Effective communication in the workplace

07 November 2019

One of the keys to success in the business world is to have excellent communication across your organisation.

It drives productivity and creates a workplace where employees can connect. And that makes it an essential part of modern human resources

But how does your business go about this process the right way? Read on for an explanation.

Barriers to effective communication in the workplace

First we’ll take a look at issues that can affect communication in your workplace. There are common issues that often affect small, medium, and large businesses. These include:

  • Excessive jargon: Business spiel is increasingly out of place in the modern business world. It’s better to talk in everyday language to create a more welcoming atmosphere. Buzzwords remain popular in many industries, but can overcomplicate simple matters. It can also confuse any clients or customers unfamiliar with industry terminology.
  • Outdated technology: Your equipment or slow internet speeds can have a major impact on how quickly departments can reach each other.
  • Physiological issues: An employee with hearing issues may fail to hear their colleagues around them, particularly if your business is in a noisy environment (e.g. construction).
  • Psychological issues: If employees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress they may not be able to convey messages in an effective way.
  • Physical blocks: The nature of your business may prevent communication due to distances involved, night shift patterns, or international employees. Modern technology can prevent many of these issues, but won’t always remove the problem.
  • Attitude problems: If there’s a toxic working environment, bad management, or conflict between staff members then this can affect the way your business operates on a communication level.
  • Different languages: You may have a diverse workforce, with employees who aren’t native speakers not quite as adept at understanding your language.

The importance of effective communication in the workplace is it maximises your productivity and helps your employees to work well together.

As the above barriers indicate, they can seriously affect the daily operations of your business. So it’s essential you put in place effective communication processes.

Tips for effective business communication

You can combat any issues with a set of techniques to streamline your approach. Here are a few ideas to adopt around your organisation:

  • Communicate fact-to-face: Rely on direct talking to make the point as clear as possible. This can help to clear up any issues on the spot and run the matter at hand until there’s an understanding.
  • Update your technology: There are many communication platforms available, ranging from instant messaging services to the phone system you use. Even your internet provider can play a significant role in how quickly your staff members can get in touch with each other.
  • Cut down on gossip: Have a strict anti-gossiping policy to make it clear to your employees this type of behaviour isn’t acceptable. It can be very toxic and hinder productivity in the long-term if it damages working relationships.
  • Aim for impartiality: Any workplace will have diverse opinions on many topics, so it’s good business practice to aim for a policy that stops discussions about politics or other controversial topics. Otherwise it can lead to conflict between colleagues.
  • Use simple language: To avoid overcomplicating the likes of meetings or emails, use basic terms instead of excessive industry acronyms or buzzwords. If you have to use either, aim to explain what they are so your employees, colleagues, or customers understand.
  • Offer training: If you have employees from non-English speaking countries, offering language training courses to help them develop their skill set.
  • Overcome perceptual barriers to effective communication: This is where you go into a situation believing other employees/customers won’t understand or know what you’re talking about. Subconsciously, you can sabotage your point. A good way to avoid this is to provide evidence of your claims for additional credibility.
  • Try effective communication with active listening: A technique in use across counselling and training, it requires full concentration and responding during a discussion. It’s worth using this tactic if there’s a dispute between colleagues as it can have resolve the issue.

Building effective communication skills should be a part of your business plan. Every employee can benefit, but it’s particularly important for directors and managers.

Anyone in a leadership role should be looking to work on their abilities to communicate on a regular basis.

Need our help?

If you’re looking to improve the communication across your business, get in touch for assistance with the right methods to adopt: 1890 252 923.

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