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Business Communication: Connect Your Workplace
Workplace communication is increasingly important to a business's success. Learn how to streamline your communication processes with these top tips.
Business communication in the workplace is extremely important when it comes to helping organisations improve internal processes and overall connectivity. Turning a blind eye towards poor internal communication, can irreparably harm a company. In this blog, you will first find out why business communication is important to the success of an organisation - which in turn, will hopefully give you some inspiration when it comes to creating your internal communications strategy.
Why is Business Communication Important to an Organisation?
Demographics are changing every generation, and people becoming more critical about their workplace culture and how their employers listen and talk to them. There is less tolerance for office gossip and politics, with increased demand for collaborative teamwork, respect and transparency.
Clearer lines of workplace communication improve productivity, retains top talent and promotes employee well being. Business communication tools help streamline the process and offer more opportunity for increased productivity and engagement. Employees are far more engaged when information is shared freely, and they’re more aware of organisational news and decisions that affect their jobs.
Additionally, better workplace communication is imperative for a healthy working relationship between managers and their teams. Two-way communication develops trust and shows employees they are valued, respected members of your company. Recognising the importance of communication in the workplace is imperative to encouraging growth within your business and maintaining communication links.
It’s About Dialogue — Not Monologue
Two-way and responsive workplace communication is the guiding principle to improving employee communication. No one enjoys being talked at, least of all your employees. They want to feel listened to and valued. Which is why creating a dialogue is the cornerstone to effective business communication. Two way communication via a communication tool for example, is an ideal solution.
It used to be that companies filtered down news and updates via one-way communication with no recourse or conversation. However, with enterprise social intranets, communication has upgraded using familiar social tech tools that help improve employee communication.
Communicating via business communication tools news, opinions and ideas can be shared with immediate feedback — an important aspect, especially for millennials and Gen Z workers who look for more feedback from their managers, compared to previous generations. Engagement has been ingrained in millennials and Gen Z from an early age, and as a result, they fully expect instant communication at their workplace. When they don’t get that, they feel ignored, less invested in your company, become less productive, and start looking for somewhere else to work.
Workplace communication via business communication tools has made the employee voice more multi-directional rather than just two-way. Meaning, an internal space, such as a social intranet, allows employees to share their thoughts not just to leadership, but to everyone within the organisation.
This might cause company leaders to panic as there is a feeling of less control. But fear not, this is a good thing. Why you ask?
- Richer employee voice
When employees have their say within a corporate environment, they are very much aware their names are attributed with what they say. This tends to lead to carefully thought out comments and responses as their reputation; even their career progression depends on how their peers and managers perceive them.
- More authentic employee voice
Social tech allows people to rate and respond to each other’s comments, identifying information that resonates most among your workforce. When someone makes a public suggestion that makes waves, such as a new coffee machine to replace the broken one, you see in real-time people’s interest and you’re able to react to what matters most to your workforce.
Shared Sense of Purpose Helps Employees Communicate Better
Everyone seeks meaning in their lives. The quest for one’s purpose starts from when we’re young children looking to be more — whether it’s a superhero or a wizard — and continues to stay with us into adulthood. Sure, it would be amazing to fly or protect the realm of magic from evildoers, but adults (at least those well-rooted in reality) turn those aspirations towards a meaningful career.
People have their own goals, values and ethics and seek a company that shares them. Half of millennials would choose purposeful work over a high salary, and in the UK, nearly 42% of the incoming workforce aims to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on society. By using communication tools to convey positive feedback and help employees engage with their colleagues, businesses will be able to appeal to an ever increasing demographic.
For so many new starters, it’s easy enough to sniff out the disingenuous, as employees immediately see the difference when they join a new workplace between what a company is saying they do, and what they do do. Essentially, employers must show rather than tell, or risk losing their valuable employees. Business communication tools, among other things, are the ideal solution to come to light.
Organisations that aim to share their purpose and strive to prove they’re not all talk make these values transparent and easily accessible through clear internal workplace communication, such as on a social intranet. They likely have a manifesto highlighted on their main intranet homepage, social hubs for charity events, and invite employees to participate in corporate social responsibility. These are only a few examples, so be creative in boosting engagement and improving business communication. The best way to get new ideas? Ask your people.
Make it easy for your employees to find meaning in their work. Implement effective business communication and the benefits to your company will soar. When employees are proud to work for your company, they are in turn a lot happier. And when staff are proud and happy, they deliver excellent customer service which can increase sales by 37%.
Empower managers through workplace communication
Managers can be irregular in passing along important information to their team — whether done in person or digitally. Excuses range from a busy schedule, strict policies preventing open dialogue, or just forgetting. However, managers need to ensure they are open channels so their employees can thrive and build a high-trust work culture.
It takes a special person to be a great manager, but they can only be that special manager with support from higher-ups or having the right tools to conduct effective communication. The benefits of manager's utilising communication tools pay off with improved productivity, an increase in shared knowledge, and educated decision making across the organisation.
An Interact Authentic Communication survey found 69% of managers say they find it difficult to communicate with their teams. There is a fear of saying the wrong thing or are not able to confidently lead a difficult conversation. This leads to distrust among your workforce; an issue rated in the top five of challenges identified by both HR professionals and leadership. In order for business communication to work effectively, an air of honesty and transparency are key.
To improve trust and improve much-needed skills in managers, a company needs open, honest, two-way communication. Trickling down information from the top to bottom is outdated and needs to be amended. A communication tool can help boost employee morale and help build a strong relationship between employees and managers.
An intranet is hugely beneficial to any organisation. See how intranet software can help your teams.
Using communication tools to improve connectivity
Social media has proven to be one of the more effective workplace communication tools in comparison to the intranets of old. It was only a matter of time intranet providers took on social tech to revolutionise the intranet. According to the CIPD, enterprise social networks are increasingly seen as an effective communication tool as they bring in vital forms of connection, on a technical and emotional level, to employees for a better work experience.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, a collaborative, social intranet can increase worker productivity by 20 – 25%. Additionally, when employees are connected to what they need and to others within their organisation, their job satisfaction increases and are likelier to stay longer.
When you place a focus on improving employee communication and your team have the information and they need to do their jobs well, they become passionate and active contributors to your organisation, helping to improve business communication as bi-product.
How an intranet can help you improve business communication in your workplace
A user-friendly intranet can be a powerful tool for facilitating effective business communication and helping to increase employee engagement.
- An intranet social experience - Social networks such as Facebook are popular for one reason: they are a powerful and intuitive way of communicating with others. Many companies are now leveraging the power of social media by creating a social environment on their corporate intranet. Like Facebook, a social intranet makes it easy to share information one-on-one, between teams and departments, or with the entire company. In fact, some firms have completely got rid of email and rely on a social, collaborative intranet for all communication.
Mobile App - The company intranet has, in the past, only been available from a company PC. But these days, not everybody works from a desktop in the office. They need to be able to access the intranet remotely and may even need to view it on a smart phone or tablet. Employers are going to find themselves under increasing pressure to offer this kind of mobile support, especially if the intranet contains vital self-service functions. If your intranet doesn't offer secure support for mobile devices, it may be time for an upgrade.
Hopefully, this post has helped you to gain insight into the importance of effective business communication within your digital workplace.