The Importance of Communication in the Workplace
By Heather Truelove on Friday, February 14th, 2014
In today’s highly technological society, where everyone can do and access everything from their computer or cell phone, the importance of good communication cannot be stressed strongly enough. Using the appropriate mode of communication for different situations will make everything flow more easily, and help employees and associates feel that they are important and valued members of your company.
Use the Telephone
While phoning someone is still a good practice, it isn’t always the best mode of communication for every situation. Using the telephone is good for setting up meetings or discussing items for which there is a quick resolution. It is generally not a good venue to tell an employee that they made a mistake on their last assignment. Save that discussion for a one-on-one meeting.
Write an Email
Email is a fast and convenient way of communicating with colleagues and employees provided you follow a few guidelines. Use email only for disseminating factual information. If you are writing anything that could be misinterpreted, it is best to address that face-to-face. For example, if you are trying to remind an employee that something that they are doing is inappropriate in the workplace, an email might come across like an impersonal and angry lecture. This could end up causing a backlash from the employee rather than alleviating the tension of the situation.
Have a Meeting
Meetings can help bring employees and colleagues together and reinforce their sense of value to the company. It also helps keep everyone apprised of what is happening company-wide. It is probably the best way to communicate all important company business and ensure that everyone hears it. It is important to encourage open communication in meetings, so that employees feel they are heard and that what they say matters.
Try One-on-One Communication
With so many different modes of communication available, one-on-one communication often gets forgotten. It is so much easier to shoot someone an email or leave them a voicemail, but there are times when face-to-face is still the best way to speak with a colleague or employee. Many people do not feel comfortable bringing up their concerns or problems at a meeting. Things written on an email and said on the telephone can often be misinterpreted when you are not able to see the person and read their body language. This is why face-to-face meetings can be a much better option.
Listening is probably the most glossed over, yet most important piece of the communication puzzle. Without focused listening, any other piece cannot be properly placed. Employees and colleagues need to know that their input is being heard. Feeling unheard can often cause low morale and high employee turnover. While listening does not necessarily mean incorporating each suggestion into your company, or changing every policy based on what one employee says, it does mean giving the ideas full consideration.