Workplace Communication – Definition, Importance and Tools

Published by: Shivendra Tiwari

Workplace communication is understood as the communication in the workplace that is used for exchanging information and ideas by using verbal and non-verbal mediums within an organization or work environment.

It is also understood as business communication taking place in an organization through the mediums of written communication like emails, text messages, notes, or verbal communication channels such as calls, videoconferencing, public communication, small group communication, etc.

What is Workplace Communication?

Definition: Workplace communication is defined as a type of internal communication within the boundaries of an organization that occurs in-person or virtually for getting a job done and accomplishing the objectives of an organization.

Some of the important communication tools that are used to improve communication at workplaces are-

  1. Internal newsletters
  2. Instant messaging
  3. Intranet
  4. Team collaboration tools
  5. Internal Blogs
  6. Corporate social media
  7. Video chat
  8. Video broadcasts
  9. Alerting software
  10. Team bonding tools
  11. Surveys
  12. Forums
  13. Podcasts
  14. Screensavers
  15. Digital signage
  16. Planning tools
  17. Employee experience tools
  18. Virtual events
  19. Idea management tools
  20. Employee engagement software
  21. Employee apps, etc

Before the pandemic Covid-19, workplace communication was mainly associated with the in-house employees of a company, but the sudden onset of coronavirus changed even the way workplace communication was earlier.

Now, with the new mode of work from home, virtual communication has also become an eminent method in most workplaces. Employee Apps are the most recent additions to workplace communication for communicating with the remote workforce or non-office workers.

Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Communication is an essential element for any workplace. It is due to proper communication that decisions are made, problems and solved and things keep on going smoothly at the workplace.

Usually, we spend 80% time of the day communicating in different forms. This includes verbal and non-verbal communication. Even though a large part of our lives is invested in communication, there are 57% of the employees who do not understand a direction properly while 69% of the managers are incapable of explaining the direction properly.

This is simply because of the barriers of communication that also exist. Cleverly removing these barriers to smoothen up the communication process helps in a healthy environment at the workplace.

It is quite obvious that when all the team members are on the same page, the chances of higher performance and efficient results increase. This happens only when there is a high amount of engagement and communication among the team members.

When you are working in a team, you need to have that teamwork and sync with each other. This only happens when everyone is cooperating with each other which can be achieved through effective workplace communication.

There are so many examples to prove how a manager can only become a good leader only if he or she has got good interpersonal skills such as great communication. Hence, today most e companies look out for such skills in a candidate whom they are hiring for a senior position in the organization.

Moreover, here are some basic points why effective communication is important in any workplace such as-

  1. Effective communication at the workplace reduces confusion
  2. Positive communication in the workplace creates accountability and optimizes productivity
  3. Adept communication management at the workplace brings in a purpose
  4. Good workplace conversation improves relationships amongst employees and all levels of management
  5. Effective communication in the workplace channelizes professional and organizational development

What is Effective Workplace Communication?

Today there are several platforms available for fulfilling the purpose of communication. But do these fulfill the values of effective workplace communication?

This can be understood by knowing what effective workplace communication is.

Effective workplace communication is a two-way process. It is also the content that you are communicating as well as the platform or the medium that you have selected for communication.

Firstly, the sender of the message is the most important element of effective workplace communication. The sender should encode the message in such a way that is easily understandable and there is no scope for any kind of communication.

Secondly, the medium that the sender has selected for the communication is also very important. Often making the wrong selection of the medium leads to misinterpretation of the message.

There have been many instances where an email or any written mode of communication has proven to be toxic for solving a sensitive issue.

Often such delicate situations need to be handled with verbal communication so that the sender can understand the mood and expressions of the recipient and then reciprocate accordingly.

How to have Workplace Communication?

To make workplace communication effective and channelize it in a result-driven manner, it is imperative to manage the speaking and listening abilities of employees working at different levels in an organization.

Just following some of the simple and basic tips can surely help in enhancing effective workplace communication. Here are some of the most basic and efficient ways to help and improve workplace communication-

1. Selecting the right Tools

It is essential to select the right tool or right medium for communication that offers a seamless experience during the communication.

