Good Communication is an important skill in any environment with human interactions. However, when it comes to communication in the workplace, good communication is an integral element to business success.
In the workplace, good communication isn’t just about mitigating conflict (although that is an important benefit of communicating effectively. Good communication is also an important factor in client relationships, profitability, team effectiveness, and employee engagement.
One of the times an organization is most likely to seek communication training is when there’s clear tension or conflict in the workplace. Regardless of the conflict, communication is usually an underlying factor.
Conflict typically comes down to:
Misunderstanding/feeling misunderstood. Even when someone feels like they are communicating well, if the person to whom they’re speaking has a different communication pattern then there may be misunderstanding. With communication tools such as identifying communication patterns and making small communication adjustments, new information can be dispensed in a way that is easy and clear to understand, and the listener can better communicate their understanding.
- Miscommunication also comes down to communication patterns. When someone who hasn’t undergone an individual or team communication program, they default to presenting information using their own communication pattern instead of considering the communication pattern of the receiver.
- Someone feeling their emotional needs are not being met or are being disregarded. If an employee feels disrespected, taken advantage of, or disregarded, then it may lead to tension or conflict. A better-communicating team lays the groundwork for expressing and understanding needs, which also increases employee engagement and performance.
Communicating is more than just talking. It’s about connecting with people. One of the most powerful benefits of better communication in the workplace is more engaged employees.
Employees are more engaged in their work and can better align with company objectives and goals when a culture of good communication is established in a team or workplace.
Connection-based communication can improve employee engagement in the following ways:
- Gives you tools to better understand the needs and goals of your employees.
- Allows you to better understand what motivates and fulfills the employee.
- Better understanding of employees’ talents and skills that may otherwise go unnoticed.
- Ability to cultivate talents and skills in a way that develops them in line with company goals.
- Improved connection between co-workers for a more positive and satisfying work environment.
- Better relationship with managers and leaders.
Better Client Relationships
This one is a biggie if you have client-facing employees, since client interactions are usually the difference between a satisfied customer and a disgruntled one.
When your employees are trained to communicate more effectively and to connect with others they can better:
- Mitigate and resolve conflict
- Understand needs
- Help the customer feel understood
- Present new information in a way in which the client will be more receptive
More Productive & Talented Workforce
Employee engagement is a significant factor in the productivity of a workforce. But besides contributing to increased employee engagement, communication skills can also help foster a more productive and talented workforce in many other ways.
Understanding team talents & skills. In a company culture focused on connecting with others, managers better understand the talents and skills of their workforce. Some communication patterns aren’t forthcoming with their talents and skills, or express them in ways a fast-paced or high-level-thinking communicator won’t naturally notice. Mastering the identification of communication patterns empowers a leader to better understand the skills and talents of their team.
Achieve more buy-in. With the right communication tools, a leader can influence initiative buy-in from their team.
Innovation and creative thought. A workplace that communicates more effectively establishes a “safe” place for people to think creatively and express their ideas. It helps employees feel more comfortable taking ownership for challenges and projects, and typically results in more creative brainstorming or problem-solving initiatives.
More strategic team building. Understanding communication patterns gives a leader more information about their employees, and often information they would have otherwise overlooked. This powerful insight lets the leader make more strategic decisions on delegation, employee development, team development, and strategic initiatives to drive business success.