Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t communicate with your colleagues?
Whether it was due to poor management, internal conflict or even a technical problem, chances are you had a really tough time getting your work done.
If you’ve ever tried to work in a team with bad communication, you’ll know why communication is so important in the workplace. Without good communication, you risk having a team that’s inefficient, unproductive and unable to collaborate on even the most basic tasks. What’s more, it’s easy to get bored and disengaged with work if you feel like there’s no collaboration between your colleagues.
Thankfully, there are some easy ways you can use to improve communication in the workplace.
Here are 5 reasons why communication is important in the workplace - and how to improve communication with your team in 3 steps.
1. Reduce confusion
One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of good communication in the workplace is that it minimizes the risk of confusion in teams.
If you can over-communicate on all things, you can make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing, when they need to do it and who they should pass it on to next. In the workplace, communication has a range of benefits, including:
- Making sure nothing gets missed
- Avoiding duplication of tasks
- Helping you hit collective deadlines
The list goes on! There are a huge range of reasons why communication is important to help reduce confusion in your team - and avoid wasting time.
2. Minimize conflict
In so many workplaces, conflict starts with poor communication. Whether it’s two personalities not getting along or someone being blamed for things going wrong, frustration can quickly boil up from even simple miscommunication.
One of the biggest reasons why communication is important in the workplace is that it’s a tool for reducing and managing conflict. With good communication, you can stop problems escalating and avoid small clashes turning into all-out feuds.
3. Improve employee engagement
Would you rather work in an environment with people who appreciate your work and value your input or who want nothing to do with you? It’s not hard to answer the question.
Communication in the workplace is really important for team morale and employee engagement. The best workplaces are ones where everyone feels valued and included. No one wants to feel like they’re sending their work into a void and getting nothing back.
Better employee engagement can help to reduce employee turnover, boost job satisfaction and even improve productivity. Communication is critical!
4. Play to everyone’s strengths
With good communication in the workplace, you also have the opportunity to play to your team’s strengths. If you’re communicating regularly and effectively, you can quickly identify where your team’s top skills and strengths lie.
With good communication, you can create a community of sharing and collaboration in your team. That means that if someone hits a barrier, they can easily reach out to colleagues for help and advice.
To take a simple example, a colleague with a technical problem doesn’t have to struggle alone - they just shoot a message over to the tech specialist on their team for help. Though this seems like a small issue, it can make a huge difference to the efficiency of the team overall and encourage more teamwork.
5. Increase productivity
In the workplace, communication can have a big impact on productivity. Communication helps employees to understand their responsibilities and what is required of them in their roles. This makes it more likely that they’re able to get their job done and support their colleagues in the most efficient way possible.
For every business or organization, maximizing productivity should be a top priority to improve success. That means that communication needs to be a key focus for every manager.
These are some clear reasons why communication is important in the workplace - but how can you improve communication in your team? Read on to find out.
How to improve communication in the workplace
Here are 3 ways to improve communication in the workplace to help you work efficiently, productively and to the best of each team member's abilities.
1. Create a community
If you can create a sense of community in your workplace, you can massively improve communication between colleagues. Instead of thinking about "me and "mine", encourage your team to start thinking about "us" and "we."
This shift in mindset helps to foster better communication in the workplace as every individual knows they can rely on the people around them. In a workplace with a strong community feeling, no employee is an island and so communication becomes a core part of your workplace culture.
2. Use technology
Thankfully, there are now a wide range of digital tools you can use to improve communication in the workplace. Whether you’re working in-person, remotely or in a hybrid working environment, technology is your friend.
Tools like Slack, Zoom and Asana can all help you make communication quick, easy and efficient between colleagues. The trick for using these tools is to over-communicate and check in with colleagues regularly. Not sure if someone understood or remembered a key action? Drop them a message or schedule a call.
3. Try personality testing
If you’re looking to improve communication in the workplace, you could benefit from using personality testing. A personality test like Typefinder can help you to identify and understand the different communication styles of your team and where potential barriers to communication lie.
By mapping out how your team members think, act and interact with others in different scenarios, you can improve communication overall. For example, if you have an overbearing ENTJ in your team who overrules or ignores communication from other team members, you can set up safeguards to make sure you nip this negative behavior in the bud.
Improving communication is essential in the workplace. By following these three steps, you can take your first steps to improving communication within your organization. Have you tried any of these methods before? What tips do you have for others who want to improve communication in their workplace? Let us know in the comments!