“What is communication problem?”
Let’s forget about the workplace for a moment and focus on ourselves and our lives. How often were you misunderstood in your life by your family, friends, colleagues and/or relatives? If you ask me, I’d say at least once a day. You discuss things with other people and what you meant by a certain sentence may be different from what they understood which causes misunderstandings.
The thing about misunderstanding is that it’s no one’s fault. What you meant and what you said may be the same thing, but you know every sentence can be read or heard in different ways which will give it different meanings. It may be the tone, your pauses, the situation or your expressions which causes the other person to understand it differently.
“The same thing happens at your workplace no matter what position you hold in your office.”
Proper communication is a must no matter where you apply it; in your workplace, home, or anywhere else for that matter. What you meant should be exactly what your receiver should understand or it will create problems big or small.
Why should you communicate properly in workplace?
Suppose you’re at your workplace explaining a new project to different departments, if the communication isn’t proper, misunderstandings will occur and you’ll lose precious time and effort on that project. And you just can’t afford to miss your project deadlines, if you want to keep running a successful business that is.
“Workplace communication goes both ways, Employers ⇄ Employees”
Proper communication isn’t just for the employers by the way, employees have the responsibility to ensure what you understood is exactly what your employers are expecting from you and to report back your progress. For example, if you’re a software developer and you got stuck in a code you can’t crack for your new project, if you keep it yourself and kept trying to crack the code, yes you may succeed, but after a very long time and after spending too much effort.
On the contrary, if you discuss with your team leader he may be able to help you either by directly solving the problem with his experience in the field, or by assigning someone else who will be able to help you finish up the project. Whatever method he chooses to help you, the important thing to note here is that you’ll save your time and effort if you keep proper communication at your workplace.
In my office as well, we’ve gone through issues, the root cause of which was communication gaps or improper communication. When a content writer failed to update the status of a blog she couldn’t write because of some issues, we missed our deadline by two weeks. If she reported the issue to the respective authority, it could have been solved in time to meet the deadline.
“Effective communication saves time and effort for both employees and employers.”
Why is clear, precise and honest opinion important?
There are people who think their opinions don’t matter, some think if they express their honest opinion they’ll get in trouble, or it may affect their future in the company. Some don’t share their opinions if they’re not comfortable with the people they’re sharing it with.
There are different reasons for not sharing one’s honest opinion but there are more reasons to share them. While sharing your honest opinion is very important in an office, it’s much more important to be professional about it. You can’t simply be rude to anyone in office and say that you were being honest. It doesn’t work that way.
“Being honest and keeping professionalism while being honest will make you the perfect employee/employer.”
How to share your opinion at workplace?
Sharing your opinions mean more than just a yes/no confirmation. If it’s a poll you can give the go or no-go sign, but in most cases when you’re asked for your opinion you’ve to give a proper explanation as to why you have that opinion.
For example, a few weeks ago there was a WhatsApp discussion with our employees about cancelling the sponsorship from a reputable newspaper for an online competitive exam powered by our company. Some employees said yes we should cancel while others said we shouldn’t, only one employee gave the management a proper explanation to why we should cancel the subscription. The reason she gave for it was clear and precise which helped the management to choose the right decision without wasting time.
We’re living in the modern world where companies are much more relaxed and the management are more friendly with their employees than ever before. As long as you keep things professional, your opinion matters.
“The logic/reason behind your opinion may be right or wrong, but you won’t be judged by it as long as you are clear, precise and honest.”
Why is it important to keep a proper communication channel for business hours?
If your company owns a workplace communication channel for business hours, it’s crucial for every worker to check their notifications to see new tasks/messages, updates on existing tasks, etc. Keeping yourself updated is the single most thing you should never fail at.
“90% of work related issues has communication gap as their root cause.”
In my office we have separate phones for each department for inter departmental and client communication. One of our department phones had an issue which caused it to take a lot of time to turn back on once it got switched off, even when connected to a charger. A few days ago it got shut down due to low charge and didn’t restart even after charging. As I’m in the Singapore branch and depended heavily on WhatsApp communications with various departments, I was unable to establish communication with that department and several of our clients also reported the same issue.
As in any organization, our clients are very important to us and we can’t make any excuses for not keeping an open communication channel. With proper communication the issue could have been avoided. A simple call forwarding settings or a message to notify the issue to the authority would have been enough to avoid the time-wasting.
What can you achieve with proper communication?
“Better communication → Better productivity → Better performance.”
If you are a good communicator no matter which department you belong to, you’ll receive more trust & support from your colleagues and superiors. As a bonus you may even receive specific guidance on your project from your superiors.
“Listening & Responding → Employee job satisfaction.”
For example, in my company when ever an employee makes suggestions/remarks for the improvement of our workplace/methods, our manager actively listens to them and their requests are acted upon if found as useful. As a result we have a long list of happy employees.
“Good communication → Decreased turnover rates and/or absenteeism.”
Just imagine, would you want to leave a company that listens to you and supports you through everything for another company easily? Unless you’re being offered a job by another company which is way bigger than your current one and have a big salary difference, naturally you will stick with your current company for you are comfortable there.
Would you be taking lots of leaves if you felt comfortable at your workplace? I think not. For me, the reason I love to come to work is because I enjoy it and because I have the support of my superiors and colleagues. I’d never keep working in the same company if I wasn’t comfortable communicating with my colleagues and superiors.
“Excellent communication → Retain employees after a layoff.”
Imagine a corporate merger, employees will be obviously afraid as they’re not sure who has to leave or stay and they’ll be confused if the company will survive in the future. Now if their immediate managers communicate right away about how valuable these employees are to the organization, it will give the employees a reason to fully commit to a new organizational structure.
Good communication is an essential tool in any organization to achieve productivity and to maintain strong working relationships at all levels of an organization. Employers who invest their time and energy in order to achieve clear lines of communication will rapidly gain the trust and support of their employees, leading to increased productivity, morale and output. The same goes for employees as well.
I hope after reading this blog those who haven’t already established a proper communication in their organization, will realise it’s importance and make the effort to take the first step now. And those who already have such a great communication work environment, will realise how lucky they’re to have that support at their workplace. The important things to focus is to clearly communicate the goals and expectations, choose a proper medium, keep everyone involved and to listen and show empathy. Take these steps to raise your organization to a better future.
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Thanks for reading!