The importance of effective business communication
— February 8th, 2020
Every profitable organization is aware of the vital role communication plays in the running and maintaining of a successful company.
Good communication is important to every major area of business, from how employers interact with their staff, to the methods they use to share important information with customers, investors, and other businesses.
According to a survey, employees think a communication divide within a company could have serious business implications, including low staff morale (61%), confusion for the company's clients or customers (60%), and loss of business (31%).
Fortunately, if employers work towards developing effective communication within their organizations, they will avoid these issues and instead find ways to attract and maintain customers, create strong relationships with employees, contend with competitors, and keep employee retention low. These are all key contributors to an organization’s success, growth, and ability to reach targets and goals.
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Other benefits of effective business communication include:
- Increased employee productivity
- Positive workplace atmosphere
- Greater innovation
- New business opportunities
- Enhanced loyalty to the company
- Customer satisfaction
- Clarity of direction
- Preventing and resolving of problems
- Stable turnover
- Positive reputation
How to Achieve Effective Communication?
The most straightforward and effective method of achieving strong communication within a business is to create a communication strategy. This strategy will allow employers to plan out methods of communication with employees, customers, suppliers, and investors.
Creating a communication strategy requires dedication and effort, but the positive improvements evident as a result will be significant. Businesses utilizing a communication strategy will see an enhancement in the overall productivity of their workforce, their presence in the market, and the level of trust and loyalty among their employees.
Purpose of a communication strategy:
- To explain a company’s goals and objectives
- To clarify the relationships between audiences, messages, channels, activities, and materials
- To refine the roles of staff members, stakeholders, and others
- To develop creativity and camaraderie among teams
- To help staff members and stakeholders get on the “same page”
- To include stakeholder input in the communications process
- To ensure stakeholders and customers are being reached effectively
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When it comes to understanding the importance of listening in business communication, it is helpful to recognize that it not only entails being capable of understanding what is being said or written by someone but also being attuned to how this person feels about what they are saying. By observing these feelings, employers can strive towards building stronger relationships as they are aware of the emotional needs of the individual they are interacting with.
If the speaker realizes their feelings are being taken into consideration, they will feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions, which will often lead to them developing the confidence to make helpful contributions and offer solutions to problems.
A small amount of stress in the workplace is considered normal, but when this stress develops into feelings of being overwhelmed or anxious, there will be negative consequences. When someone is overly stressed it will greatly impact the clarity of the way they communicate, making it hard for them to accurately express themselves or pass on important information.
It is vital for employers to have the means and ability to manage their stress levels effectively if the need should arise. This can be achieved by learning stress management techniques. Having this knowledge in place will prevent mix-ups or any other issues that may arise as a result. This stress management information can then be passed onto employees for their own use, allowing both parties to add a calm tone to difficult conversations.
When communicating, people say more with their body language, facial expressions, gestures, and hand movements, than they do with their actual words. A study shows that 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is the tone and inflection and an astonishing 55% is body language.
This is why when communicating with someone in person, rather than over the phone, employers can more easily gauge the feelings or thoughts of this individual, whether it be an employee, customer, or investor.
It is also important for employers to work on their own non-verbal communication as doing so will aid in helping them build relationships, better express their opinions and help to deal with challenging situations.
It’s a common misconception that communication in a business should always be formal and planned, when in fact striking up unplanned and spontaneous conversations can have many benefits. Deciding to start a conversation with an unknown person could lead to a business opportunity that would never have happened otherwise. Non-formal conversation in the office can be a great way for employers to build relationships with their employees, keep up to date on their progress, and maybe even help solve problems before they have a chance to develop.
The ability to control emotions is another important communication skill. The best way to succeed in this is for employers to take the time to analyze any negative feelings they are experiencing. If emotions such as anger, sorrow, or fear start to take over, this will make communicating clearly and coherently very difficult, which can lead to frustration, confusion, and conflict. Controlling their emotions provides employers with the ability to understand others, themselves, and the messages they are trying to communicate.
Having effective communication in place is a key ingredient for any business looking to achieve growth and success. Dedicating time and showing commitment to the creation of a strong communication strategy will allow employers the opportunity to communicate clearly with key members both inside and outside the company. This consistency in workplace communication will help to reduce uncertainty or missed information, in addition to helping keep customers, suppliers and investors informed and up to date on important updates or developments.