American author and presidential speechwriter James Humes once said that the art of communication is the language of leadership. And though certain leadership characteristics are inherent traits, effective communication is a learned skill.
For an organization to be successful, good communication practices are needed. It is the foundation of every aspect of the business. Whether it’s a large scale company inside private offices or startups in coworking spaces – no matter the size, without it, the basic functions of the management such as planning, organizing, motivation and controlling will not go smoothly.
Miscommunication is an error most of us are already familiar with. Even in our daily lives, we tend to miscommunicate with one another. From the errors between the sender and receiver, to the ambivalent language used to words that has multiple meanings and connotations; a lot could go wrong in a simple conversation between two people.
These drawbacks, though simple, can majorly affect business operations. Poor communication can hit both customers and suppliers. Staff morale can go down when relevant information aren’t relied timely. It can increase absenteeism by impacting motivation and can escalate levels of stress.
According to a survey conducted among 1,400 corporate executives and employees, eighty-six percent of the respondents have said that the lack of collaboration or ineffective communication contributes to workplace failures. In addition to this, the aforementioned study also discusses how common these issues are to various industry sectors. Its authors says that these miscommunications can slow down projects, productivity and has the ability to ultimately impact both client and employee relation.
Data from other reports have showcased how costly poor communication can be. Over an estimated $37 billion are spent on employee misunderstandings regarding company policies and business processes are in both the US and UK and companies lost a cumulative cost of $26,041 per worker per year to productivity losses resulting from communication barriers.
Why You Should Communicate
Conversely, the abovementioned report stated statistics demonstrating the positive impact of good workplace communication.
Companies who practice highly effective communication among their leaders receive 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the past five years compared to those who have least effective communicators. In addition to this, American electronics provider, Best Buy found out that high employee engagement scores result to better store performance – for every percentage point it raised employee engagement, there was a $100,000 increase in the operating income of their individual stores annually.
Improved workplace communication has the ability to change the game for your business. Several studies have said that this can deliberately increase a worker’s productivity. Effective work group communication can lead to significant improvement in the overall performance of a company. Moreover, experts have found a strong link between organizations observing effective communication and the productivity ratings of their employees.
It increases employee job satisfaction by empowering the workforce with upward communication – information flows upward and would usually entail feedback. The more employers are able to listen to their employees, the better. Job satisfaction can also decrease rates of absenteeism and turnover.
Improving Workplace Communication
There are several ways businesses across various industries can improve the communication within their workplace.
Assessing the current communication utilized can give you an idea on the areas that needs to be improved. For example, your team is struggling to keep up with conversations through email. Why not try social intranet solutions and collaboration tools. Listing down your workplace communication methods can give you a clear idea on what to do next.
Internal communication is essential so it’s only apt to check in with your employees regularly. You can set meetings with them to discuss their thoughts on a project and task. By doing this, you are somehow implementing an open door policy between you and your employees – they are likely to feel more comfortable to bring matters to your attention.
Startups and teams in coworking spaces can take advantage of the open plan layout to improve their communication. Unlike in traditional workplaces, members of the team can easily approach their superiors to discuss tasks and project updates with them. Readily available communal areas can set a relaxed vibe during discussions.
The group’s internal communication can be strengthened by attending weekly happy hours or team-building events. In addition to this, each member can improve their communication skills by interacting with other members within the vicinity.
As per James Humes, leadership’s language is the art of communication. It is a skill that can be learned and improved throughout one’s life time – just like swimming and biking.
Hone your skill and communicate with us today!