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The impact of good workplace communication

Meaningful office dialogues, explicit goal-setting, consistent performance evaluations, and mutual displays of respect — these communication-based best practices cascade down a company to propel employees, teams, and managers alike toward higher business impact. 

Such initiatives are supported by good communication skills. When communication is lacking, employees are more prone to decrease their production levels, disconnect from work, and even suffer an increase in inter-employee conflict.

The finest workplace communication techniques address these issues by devoting time and effort to cultivating a cooperative environment. Use the top communication techniques and ideas listed below to better align your team—and yourself—with tomorrow’s corporate goals.

What exactly is good workplace communication?

Effective communication in the workplace includes strategies that get rid of misunderstandings, fuzziness, and questions between people. This helps create a more unified, smooth, and helpful environment for getting tasks and projects done.

There are a few key elements at the heart of effective workplace communication. Organizations that make an effort to incorporate the following will see improvements in workplace communication cascade across all levels and promote an overall improved workplace.

Regular performance feedback

Today, nearly one in every two employees wishes for more direct performance feedback. People often rank employee feedback loops as one of the most important aspects of an organization’s culture, right up there with office optimism, camaraderie, and a sense of respect.

However, “more” feedback does not always imply “excellent” feedback. Managers and peers alike like the insights provided from sessions dedicated to reviewing task-management habits, with special emphasis focused on how both of these categories connect with an employee’s career aspirations. Such performance feedback can take many different forms, but the essential thing  is consistency:

  • One-on-one meetings on a weekly or biweekly basis for managers to check in with team members and hear their problems firsthand.

  • Structured discussions about performance strengths and opportunities for improvement, ideally more than once a year.

  • Two-way feedback loops, in which employees provide input to their managers on areas of strength and improvement.

  • A general environment that promotes learning and development while celebrating triumphs — and that does not shame mistakes when they occur.

Powerful, goal-oriented discussions

Effective communication in the workplace also creates an atmosphere where professional goals can be identified and pursued, which helps employees grow.

Individuals are urged to think deeply about the future of their careers during these goal-oriented discussions and then commit to professional development activities that will help them achieve those goals. 

Managers and leaders spend time talking with employees about their motivations, interests, and professional goals. Because of this, everyone feels heard and supported at work, and they are much more likely to help the organization in a positive way.

Workflow processes in practice

When specific problems or inquiries arise, employees must know where to turn. They should have access to tools and communication channels that allow them to reach out to peers in ways that are convenient, coherent, and intuitive.

Furthermore, these tools and channels should complement overall project management processes, such as the ability for employees to “check off” value-added tasks and subsequently move the work on to the next relevant team member until completion. Clear communication results in clear workflows that everyone can follow.

The ability to ask questions and receive answers

The fourth effective communication approach in the workplace is open-door policies. Team members should believe they work in an environment where their inquiries and insights are valued rather than encouraged. 

Managers and team leaders who practice effective workplace communication encourage this climate by providing room for questions and concerns. They solicit questions directly, set aside time in meetings for Q&As, encourage creative brainstorming sessions, and build up systems to open and end question loops. Workplaces where people are free to ask questions are, in the end, workplaces with better communication.