Importance of communication at a company
People just can’t live without communication. Literally. Even your hairstyle or the color of your clothes are communication methods. Communication is essential in everyday life. But what do we call exactly communication?
What is communication
In communication studies there are several definitions of this phenomenon. Maybe the best known is the earliest aspect: the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication . This is also called the standard model of communication. This model contains 3 main and 1 additional parts. The main parts are the sender the channel and the receiver. Shannon and Weaver recognised that there can be distractions in communication - they call these “noise”.
This model was introduced in 1949, when communication studies were in initial status. Nowadays, the communication itself is a subject of a lot of studies from different aspects. It’s recognised that there are different types of communication based on for example the channel. Compared to 1949 there is a big difference due to the internet: now we have online communication as well.
Online vs offline communication
We don’t have to say that online communication is so different from offline, personal communication - everybody has experienced this due to COVID-19. We have been locked up in our apartments for almost 2 years. We have lost personal connections and the possibility of face to face conversations. (You can read more about this topic in our previous article.) This was a huge change in everyday life. People just became sad, angry or depressed because of this. The feeling of loneliness became a common issue. These phenomenons clearly show how important communication in people’s everyday life. Seeing each other’s facial expressions and gestures are irreplaceable.
Of course the pandemic opens up new opportunities as well. Employees can work from home and a lot of new communication channels became popular during the lockdowns. Employers and employees tried to figure out what is the most effective way of online communication - video calls seemed to be the best solution. But it’s not the same as in-person-communication. During a video call people could read news, e-mails or play online games, so the efficiency decreased.
All in all, the pandemic created a totally new environment for communication and employers and employees need to adapt to them.
Business communication is a special way of communication. As the name says the main topic is business. Effective business communication can cause business development. However, ineffective communication methods can generate a loss to the company. Quantified Communications, a business communications advisory firm, found that
Furthermore, Queens University of Charlotte did a research about communication in modern workplaces. They found out quite interesting data.
- Teamwork and collaboration as a skill and requirement are rated as very important by nearly 3 of 4 employers. 73% of business leaders feel soft skills are more important than job-specific skills.
- Younger generations of employees especially support social tools for collaboration with coworkers - Meestory can be a nice one!
- 56% of employers use social media for communicating coworkers.
- Most millenial employees would prefer real-time feedback over traditional performance reviews. – they need more effective communication! 53% of millennials feel a mentoring relationship with their manager would improve their value and productivity. About 40% of millennials would even pay out-of-pocket for social tools to increase efficiency which is a quite shocking data.
We can see that effective business communication is essential to companies if they want to keep and engage their employees and want to be successfull in business.
Signs that can show communication at the company is not so effective
The first step to develop business communication at the company is to recognise the ineffectiveness. Here are some signs for this.
- Delays, failing projects, missing goals because of misunderstandings.
- Regular conflicts and misunderstandings between departments, teams, colleagues.
- An atmosphere that does not include collaboration, openness and trust.
- No initiative to communicate, ask for help, share or criticize.
- The employees are unable to identify the company’s mission, goals and vision.
- High turnover rates despite good remuneration and scheduling.
If you as an employer recognise some of these phenomenons, you should do something to improve the quality of business communication at the company.
What to do to increase business communication effectiveness
Increasing communication effectiveness is a neither simple nor quick process. Collaboration between employers and employees is highly required for achieve the goals. However, there are some specific steps can be taken to catalyze improvement.
We collected some of these for you:
- Identify specific needs of employees.
- Establish formal and informal channels for communication at the company.
- Each company should have their own communication rules.
- Start implementing common standards of communication at the company.
- Always follow the main principles of ethical communication: truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason.
- Pay outstanding attention into communication the during onboarding process of new employees.
- Provide online tools for communication and connection to the employees - such as Meestory.
- Promote more interactions between colleagues and proactive communication instead reactive.
- When the situation allows give preference to personal communication over online.
Both online and offline communication are outstandingly important at a company, it helps to perform better. COVID-19 made changes in the communication circumstances, and also opens up new doors. Managers and leaders must recognise if the communication is not so effective at the company and make steps to improve the processes.
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