2. Enhancing Engagement

Often it has been noticed that a manager is not able to make a point clear because the employees leave the room with several questions in their minds.

Hence, it is important to have two-way engagements. When the employees will ask questions and the manager will answer them, and then a lot of knots will smoothen up.

3. Feedback is Essential

Remember what happens in a walkie-talkie. The recipient of the message needs to mention whether he or she has received the message properly or not.

Similarly, even for workplace communication, it is essential to have a feedback system. When you receive an email, sending an acknowledgment of it is a great start.

4. Transparency in Communication

A lot of confusion happens when transparency is not maintained in a team. It is highly essential to encode instructions that are crisp and clear.

Similarly, there should be follow-ups regularly so that everything is transparent and the operations can happen seamlessly.

5. Develop Team Building

Proper communication cannot take place if there is a barrier between the employees. There can be barriers of various types such as cultural, language, and even when an employee is shy and does not communicate confidently.

Hence, it is the responsibility of the organization to involve these employees in different activities together that will help in breaking these barriers so that they can communicate with each other smoothly.

6. Workplace Communication Training

Just getting your communication skills right will not help. It is also essential that you try to make the communication skills of the team also efficient.

One of the best things about this is proper training. Train about email etiquette and also motivate the employees for raising questions and maintaining a transparent system within the workplace.

Workplace Communication Tools

Virtual Meetings

So, selecting the right tool is the most crucial element for having effective workplace communication. While a huge number of tools may create confusion, here is a list of tools that can make your workplace communication much effective.

1. Emails

This is the oldest form of communication and still thrives to be the most efficient mode of workplace communication. Whether you have just 2 sentences to communicate or you have a huge file to share, emails have always been a reliable mode of communication within organizations.

Today, also many organizations have upgraded their pattern of using emails to make it even effective. The use of integrated chat settings in the email is a great mode that helps the team members to discuss matters at length.

2. Project Management Solutions

Today, a lot of companies are making use of different project management solutions to make communication even smoother and more seamless. These tools enable the participants to share their dashboards as well as offers to make changes on shared documents in real-time.

Overall, having a project management tool has been a revolutionary step and has been offering great results to team members and companies.

3. Chat Systems

Chat applications such as Whatsapp, Hangouts, and others have made lives much easier not just for personal use but also for workplaces. Many companies make use of Whatsapp or Hangout to offer their employees convenient communication.

Also, many other companies may integrate their charting software where they can create groups according to requirements or can even chat with the team members individually.

4. Virtual Meetings

With the onset of such a deadly pandemic, virtual meetings have become so much useful. When everyone is working from home and there has to be an urgent discussion, these virtual meetings were of high use.

The only thing is that the companies need to choose a platform that is easily available, compatible with all types of operating systems, low in size, and has good connectivity. There was a time when Skype was the most used application for virtual meetings.

But soon with the introduction of other applications such as Google Duo or Zoom, the big-sized Skype has become a second option for the companies.

5. The Use of Cloud

Cloud storage has opened a new dimension of communication for workplaces. It has not just made the storage of files and documents convenient but has also made access and communication much smoother.

By sharing a single link of the cloud, two people can work on the same document sitting at their homes at different locations. Also, whenever a change is made to any of the documents, the teammates get an instant notification in real-time.

Conclusion!

Investing in effective workplace communication will offer long-term results. An organization with poor communication not just struggles to maintain decorum within the team members but also fails to achieve great results in the market.

Of course, a good performance is always the result of great coordination among the team members. But when such coordination is not there, the team is bound to perform poorly.

Having proper communication is one of the major elements that not just enhances coordination but also helps in maintaining a healthy atmosphere within the workplace that impacts to a great extent on the performance of the team members.

What factors do you consider important for channelizing workplace communication effectively?

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Article by:

Shivendra Tiwari

Shivendra Tiwari is an Engineer by education, writer by Profession, and Online Marketing Enthusiast by Passion. He loves researching and writing meaningful articles on subjects of Marketing, Digital Marketing and Management