quantity of communication and develop a platform that enriches the experience of everyone involved. Great leaders and teams love:
- Collaborating more
- Being more productive
- Improving creativity
- Having a better understanding of expectations
- Enjoying greater work-life balance
- Having better mental health
- Building better relationships across an organization
Want to improve communication and collaboration in your organization? Ninety can help! Get a free 30-day trial of Ninety now.
"What are the benefits of good communication at the workplace?"
If a company's internal communication strategy is strong and the personal communication skills of leaders and team members are good, the advantages include:
Enabling the free exchange of ideas.
Established best practices for good communication give everyone a voice at every level and the assurance that they'll be understood no matter the message.
Attracting and creating powerful leaders.
Effective communicators make great leaders. Great leaders know how to motivate, delegate, build relationships, control conflict and enable others to communicate well.
Building great teams.
When people communicate and collaborate well, they build effective teams that work smarter. This fosters greater trust and transparency, personal engagement, improves morale and keeps everyone satisfied.
Fostering and sustaining growth.
A company's growth relies on connected communication among all stakeholders so they know what's working, what's not, and where to focus. When everyone is on the same page, it generates exponential growth.
Catalyzing new ideas and solutions.
People who know they can openly communicate ideas are likelier to share original solutions for creating value. This helps a company make a difference instead of just staying afloat.
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"Why does communication matter in the workplace?"
Communication matters to all companies, big or small, because it forms the foundation for exceptional growth and scale if it's effective.
However, most people have difficulty communicating effectively in the workplace. A recent Harris Poll in the Harvard Business Review reveals that 69% of leaders are uncomfortable communicating with their team members for any reason.
- 37% are uncomfortable giving direct feedback about performance
- 20% are uncomfortable sharing lessons learned and other vulnerabilities
- 20% are uncomfortable recognizing team members for their achievements
- 19% are uncomfortable giving clear directions
- 16% are uncomfortable giving others credit for good ideas
- 16% are uncomfortable speaking face to face with team members and would rather use email
Consider the possibilities if 69% of leaders were confident communicating with their team members. What could happen?
The entire workforce could have a shared understanding of their goals, values, processes and best practices. They would be clear on what creates value and how to measure performance. They can build extraordinarily productive, humane and resilient organizations.
Find out how Ninety can make it easier to communicate effectively and efficiently. Get your company on a comprehensive platform now, free for 30 days.
"What are the 7 qualities of effective communication in the workplace?"
Make sure your messages meet the seven criteria of effective communication:
The Seven C's of Communication checklist is a great way to remember these qualities for anyone who wants to make sure they're relaying exactly what they mean and messages are easy to understand.
Here's a little detail about each.
Statements focused on brief detail are easier for people to remember.
- Imagine the message is always new information for the audience.
- Use simple sentences that focus only on important or meaningful information.
- Be as precise as possible, eliminating any unnecessary embellishments.
If the message is complex and there's a chance the audience may misunderstand the main points, you should:
- Include more detail if the audience won't fully grasp the meaning when omitted.
- Include context, which can help in making concise messaging easier to understand.
Structured messages that flow from one idea to the next are easier to follow.
- Organize sentences to build intuitively from an introduction to a conclusion.
- Tailor messaging to the audience and their general level of comprehension.
- Keep the audience's experience and lifestyle in mind when choosing words and speech.
Simple statements expressed in a relaxed, confident manner put people at ease.
- Avoid unnecessary or confusing vocabulary, phrasing and terminology.
- Limit idioms, technical terms and jargon unless appropriate for the audience.
- Avoid slang and limit contractions.
- Use active voice and present tense.
Courteous communicators are considerate of the audience. They show respect for people's time and appreciation for their attention.
- Make eye contact while talking.
- Speak in a conversational tone so the audience can listen actively.
- Show interest in the subject matter.
Effective communicators use words that convey what they really mean.
- Use an authoritative choice of words.
- Command the audience's attention with calls to action.
- Avoid adjectives and adverbs when specific words can convey meaning directly.
Communication can only convey the intended message if it's correct and has been proofread for errors.
