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Dec 15, 2020

Approx. 12 min. read

The Importance of Communication in the Workplace (& How to Do It Right)

The importance of communication in the workplace is inevitable. Moreover, improving workplace communication has become one of the most important...

The importance of communication in the workplace is inevitable. Moreover, improving workplace communication has become one of the most important business priorities in 2020, and this trend continues to grow. 

In this blog, we will go over the most important reasons why good communication in the workplace drives both employee and organizational success

📚 Before we move forward, check our eBook "Building a Better Company with Internal Communications"

The Increasing Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Today, communications professionals are one of the most important strategic business partners within organizations. Their role has extended into the areas of employee engagement, motivation, and productivity

With the emergence of remote work and dispersed workplaces, many organizations are trying to completely reshape their communication efforts. 

Since the awareness of the importance of workplace communication culture is continuously increasing, employers’ appetites for improving communication and collaboration in their own organizations are also on the rise. 

Before we dig deeper into the reasons why communication in the workplace is important, here is a short overview. 

11_Benefits_of_Good_Employee_Communication_in_the_Workplace_Smarp 

10 Reasons Why Communication in the Workplace is Important

Proper workplace communication has many benefits. More specifically, it enables organizations to become more agile and achieve better workplace alignment. It also improves some of the most important KPIs around employee retention, engagement, motivation, and talent attraction.

Proper employee communication also helps organizations improve their crisis and change management initiatives and reduce workplace-related accidents. To add, a good communication strategy can also go a long way in driving innovations in the workplace

Let’s now take a deeper dive into how organizations can benefit from investing in creating and managing better internal communications. 

1. Achieve organizational alignment

According to Deloitte, only 23% of executives say that their companies are excellent at aligning employees’ goals with corporate purposes.

workplace-communication-importance-alignment

The biggest culprit for such a low number is poor communication. Aligning employees with shared core values, purpose, mission, and vision is one of the main tasks for leaders, managers, and internal communication departments.

2. Increase employee engagement and productivity

Employees are more motivated when their leaders keep them up-to-date and regularly share important company updates

Additionally, organizations in which employees are constantly connected see higher levels of productivity. According to McKinsey, productivity improves by up to 25% in organizations with connected employees.

3. Reduce employee turnover

When employees are not left in the dark and when they are encouraged to provide bottom-up feedback, they are also more like to stay longer with their employers. Moreover, Clear Company proved that businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover.

workplace-communication-employee-retention

4. Enable your frontline workers for success

A shocking statistic by the State of Deskless Workforce shows that 40% of all deskless employees “don’t feel loved” by their employers. 

These feelings have a big impact on employees’ overall motivation and engagement. Even though keeping frontline and deskless employees is not so easy, luckily there are new workplace technologies that empower organizations to reach every employee with the right message at the right time. 

📚 Also, learn about how to enable your frontline workers for success

5. Improve crisis management and workplace safety

Some of the biggest advantages of good communication in the workplace are easier crisis management and improved workplace safety. 

Organizations with employees who operate in dangerous or risky environments need to be aware of the benefits of frequent and consistent workplace communications.  

workplcae-safety-communication-4

6. Optimize change management initiatives

Lack of effective workplace communication is one of the most common reasons why change initiatives fail. As most employees don’t like leaving their comfort zone, it is employers’ job to effectively communicate the messages around:

  • Why the change is happening?
  • What the change entails?
  • What are the benefits of the change?
  • How the change will impact employees?

7. Make remote work more efficient

Remote work makes communication among employees and between employees and managers harder. Yet, remote work is here, and it is here to stay. This new trend is surely becoming the new normal in the business world. 

However, according to Buffer, 20% of employees say that communication and collaboration are their biggest struggles when it comes to remote work. 

Therefore, proper workplace communication can have a very positive impact on improving remote work. 

8. Improve interdepartmental collaboration

Today, different departments in organizations can’t work in silos. A great amount of collaboration is necessary for the teams to deliver great results. 

However, interdepartmental collaboration is less efficient in organizations that don’t support transparent, honest, and open workplace communication. 

workplace-communication-collaboration

📚 Learn about how to improve cross-functional collaboration in the workplace

9. Drive innovations and knowledge sharing

When there is good interdepartmental communication among teams, knowledge workers are more likely to share their expertise with others in the organization. This effect of knowledge sharing is extremely important today when many organizations face big skill gaps among their employees. 

Additionally, organizations in which information flows smoothly, and teams collaborate easily, enjoy more workplace innovations.  

10. Make employees brand ambassadors

Last but not least, proper communication in the workplace is important because it encourages employees to become brand advocates

One of the biggest prerequisites for every successful brand ambassadorship program is efficient organizational communication. In other words, through efficient communication and by using the right technology, employers can empower employees to amplify corporate messages externally.  

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6 Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace

As you saw earlier in this blog, the impact of workplace communications on the overall business success is significant. Organizations that invest in corporate communications efforts are more successful in inspiring their people and motivating them to work towards the same goals and business objectives. 

