Communication is a skill that can be taught, with a positive impact on overall company performance.
Communication is one of the skills that can have a direct impact on the performance of your company. There is a good chance, however, that communication is not on your employee education agenda for the coming months.
The general perception of effective communication is that it is an innate ability, with some people naturally skilled at expressing themselves and others more reserved. Holding this view means you risk missing out on value-adding courses for your company’s workers.
Professionals at all levels of an organization should be able to get their points across clearly and effectively, whether they are passing important information to customers or coordinating projects internally. Well-chosen training courses can assist them in reaching this level of comfort and confidence, with numerous added effects on everything from service delivery to safety performance.
Realizing The Numerous Benefits of Communication Skills
Rather than looking for one particular benefit of improved self-expression among your employees, you can anticipate several related advantages. Contributing to HR Technologist, ProofHub’s Vartika Kashyap noted four reasons why better communication leads to more effective workers. Professionals in workplaces where strong communication is normal are less likely to become confused, better aware of their purpose, indoctrinated into a positive workplace culture and more accountable. In an office where poor communication is common, professionals may feel isolated or lost, despite having heard from one another.
Kashyap noted when employees finish conversing, whether in a meeting or a one-on-one situation, they should understand what they’ve just been told, what’s expected of them and how they are to accomplish the tasks. When professionals don’t have the skills to communicate effectively with one another, it’s possible this system will break down. It’s especially important for management personnel or employees being prepared for leadership responsibilities to be expert communicators, or else every person who reports to those individuals may feel uncertain or uncomfortable.
The connection between clear self-expression and overall productivity is simple. Asking for clarification after important information wasn’t passed along takes time. Starting on a project despite never getting clear or detailed directions creates a risk that the work won’t be satisfactory, leading to employees retracing their steps and investing more time and effort in righting whatever has gone wrong. Having training and experience in communication best practices can enhance every kind of contact, from company-wide emails to in-person presentations for big audiences. Each of these methods is equally valid and useful in the right situation.
Overcoming Communication Breakdowns and Preventing Confusion
Some of the most common communication problems within workplaces are correctable when the employees in question have more training and preparation. When issues are left in an unsatisfactory state for a long time, however, the organization’s whole trajectory can start to falter. As Lucidchart CEO Karl Sun pointed out in a piece for Forbes, workers who don’t know how to relate to each other may suffer from stress, lack of productivity and problems with morale. These professionals might even fail to convert sales at satisfactory rates.
Sun pointed to differing preferred communication styles as a possible culprit in creating breakdowns between various individuals and teams. What this means is some people are naturally analytical, while others are intuitive, functional or personal. These four general methods of self-expression can coexist harmoniously, but if the members of your team don’t feel their preferences are being supported — through tech tools and directives from management — they may become disengaged, and key information might be lost.
When new communications technology enters the workplace, employees may not immediately grasp the most effective uses of the channels. According to Sun, training programs should include correct ways to harness these methods. Upon completing courses, employees should understand effective ways to express their opinions to others who don’t share their preferences and priorities, as well as the ideal technological tools for making these connections. Between formal employee education and periodic leadership check-in, overall communication can improve measurably.
Investing in Training That Works
Just as communication is a multifaceted aspect of employee performance, courses on this topic cover a variety of angles. Some are primarily about verbal expression and public speaking, while others are about improving assertiveness or becoming a more effective manager. There are also highly specific modules to assist employees with specific issues, such as overcoming defensiveness and embracing active listening. From meetings to conference calls, there are also modules targeting particular venues for communication.
Once you’ve determined the most important forms of communication for your team — and identified the most notable gaps in employees’ present abilities — you can select the training course lineup that will have the greatest positive impact. When workers have received instruction on more productive practices, many elements of the business may improve quickly, from delegation to morale. You hold the power to make these changes take place within your organization.