- Make sure the information is accurate, and facts are vetted.
- Make sure everything is spelled correctly.
- Make sure written communication is grammatically correct.
Need to fix your message drafts? Ninety's communication proofreading functionality makes it quick and easy. Add bullet points, coloring, underlining, linking and more with the built-in rich text editor. Get a free 30-day trial of Ninety now.
"What are examples of effective communication in the workplace?"
There are nine ways effective communication in the workplace is demonstrated. When people:
- Show respect for other people's time and keep mindful of another's space. It's how people talk and listen to others, usually on equal footing as human beings.
- Listen first, so they can understand the message, directive, or objective before they run off and get something done.
- Display relaxed body language like making eye contact, using a positive tone of voice, and remaining friendly during an exchange. These people put others at ease, making the receivers more receptive to messages.
- Ask questions that are relevant to the communication. Asking questions helps clarify information. Ask a question instead of dictating directions to help guide someone to a better conclusion.
- Stay open-minded about beliefs, company vision or culture, new ways of doing things, novel ideas, research data, questions, and more.
- Give and receive feedback gracefully, with thoughtfulness, specificity, and relevance.
- Display confidence and empathy at the same time. Confidence shows people you believe in your ideas and you'll follow through on them. Empathy shows people you respect them and are willing to listen to their point of view.
- Think about what they want to say before they say it. This enables clear, concise messaging that is easier to follow and comprehend.
- Choose a method that's appropriate to the communication. Knowing when to use in-person meetings versus a quick message goes a long way in helping the receiver appreciate the message and respond favorably.
"Why is communication important in the workplace (with examples)?"
Good communication is important for having more engaged employees.
Providing a variety of ways to communicate, such as video conferencing, messaging apps, texting, chat, phone, collaboration technology and other ways to exchange information and ideas is critical for getting work done efficiently and effectively.
Good communication helps to alleviate conflict.
If someone thinks they're misunderstood or don't fully understand directives, tools that identify communication patterns can help. These tools determine the structure of communication within teams for efficiency. With them, people can adjust how they communicate so that their messages are clearer and more easily understood. Then, the people receiving the messages will be better equipped to act.
Good communication helps to build better relationships with customers.
When people are trained to communicate more effectively, they can better understand customers' needs and make them feel understood. Effective communicators will likely offer solutions that customers can be more receptive to.
Good communication creates more capable and productive teams.
When leaders understand their teams' breadth of skills, they're better able to spark their initiative and get buy-in from each team member.
"What makes effective communication?"
Troubling statistics show that people might not know what is meant by effective communication:
- Less than half of the emails sent (only 38%) contain relevant or actionable information
- Workers spend more than five hours a day dealing with issues caused by ineffectively communicated emails
- Today's mid-sized companies spend about 17 hours a week clarifying unclear messages
What makes for effective communication? Context and channel. Here's how to put this into action:
- Establish a context for the communication that fully explains the reason for the shared message, idea or question. Explain it so the person who receives it can comprehend the context and respond intelligently.
- Establish how the communication is sent, i.e., written, verbal, or digital. Today's technological advances have multiplied and improved communication channels, such as social communication, messaging apps, and even phone functionality. The channel choice defines how messages are composed so they are better received. Now, communication channels enable people to receive messages quicker and stay better connected.
5 Tips for Improving How Your Company Communicates
1. Always define goals, roles and responsibilities.
Make goals achievable. Outline clearly what each team member is responsible for in carrying out projects. Define how performance is measured and what is considered a success.
2. Always listen.
It's amazing what a person can learn through respectful listening. Then, when the time is right, encourage friendly dialogue that helps to clarify the communication.
3. Always enable open communication for everyone.
It's easy to work in a silo and not even know it. No matter where people work, either in-office or remotely, keep everyone involved and engaged.
4. Always self-edit communication.
Be thoughtful about your word choice and actions, whether a message, a directive or non-verbal communication. Make your message accessible to your intended audience. Strive to use a communication channel that's appropriate for the message.
5. Always use the right technology to improve communication.
Find out how Ninety can help you easily improve communication in the workplace right now with a comprehensive system of tools.
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