Communication is the backbone of human society, enabling us to articulate and convey our thoughts to one another. We experience communication on a daily basis, in many different forms: When we converse with someone or communicate with them through another medium. When we watch a movie or read a book, a story is communicated to us. Texts, emails, and phone calls are also common forms of communication we engage with every day.
Every single business relies on external and internal communication to build effective teams and customer relationships. Businesses consist of a variety of different teams, each operating in their own areas of expertise, collaborating to achieve the common goals of the company. This stereotypical organizational structure was created to maximize the efficiency of productivity and output. However, some teams end up performing better than others, usually due to better team communication. Let’s look at some of the different types of communication within an organization:
A manager is responsible for a team’s output. It’s their job to guide their team in the right direction and ensure that each team member is performing their individual tasks adequately. As the team leader, it is extremely important for the manager to have excellent communication with the team members, as it helps form an effective team and ensures that business and team objectives are clear. More importantly, it helps build trust within the team, which creates an effective and collaborative environment for the team.
Unless you’re the CEO, you’ll usually have someone to report to. This type of communication usually comes in the form of a report, meeting, or presentation. Whichever medium is used, it’s essential that the information is concise and clear, since it is a reflection of the work that has been done so far. An accurate representation of projects and tasks helps management plan the next steps and minimizes delays and loss of business. This type of communication works to help the whole company become an effective team unit and results in more productivity and increased efficiency.
Team members spend a good number of hours a day interacting with each other, which builds team dynamics and inter-team relationships. These connections in the workplace influence team effectiveness. Having strong communication skills among coworkers almost always leads to better output and a positive experience at the workplace.
Now that we’ve examined some of the main types of communication at the workplace, let’s look at how better communication helps build effective teams.
Employee engagement is one of the most important metrics for any organization. It looks at employee satisfaction and how the employees feel about their work and work environment. Employees who are happy with the work that they have, and the workplace they’re in, are more productive than employees who are dissatisfied with their work or workplace. The happier they are, the more likely they are to stay in the company and contribute towards larger organizational goals. It’s no secret that companies with the highest employee engagement rate usually have the highest retention rate too.
We’ve already established that satisfied employees perform better when they're happy with the work and workplace. In addition to that, effective communication also helps increase efficiency. This is because everyone is clear on what they need to do, how they need to do it, and what deadlines to meet, which results in little room for error and a job well done. That’s not to say issues or roadblocks don’t happen. They do. However, the sooner they’re effectively communicated to a manager, the sooner a solution can be found.
Quite often, teams need to work together closely to complete a task or achieve a goal. Having clear and transparent communication between the teams and their members helps ensure that everyone is certain of what they need to do on an individual level and as a team. This level of clarity makes it easy to identify and overcome issues or obstacles, as and when they may come. Teams that are dependent on each other, such as the sales and marketing teams, rely on effective communication to maximize their performance and output. Having effective team communication reduces misunderstandings, and creates a space that is conducive to accomplishing tasks and projects quickly and more efficiently.
Motivation and Morale
Managers are responsible for their team’s well-being and state of mind. That said, it’s up to the managers to ensure that the team members are motivated to do their work and feel comfortable in their teams - and effective communication is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Asking the team members for feedback or having individual meetings with them from time to time will help gain an understanding of their degree of motivation and also build further trust within the team. The strategy of hearing from the team members themselves provides great insight into how to increase motivation.
Workplace conflict is never fun and unfortunately, cannot always be avoided. However, with effective communication, it can be significantly reduced. Conflicts can arise from a misunderstanding, unprofessional behavior, or just a lack of employee satisfaction, which is why it’s important to create a positive company culture that promotes supporting individual differences, mental health, and many other important aspects of employee well-being. Ensuring that the employees know they are supported at the workplace goes a long way to reducing conflicts.
Effective team communication helps keep track of important employee engagement metrics and reduces workplace conflicts, misunderstandings, and other issues. The top companies in the world have extremely high levels of effective communication, employee satisfaction, and productivity, all of which go hand in hand with making an organization stronger.
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