What is workplace communication?
Workplace communication is the practice of exchanging ideas, thoughts, and behaviors in a professional setting both verbally and non-verbally. Having good communication habits in the workplace is very important for business because it can help everyone work together and be on the same page. Improving workplace communication can be essential to your company’s culture and it can have great benefits regarding co-worker relationships and customer interactions.
Why is communication important in the workplace?
Demonstrating effective communication in the workplace is very important because it can impact many aspects of the business. It can improve the relationships between employees, it can help to develop trust, and it can reduce confusion and common mistakes from happening. Both verbal and non-verbal communication can have an effect on everyone, no matter if it’s good communication or bad communication. But in a workplace or a business, it’s important to foster and encourage good communication to avoid conflict and negativity.
The lack of communication in the workplace can have a negative effect on the company culture which can impact sales, or relationships with customers. Depending on the kind of business or the industry you are in, the end goal is usually to make a profit or provide a service and to do it well. Without good communication it can be much harder to achieve that goal, so it’s important to make workplace communication a priority.
What are some of the benefits of good workplace communication?
There are many benefits for having good workplace communication which can positively impact your business. It’s important to recognize where your company lacks communication so that upper management can actively try to fix it. Here are some of the main benefits workplace communication can have on your place of work:
- It can help to develop a healthy culture in the workplace. Employees grow closer together when they have healthy communication. When there is overall respect and gratitude for everyone’s role, the company culture can become more positive.
- Less mistakes and confusion would take place. When there is more communication, mistakes can subside. Of course, mistakes are a part of everyday life, but common mistakes that can be avoided might disappear with additional communication between employees.
- Conflicts and problems can be solved quicker. Communication can help diminish common issues and problems that occur at work. When employees start to communicate more and get to know each other, they can start to learn about one another and what to do to avoid conflict.
- Teamwork could improve. When working for an organization or a business, teamwork is very important. Good communication can improve teamwork and can bring people closer together.
- It can improve profits or overall satisfaction from customers. When employees are working well together, are communicating effectively, and avoiding conflict and common mistakes, sales and profits can increase. If your business isn’t a for-profit business, customer service or satisfaction can also increase with good communication.
- Employees can become happier in their roles. When there is good communication in the workplace and everyone is doing their part, employees can feel more fulfilled in their roles and believe they are making a difference. When employees feel fulfilled in their careers and are surrounded by like-minded people, they may stand by the company for a longer period of time.
- The workplace environment could be positive and safer. Good communication can have a positive effect on people feeling safe and comfortable at work. Despite making common mistakes and running into problems along the way, encouraging employees to share their thoughts and opinions can lead to everyone feeling heard.
What are some tips on how to improve communication in the workplace?
While it won’t happen overnight, working on improving your company’s workplace communication can positively impact many aspects of your business. There are tips to change the way verbal and non-verbal messages are sent and interpreted within the workplace, which could help to improve communication. Tips for good communication in the workplace include:
- Provide descriptive feedback for all tasks and projects with positive words.
- Be respectful to everyone, no matter their title or position.
- Encourage questions or clarification from others.
- Commend co-workers for what they are doing correct or for helping with requests.
- Communicate that you are open and available for quick calls and check-ins, especially with new hires.
- Be mindful of body language and tone of voice when speaking with someone.
What are some examples of good communication in the workplace?
If you want behaviors or habits to change, there needs to be someone setting a proper example. In an office or at a workplace with many employees, it’s important to be intentional with the way you communicate and act, in hopes that others will follow. Here are some examples of where good communication is demonstrated and what you can do to get everyone on board:
- Schedule meetings with different teams of employees and go through what effective communication methods are, and how to use them with co-workers. Go over the benefits it can have, along with the importance it has on your business specifically.
- Speak intently with others whether you are working in the office or remotely and let them know with proper body language that you are listening when they speak.
- Give compliments to others whenever possible and give them chances to ask questions.
- Be patient, helpful and concise when explaining where someone went wrong either on a task or with a project. Avoid criticizing in a negative way and allow the person to feel encouraged to do better next time.
- Incorporate team bonding activities in order for your employees to work better together. These activities can be non-work related to make it fun and enjoyable.
What are some activities to improve communication in the workplace?
There are a variety of activities to do with employees, both in-person and virtually, that can help improve the communication at work. It’s important to also come up with team bonding activities that are virtual to include those who work remotely. Communication can be more difficult for employees who work remotely due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, so you want to make sure to make that a priority as well. Here are some examples of team bonding activities to do with employees both in-person and online:
- Form into two teams and play a round or two of charades. One of the classic party games but make it about work. You could create topics that have to do with the company or come up with a different theme. It can be a great way to work together as a team and to communicate better.
- Birthday line-up can be a great way to work together as well. Depending on the size of your team, everyone must non-verbally communicate to get into birth order chronologically. If you split your team up, make it a competition to see which team can do it the fastest and most correct.
- You could play a game called “draw toast” where you give each participate a piece of paper and instruct them to sketch out the steps in making toast. The catch is, they must sketch it out as if no one knows how to make toast. It must be incredibly detailed with no words written on the paper.
- Instead of charades, virtual team members can play a game called “another way to say.” This game involves taking common phrases that can be said at work such as “circling back,” and going around the (virtual) room with synonyms until there are no more answers.
- Guess the emoji is a great game to be held virtually. With the emojis available on your computers, participants can send a message only using emojis, where the other participants must de-code their message.
- 20 questions can be played online as well. A participant comes up with a theme or a topic, and the rest of the participants must guess what the topic is in 20 questions or less.
Are there any products to help improve good workplace communication?
Improving communication methods around the office seems like a job for people, but there are some products out there that can help. Whiteboards and bulletin boards can be very helpful with improving workplace communication. They can be displayed in a large space to be viewed by everyone. Meetings, conferences, and other events can be written down to avoid confusion and make everyone aware of when things are happening.
Professional Communication in the Workplace
Communication in the workplace is very important, and can have many benefits on employees, profits, and company culture. Creating a good work culture and a happy environment for people to work in can be essential to company and employee success. Setting good examples of workplace communication can encourage others to follow along and develop good communication habits as well. Overall, the ways in which we interact and communicate at work can have effects on many aspects the company.
Asana. 12 Tips for Effective Communication in the Workplace. (https://asana.com/resources/effective-communication-workplace) Accessed January 24, 2023.
Spiceworks. Effective Communication in the Workplace: How and Why? (https://www.spiceworks.com/hr/engagement-retention/guest-article/effective-communication-in-the-workplace-how-and-why/) Accessed January 23, 2023.
Teambuilding.com. 21 Fun Communication Games for Teams in 2023. (https://teambuilding.com/blog/communication-games) Accessed January 27, 2023.