11 min read
Learn why employee communication is vital for smooth interaction in any organization and how it leads to employee and organizational success.
In the workplace, effective communication is crucial for achieving all business goals, as it allows coworkers to better collaborate and work in harmony with one another.
Effective communication is the top expectation of employees. But, surprisingly, only 32% of employees rate their company’s communication as excellent.
So what exactly is employee communication, what are common communication challenges, what are the benefits of effective employee communication, and what methods should you adopt for better employee communication?
We’ll answer all of that and everything related to employee communication for you in this guide. Let's dive in!
What is employee communication?
Common communication challenges
Benefits of effective employee communication
Common employee communication channels
Tips to improve employee communication
Employee communication is the sharing of ideas, feelings, and information between employees and employers. It’s the ‘glue’ that holds an organization and its people together.
An effective communication system helps with better collaboration, engagement, and productivity, which ultimately strengthens the core of an organization. But, when not done correctly, it can have a negative impact on the employees and the organization.
Let's have a look at some of the common communication challenges faced by an organization:
Leadership, where managers are unable to communicate properly, answer queries, clarify objectives or put their points clearly, leads to employees that are confused and frustrated.
Modern workplaces are often more diverse than ever, especially for businesses with international clients or employees. Devising the right solutions and a collaborative environment for bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds is crucial for successful cohesion and teamwork.
When communication proceeds in only one direction, discourse quickly becomes ineffective. Lack of proper feedback creates a communication gap that can hurt your employee’s performance as well as your company’s goals and objectives.
Organizations relay messages using a variety of communication methods and mediums, including written communication such as newsletters, emails, corporate software, and more. Make sure your copy/document is well-written and accessible to the right people.
Pages normally relate to topics that persist over time. That’s problematic when you want to share time-sensitive information, such as an event or poll.
When you add an event or poll, you need to re-promote that page, and you likely need to place them at the top of that page. When the event or poll is over, you likely want to keep the event or poll results for their historical value--but you no longer want them at the top of the page. If doing that poll or event is a monthly occurrence, this quickly becomes a mess. From both a page administration and user experience perspective, this is challenging.
While transparency works well for most organizations, sharing irrelevant information with employees doesn’t work well. Keep in mind the necessity of relevancy and confidentiality in the workplace. Make closed/public discussions accordingly rather than just dumping a bunch of irrelevant data on everyone.
In-person communication is more effective than phone or email communication, depending on the message. Understanding when to use the various tools for communication is critical to the success of a company's overall communication.
There are several modes of communicating at work. The most common forms of transmitting and receiving information in the workplace include:
A new form of communication being appreciated and widely used today is asynchronous communication. This type of communication is best for teams working in different time zones or remotely.
Transparency, listening, conciseness, positivity, making employees feel included, and cohesiveness are some of the pillars of effective communication. Putting these values into practice in real-life workplace scenarios can have numerous benefits. Some of the major benefits of effective employee communication include:
The effectiveness of employee communication directly impacts employee engagement. When employees obtain the information they need to execute their tasks efficiently while also having the option to provide feedback, they feel more connected, both to the firm and one another, heard, and productive, which leads to them becoming more involved in their daily responsibilities.
Employee's who work for a company that encourages open communication in the workplace are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. A transparent and trustworthy environment promotes employee satisfaction by fostering a pleasant work environment that is pleasurable to work in and keeps people engaged in their roles.
If communication between employees and management does not flow smoothly, it can lead to misunderstandings, bottlenecks, and other problems. Whereas, clear employee communication helps to prevent problems and handle them swiftly when they do arise. This contributes to the maintenance of a harmonious workplace and keeps everyone in sync.
Each department in an organization has a distinct purpose and function. They are all reliant on one another for success, both individually and collectively, making it important to communicate with one another for collaboration and support. If any single department is cut off from communication, the entire organization can suffer. Whereas, it can benefit the organization when all departments are in tune with one another and working together.
Workplaces that enable employees to express their opinions and ideas tend to inspire more innovation than those that do not. Employees who feel empowered to speak up and think differently typically provide valuable ideas and tactics that benefit both the employees and the firm as a whole.
