By Catherine Adenle
Knowing how effective communication propels organizations is vital to the sustainability of any business. Slice it and dice it, whichever way you turn, communication plays a fundamental role in all facets of business in all organizations. It helps managers to perform the basic functions of managing such as sharing key information, planning, organizing, change, motivating, involving, controlling etc.
The various departments in an organization are interrelated and interdependent but have their links facilitated and controlled by communication. Poor communication in organizations compromises efficiency, quality of production, customer relations and many other dynamics that an organization depends on to thrive. Therefore, it is important that both internal and external communication within an organization as well as the communication skills of employees, especially leaders are effective.
Effective communication is a core part and an inseparable part of successful organizations. Effective communication skills at workplaces enable the employees as well as the employer to work seamlessly. When utilized exceedingly well, effective communication leads to higher performance and higher productivity.
Effective communication should trickle down from managers to those under their supervision and to other units and departments. Effective leaders, therefore, need to have great communication skills.
Key reasons for effective communication in a working environment
In a working environment, effective communication holds up 4 key pillars. These 4 pillars are:
The Infographic shown below demonstrates the importance of communication in all organizations. If all the elements that depend on effective communication are correctly plugged in by organizations, working in any company will be easy.
How Effective Communication Propels Organizations (Infographic)
Let’s examine how effective communication propels organizations by going through the 4 key pillars.
The first major part of how effective communication propels organizations is the presence of company wide sense of open culture and transparency. Open communication is crucial to the survival of an organization. It is a concept that almost all companies claim to value, the importance of an open business environment cannot be overstated; a company can survive without open communication, but very few organizations thrive without it.
In a flexible and modern working environment, transparency is important. A culture of open communication where employees are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns, both positive and negative, give employees the sense that they are valued. This feeling of value, in turn, leads to a greater sense, for the employee, of ownership in the company’s success. Otherwise, individuals are in the dark about strategic information.
Teams become insular and complacent. People tend to focus more on only what they know and secure their own positions than worry about what the organization cares about. When this happens, inefficiencies and duplications creep in. Employees become detached and disengaged. The organization becomes aimless and inert. In short, a sense of knowing what is going on in an organization, the feelings of belonging, alignment with organization’s strategy, felt both personally and overall, leads to a happy flexible working workforce. And happy employees tend to be the most productive employees.
Engagement enhances performance. Organizations cannot engage a sound workforce without communication. Nurturing employees to a higher level of performance involves leading them to strong relationships and trust. Another key element in running a great workforce type of environment is trust and employee engagement. High engagement means that employees care deeply about their work, feel like they’re part of the team because they are bought into the greater vision, and know how their day to day work contributes to the overall business strategy. None of this is possible unless employees feel like the company they work for cares about them, values their work, has their best interests in mind, and accepts them as part of an integral team. If an employee believes these things to be true, they will bring their best work to the company every day.
Again, knowing how effective communication propels Organizations means realizing that effective communication is the glue that binds reaching this level of engagement in any organization. Lack of it can mean the vital difference between an employee who shows up or offers a minimum amount of effort to receive his monthly salary and a working employee who works hard and always ready to give his all for the success of the team and the business as a whole.
In today’s business age, organizations are looking for that special extra edge to allow them to out-perform their competitors and to gain a large market share. An important factor in direct correlation to an organization’s performance is employee productivity. Empowerment drives innovation, change and ultimately productivity. Through effective communication that’s easily accessible anywhere anytime with the presence of policies, procedures and the openness demonstrated by the organization, all employees in a working environment will have the autonomy necessary to make certain judgment calls.
This again demonstrates trust and will surely improve productivity. As employees are empowered to take control and make decisions, they feel more confident, capable, and determined to work more effectively and efficiently. No empowerment can happen without effective communication and leadership support at work.
Toyota is one of the companies that embrace employee empowerment and they consistently outperform their competitors. It’s their belief that every employee should take ownership in the company by identifying quality defects and ways to improve efficiency. Again, this cannot be achieved without the help of effective communication.
Quality output and the successful completion of projects depend on employees living up to their commitments. This is critical in a working environment because accountability is the grease that makes a team work well together irrespective of where they are based, the number of hours they work and what they do. When employees fulfill their obligations, they show everyone else that they are reliable and that they respect the organization they work for and believe in how they add value to the company.
Taking ownership rests at the heart of success in any organization. Knowing what needs to be done, who needs to do them and by when depends on effective communication.
To foster success for everyone in an organization, simply utilizing communication through various channels regularly for updates and deliverables help them to stay on top of tasks and target dates that they have committed to.
None of these 20 Things Employees Value at Work will be possible without effective communication
By 2020, nearly half of the workforce will be Millennials, who will expect everything to be accessible on tablets and smartphones. So knowing how effective communication propels organizations is realizing that there’s the need to think beyond having a static intranet site for communication that employees can only access on their laptops. Making the jump into a “mobile first” communication channels will increase employees’ sense of belonging, engagement, and participation. According to Ambient Insight Research on the 2012–2017 worldwide mobile learning market, “the worldwide market for Mobile “Learning products and services reached $5.3 billion in 2012. The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 18.2% and revenues will more than double to $12.2 billion by 2017.”
Companies everywhere are now deploying new tools and systems to seize opportunities created by digital technologies and to meet the demands of digitally empowered employees and customers.
Those who fail to embrace this shift face becoming obsolete. Various apps could be developed to enhance how information is transferred to all employees everywhere.
Wearable technology and devices incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies will further encourage flexible working. As these devices often incorporate practical functions and features such as activity trackers, software, sensors and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the operator and other connected devices, without requiring human intervention, collaboration on tasks will be seamless and faster. Knowing how effective communication propels organizations is tapping into the tools, systems and everything that will seamlessly allow your organization to share information in real time.
The Harvard Business Review recently looked into whether technology is really helping us get more done and they found that the number of interactions required to accomplish anything has increased. A recent CEB study found that 60% of employees must now consult with at least 10 colleagues each day just to get their jobs done, while 30% must engage 20 or more. The result? Companies take more time to do things. For example, it takes 30% longer to complete complex IT projects, 50% longer to hire new people, and nearly 25% longer to sign new customer contracts. And that’s just in the last five years. Removing these obstacles by utilizing wearable technology will further enhance flexible working and how employees transfer information.
What is important?
It is crucial to identify exactly what all or certain employees will need to know. Information concerning tasks may need to be available to staff who are only present at work at certain times. Equally, if tasks are irrelevant to some employees, then communicating only the essential information to them is vital. This will allow employees to avoid wasting time on duplicating tasks that have already been carried out, thinking that they have not actually been completed.
Change: Successful change management requires effective communication and the involvement of people who will be affected. As constant change has almost become the norm in organizations, all employees irrespective of where or how they work need to know about any imminent organizational changes. Setting up an initial face to face, video conferencing or WebEx announcement meeting to announce the change and the reasons for it is crucial. To follow up, organizations need to plan change communications strategies in advance to prepare for and respond quickly to staff feelings and feedback. Communicating with all employees and ensuring they are involved in the change process is vital for a smooth transition for an organization.
Now that you have explored how effective communication propels organizations, what can you add? Share your comments by adding it to the comment box below.