Guest blog written by: Lorrie Howard, Horizon Point Consulting
Think about your family, organizations you volunteer with, the company you work for. How would you rate communication in each of these groups? Do the members of each of these groups communicate effectively with each other, or is something lacking?
We learn to communicate from a very early age, learning to listen and speak as an infant and later on learning to read and write. However, even though we learn to communicate very early in our lives, many people have difficulty communicating effectively.
As an HR professional, one of the complaints I hear most often from employees and leadership within organizations is that there is a lack of effective communication. This lack of communication in the workplace often leads to added stress and tension among employees, loss of productivity, a decrease in employee morale, and turnover.
- Businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover. (ClearCompany)
- 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale (HerdWisdom)
- Miscommunication costs even smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 annually. (Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money, Deborah Hamilton)
So how can you improve communication within your organization?
- Keep employees informed. Make sure employees know what is going on in the organization. If your company just made a major policy change or won a new client contract, make sure your employees know. Send out a communication to all employees, have managers announce it during team meetings, or post it in the employee break room.
- Provide training to your leadership. Good communication starts from the top. If your leaders aren’t effective communicators, that will trickle down to the rest of your employees. Make sure leaders have the training and tools needed to communicate effectively.
- Listen to and address employee concerns. If employees come to you with concerns about communication, take those concerns seriously and address them. Whether the concern is regarding a single employee or a department, determine how you as a leader can help improve communications.
- Remember, it’s not always what you say but how you say it. Communication involves a lot more than just what you say. Body language and tone play an important part as well. So be sure you’re conveying the message you intend to convey through your body language and tone.
- Use the appropriate method of communication. Make sure you’re using the appropriate method of communication to get your message across. Is the message best communicated via email, phone, or in person? This may vary depending on what message your conveying as well as who your audience is.
For information on Communication Training, as well as other training topics we offer, click here.