In today’s world, employee communication is no longer limited to phone calls and face-to-face meetings. There are many more ways to be able to communicate effectively within your workplace. Here are some of the most commonly used employee communication channels:
Employee success platforms like Jostle are a new yet effective and exciting way to bring the whole organization together in one place. It centralizes communication, organizes teams, acknowledges contributions, and enhances work culture.
By bringing your entire organization together in one place, everyone can find what they need quickly, clarify what matters, and get their work done efficiently.
Here’s what Jostle offers to establish an effective workplace communication system -
Project and task management tools like SmartTask and Asana are great tools for effective employee communication while managing projects. They offer various internal communication features such as group chatting, video conferencing, VoIP numbers, task commenting, and much more. Having all your projects, tasks, and work-related communication in one place also helps you track your work better and boosts your productivity.
Workplace messaging apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, etc., allow a faster and more efficient way for your organization to communicate. They are great for both formal and informal communication, especially when working in a remote team. You can share files, update a group of people at once, create chat threads, archive messages for later or personal use, and more.
Compared to emails, instant messages, or phone calls, video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, etc., enable communication that includes verbal and nonverbal cues, much like an in-person conversation. Staying in touch with team members who are located in different parts of the country and/or world or who work from home is easy when using video conferencing.
Using document collaboration tools such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc., your team can be more productive and can collaborate in real-time. With these tools, you can share important documents and enable real-time access, edits, and updates for team members.
Google Workspace also offers tools like Gmail, Calendar, and Chat for business communication and scheduling. That’s why you can use these Google tools for your project management too.
We are in 2022 and email is still an effective channel for business communication. Most firms throughout the world connect with their staff using emails daily. From updates to the most recent organizational advancements, employees are informed via emails. However, when dealing with internal communication, emails can be difficult to keep track of, and you might end up missing important details.
Everyone is on social media, whether for fun or work. Because of their many communication-oriented features and accessibility, social networks can be used for both external and internal communication.
SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, and LinkedIn are not the only social networks available. Many organizations are exploring niche social networks or creating their social ecosystems.
Here are a few things you can do to improve employee communication in your workplace:
Goal-oriented and precise communication should be your execution tool. Provide employees with clear expectations about what tasks must be completed within a certain timeframe and transparently communicate your expectations. By aligning employees around the same objective, they can easily see their progress, which keeps them motivated and engaged.
For example, if you are working on a marketing project, let your team know how many campaigns they need to plan, what creative assets will be required, what they should cover in each campaign, and when they are supposed to be launched.
To learn about your employees, ask questions, and show empathy when they ask for aid or face difficulties. Tailor your communication tactics to each team member's personality so that you can understand each other and help them reach their full potential. You can best interpret their wants by conducting surveys every few months and taking feedback from each employee.
Bottom-up communication in business leverages all of its employees' perspectives on business and suggestions for the company. Often referred to as the seed model, bottom-up communication results in little ideas blossoming into elaborate, organic goals before being realized. People and their roles are essentially being merged into a larger focus that encompasses the entire company. A method such as this can assist an organization in selecting the most effective - and most targeted - goals for its efforts.
When you want to communicate with the employees effectively, then it is essential to utilize the right channels for the right situation. For example, planning, brainstorming, and training should be done in-person or over video conference with proper documentation. Urgent information can go as a group message or email. Sensitive information you do not want in writing can again be discussed in a video meeting. Daily task updates can be in the form of instant messages.
No one wants to wake up and find their calendar lined up with back-to-back meetings. Conducting video meetings for anything and everything is not a good idea as it takes up a lot of productive time from your employee’s day and getting on too many video calls can be tiring as well. Instead, you should distribute your communication based on the requirements into messages, voice calls, and video meetings. This way, you will give your employees space and save a lot of time.
That's it. You have all that you need to establish an effective and strong employee communication system in your organization.
Understanding the gaps and the right mode of communication will take some trial and error, but with some time you will be able to figure out what works best for your organization.
So take your time. First explore all the communication modes from employee success platforms to project management tools, see what matches your requirements, and try it!
Jostle’s employee success platform is where everyone connects, communicates, and celebrates at work. Find out more at jostle.me. © 2009–2023 Jostle Corporation. All rights reserved.