Communication is arguably one of the most important skills needed in the modern workplace, so much so that it has become one of the top priorities for organisations in 2021. At the same time,
Harvard Business Review found that two out of three managers felt uncomfortable communicating with their team members and other employees.
It is clear that organisations want to improve their communication, but few are actually able to do so. Today, we’re going to explore five aspects of the workplace where communication is essential and the cost of poor communication: productivity, profit, conflict, customer service, and relationships.
Collaboration is the key to innovation and coming up with the best ideas for your organisation. When a team can effectively communicate, leveraging each member’s strengths to work towards a single goal, they are able to better meet the challenges of the market and thrive.
On the other hand, it has been found that miscommunication can have a huge impact on productivity and profit. For organisations with one hundred employees, the average loss is $420,000 a year; for larger companies and enterprises, this is in the millions.
Towers Watson has repeatedly shown that companies that prioritise communication see 47% greater shareholder returns than those with less effective communication strategies. Companies with effective communication are also 50% more likely to have turnover rates that are below the industry average. As turnover can cost 30–150% of an employee’s salary, this can save an organisation thousands – even hundreds of thousands – of dollars.
Good communication in an organisation can reduce conflict between colleagues and better manage it when it does occur. Poor communication, on the other hand, can be one of the main causes of conflict in a team as a result of different communication styles, miscommunication or feeling as though one is being unappreciated or disregarded.
Ensuring that your employees are unafraid to speak out and can communicate respectfully to resolve any interpersonal issues is a must.
Communication is essential to ensure that your employees have all the information they need to provide the best customer service. Additionally, any frustration or confusion your employees feel at the lack of communication can bleed into their interactions with customers and the general public.
This means that your clients aren’t getting the best out of your organisation that they could be. When there is consistent internal and external messaging within an organisation, you can build more genuine relationships with customers and establish trust.
Business is all about people and relationships: relationships between team members, relationships with stakeholders, and relationships with clients. At the end of the day, if you are unable to communicate well, you will be unable to connect with the necessary people.
Remember: communication is a two-way street. By listening to your employees, stakeholders, and clients, you will be able to go further.