Even though this is not so easy to achieve, there are certain rules and best practices that every employer should follow. Let’s take a look at them. 

Continuously promote the culture of open communications

Business communications should always be an important piece of your company culture. In order to drive positive corporate culture and healthy communications in the workplace, employers have to continuously remind their employees about the importance of open and honest communications

Here, internal communications professionals have to work in collaboration with leaders and managers. They should all be on the same page when it comes to understanding the importance of workplace communications. 

🎧More on that in our podcast interview with an IC Expert Priya Bates: 

 

Make communications more personal and engaging

When it comes to internal employee communications, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is sending mass, company-wide, generic communications. Many of these organizations don’t have a way to easily segment their internal audiences and adjust the content based on their employee personas. 

As a consequence, employees start to ignore these communications, which can have a negative impact on employees’ engagement, productivity, morale, wellbeing, and safety. 

workplace-communication-email

Modern employers that understand the importance of workplace communications are now looking for new ways to implement storytelling in their communications campaigns. They are investing in solutions that can help them better understand their multigenerational workforce and, therefore, make communications more personalized. 

Encourage employees’ share of voice

Your employees’ share of voice matters! Yet, many employees still don’t feel like they can freely express their needs, preferences, ideas, and concerns. Moreover, in many organizations information still flows one-way. Meaning, employees don’t have a way to join company conversations. 

Company-wide newsletters or employee surveys are not enough to show your employees that you care about their opinions. Instead, you should continuously drive two-way communications and encourage everyone to participate. 

Involve the leadership

Leadership plays a big role in creating a better communication culture. Leaders are the ones who should act as role models and serve as an example to others. However, there are still too many organizations in which leadership has zero contact with the rest of the workplace. 

Some of them probably don’t even know who are the leaders of their company. Communications professionals’ job, among others, should be to collaborate with the leaders and C-level executives to support and nurture the culture of open communication

Implement the right technology

The right internal communications technology can go a long way in enabling organizations to build great corporate cultures. Outdated intranets and emails are not the right way to communicate with the modern workforce.

workplace-communication-intranet

Instead, employers are switching to new solutions that mimic the features and functionalities of employees' favorite social media platforms. Personalized news feeds, relevant groups, and instant notifications are just a few examples of must-have features that modern workplace communications technology offers. 

These features make communication in the workplace more streamlined, relevant to the readers, more engaging, and fun to use.  

Measure the impact of your communication efforts

Improving communication in the workplace is hard if you can’t measure your current efforts. Yet, this is still one of the biggest challenges that Chief Communications Officers and other communications professionals face. 

Luckily, the newest technology in this space offers ways for employers to really understand the impact and the benefits of their internal communications initiatives and investments. Employers can now closely tie communication campaigns with specific business goals. 

📚 Learn about the best practices for measuring workplace communications

Communicating the ROI of Employee Communications Initiatives

Communications professionals often struggle to clearly define the return on investment in new workplace communications efforts, initiatives, and more advanced technologies. 

Even though we have already mentioned a few important statistics about the importance of communication in the workplace, here are a few more facts that shouldn’t be ignored:

  • About 1 in 2 employees say fewer emails means more happiness. (SlickText)
  • 93% of employees believe that video has become a vital part of internal communication. (Engine Creative)
  • 46% of communications leaders consider audience information overload a key challenge. (Gartner)
  • 41% of leaders are not able to gather appropriate information quickly. (PwC)
  • 72% of employees don’t have a full understanding of the company’s strategy. (IBM)
  • Globally, 21% of internal communicators admitted that they do not employ any form of formal planning. That number increases to 31% for communicators in North America. (Gatehouse)
  • 40% of new hires say getting a response from HR about their question takes too long. (G2)
  • Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. (ThinkTalent)
  • Only 9% of communications leaders feel confident in their ability to shape corporate culture. (Gartner)
  • Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. (Forbes)
  • Only 23% of executives say that their companies are excellent at aligning employees’ goals with corporate purposes. (Deloitte)
  • 56% of the budgets allocated to projects are at risk due to poor communication. (BrightWork)
  • 60% of companies don't have a long-term strategy for their internal communications. (Workforce)

Start Improving Communication in Your Workplace Today

Communication systems in the workplace have become very complex. There are multiple communication channels organizations use to keep their employees updated and informed. 

In order to improve and streamline communication in the workplace, many organizations are now implementing new employee apps that enable them to consolidate all those channels into a single platform. 

Smarp is the leading employee communications and advocacy solution on the market. It enables enterprises to create, aggregate, and automatically deliver personalized content to every employee while empowering them to amplify messages externally.  Peer-to-peer review website G2, which helps businesses find the best software, identifies Smarp as the leader in their Employee Communications grid. 

 

Using Smarp results in an increase in profitability and staff retention through a better goal and vision alignment, improved employee experience & productivity, and true brand advocacy. 

Schedule a Smarp demo today and learn how it can help you experience the benefits of proper communication in the workplace. 

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Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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