Effective communication in the workplace is important for good organisational performance. Managers with good communication skills can convey their ideas clearly so that subordinates understand what is required from them and can positively contribute to the organisation. In contrast, a lack of communication can lead to employee frustration, lower productivity, absenteeism and increased employee turnover rate.
To be effective, communication should be a two-way process. More than simply keeping employees informed about the latest business developments, communication should be a step-by-step process that involves the exchange of information between two or more parts at all organisational levels. Besides, it should include behavioural patterns, including body language and facial expressions, rather than the plain exchange of words.
There are several other factors that affect employee performance, including management style, organisational culture, and social relationships, but the creation of effective communication channels is the most cost effective way of increasing productivity.
In particular, effective communication in the workplace can:
Lead to better management style
Under democratic leadership, organisational members are both required and allowed to participate in strategic decision making to facilitate the business processes toward the achievement of organisational goals. Besides, employees share organisational responsibility and voice their opinion for issues that are related to organisational flexibility. In doing so, not only they commit to the organisation, but they also keep their morale high, feeling that they positively contribute to organisational performance.
In contrast, under authoritative leadership, active listening is not facilitated. By discouraging open communication and being critical to employee feedback, authoritative leaders disapprove creative collaboration. Organisational members cannot interact openly with their leader and are not encouraged to indicate possible flaws of leadership. Consequently, they cannot improve their understanding of the drivers behind business practices and decisions.
From a managerial perspective, open communication is valuable because leaders gain insight into employee commitment, ensure a creative organisational climate, and foster equality.
In today’s competitive market realities, team structures are strongly favoured to enhance organisational performance. By empowering employees to take responsibility and getting involved in a broader scheme, teamwork increases employee involvement reflecting the shift from individuality to collectivity.
Echoing the interdependent interaction of diverse individuals to achieve the organisational goals, teamwork encompasses commitment and mutual accountability. A common mission, common vision, clear roles and functions, complementary skills, balanced effort, synergy and equal responsibility are the basic attributes of a team, which facilitate team effectiveness.
Establish a feedback mechanism
Each organisation is a social system where dissimilar individuals with unique characteristics are called to work together to meet a common vision. By establishing a feedback mechanism, managers can monitor results; make strategic adjustments to anticipate changing market realities; and craft new strategies to promote their vision. Besides, they achieve organisational alignment by optimising maximum use of resources toward organisational development and larger success.
Improve employee morale
Managers seek ways to boost employee morale through the creation of a supportive working environment that encourages stress relief and effective decision-making. By improving the work environment, employee performance is improved because employees feel free to voice their opinion and be more productive. Besides, they feel more important because they are informed about corporate developments, organisational policies, corporate goals, but most importantly how all these changes possibly affect them and their future in the organisation.
Contribute to cost reduction
As employees know how to perform their tasks, productivity is enhanced and organisational efficiency is improved. Moreover, in a learning organisation where channels of communication are open, knowledge is dispersed and ideas are exchanged on improving procedures and methods of operation. Therefore, operations management is effective, maximising both quality and productivity.
In conclusion, effective communication establishes good interpersonal and working relationships and facilitates cooperation. In contrast, ineffective communication can have a negative impact on business relationships, employee performance and organisational efficiency.
More from this contributor:
Improving Communication Between Management and Employees
The Basics of Conflict Management
How Employee Morale Affects a Company
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