Communication can be regarded as the flow of a process in which a message is transferred from a sender to a receiver in an understandable manner. Disruptions in a communication process occur when variations or obstacles are present in that flow. Flawless communication at every level is crucial for the healthy growth and seamless operations of an organization. A free communication process enables associated individuals to share information, ideas, opinions, and experiences without any hesitation.
Prior to the communication process, a message needs to be formulated. The message is transferred from a sender to a receiver. The information is transformed into a figurative form and is carried leveraging a channel or a medium to the receiver who decodes or retranslates the information conveyed by the sender.
The outcome is communication, a process that involves the transfer of a message from one person to another, and it is received in an understandable form.
There are four circumstances that affect the encoded message- knowledge, attitude, skill as well as the social-cultural environment. For instance, in any write-up, the message in the communication purely depends on the writing skills of the writer. If the writer is not able to write properly what he wants to convey, then the message will not be carried to the intended audience effectively as it should.
It is also important to remember that reading, hearing, talking and reasoning abilities form an important part of a successful communication process.
Human beings have inclined views on numerous topics and our communications are influenced by these beliefs. Moreover, our communication activities are dependent on the extent of our knowledge of a particular topic. We can’t communicate what we are unaware of and if our pool of knowledge is too vast then there is a chance that our receiver may not understand the message.
Apparently, the volume of information the source possesses about his or her topic will influence the message he or she attempts to convey. Our place in the social-cultural system also influences our behavior similar to our attitude. The values of a human being, being a part of his culture, also act to influence him as a communication source.
The receiver as mentioned above is the individual to whom the information is delivered. It is important that the message should be decoded or understood by the receiver for the communication process to be completed.
This process is called the decoding of the message. Just like an encoder is restricted by his or her set of abilities, knowledge, and place in the social-cultural system, the receiver too proportionately has limitations of his environment.
It is important to mention here that just as the source must be skilled in speaking or writing, the receiver must also be skillful in listening or reading. Both should be able to reason. An individual’s attitude, socio-cultural background, knowledge influence his or her capacity to receive, just as they influence the capability to convey.
Effective communication enhances the authenticity of the information. Based on the genuine information important stakeholders can make informed decisions efficiently and swiftly.
The communication flow is a dynamic structure that defines how a message moves between a sender and receiver leveraging various communication mediums. The goal of effective communication involves ensuring that the receiver decodes the information accurately and can offer feedback quickly and with convenience.
A smooth flow of communication is particularly significant for bigger organizations that need to inform individuals in different parts of the world about an issue, event, launch of product/service, or any structural changes.
The extensive usage of technology in the workplace has also made the communication flow more efficient. Today a message is no longer communicated just through writing or verbally. There are different mediums including video, social media, audio, and much more that make the process swift and immersive.
Communication processes demand meticulous management to ensure that the communication process serves the purpose of the organization. Managers in the workplace ascertain the form, nature, and purpose of communication. If you are a part of the decision-making team, then it is pivotal for you to establish a good model of communication.
Business organizations generally employ formal mediums to convey messages that are related to the job activities of the workforce. Personal messages on the other hand are sent via informal channels.
The final section in the communication flow comes as the feedback loop. Feedback involves the analysis of how successfully the messages have been transferred to meet the desired objective. It examines whether the understanding of the message has been accomplished.
The importance of effective feedback can’t be undermined today particularly with the presence of a culturally diverse workforce in the organizations.
One important benefit of workplace communication is that employees feel heard by the management and consider themselves as an integral part of the organization.
Workers who are comfortable communicating with their respective managers have a better understanding of their job roles and the expectation of the organization from them. Such employees are also more productive at the workplace.
Here are some benefits of active communication at the workplace
There are numerous benefits of consistent and efficient workplace communication in an organization.
Efficient workplace communication can assist in mitigating conflict or stress at work. A majority of disputes arise owing to inefficient communication strategies that result in a misunderstanding among individuals about the delivered message.
Misunderstandings can result in severe business consequences for an organization including demotivated and disrespected employees, loss of productivity, or brain drain. If team members of the same designation are assigned different volumes of work then there could be some disappointment. But the purpose needs to be communicated properly by the manager or team leader to clear any feeling of discrimination.
Enhanced employee job satisfaction
Employees continue to work for a longer period with an organization that makes use of good communication strategies at the workplace. This happens to owe to better job satisfaction and transparent work culture.
A transparent and honest work culture boosts employee satisfaction by creating a cooperative workplace that is delightful to work in and keeps employees interested in their job roles.
Clear direction and vision for employees
Transparent and consistent communication in an organization enables employees to better recognize their role in the company and have a clear direction regarding what is expected from them. This allows employees to take the relevant steps required to perform their duties and contribute to mutual growth.
Pleasant work culture
Active communication plays an essential part in maintaining a healthy culture at the workplace. Since a large number of organizations hire individuals from varied cultures, beliefs, and regions, there are high chances of disputes or conflicts arising. Open communication promotes a pleasant and encouraging environment where all workers feel equal and appreciated.
Workers who feel attached to their work and possess a fair understanding of their KRAs are more productive and efficient in an organization. In situations where employees are unclear of their organization’s expectations or their respective targets they frequently feel frustrated and are not able to perform their duties with their full potential.
Easily available information coupled with effective communication empowers employees to precisely execute their services and help in achieving the business goals of the organization.
Excellent communication in an organization isn’t just beneficial for the employees but also nurtures client relations. Firms that communicate frequently with their customers or clients are successful in fostering strong relationships and retaining their clients. Organizations that do not interact with their clients consistently give an impression that their customers are not valuable to them.
Customers look for businesses that give importance to their relationships and keep them in the loop regarding any changes in their products or services.
Improved teamwork and collaboration
Team members in an organization should have a feeling of trust in each other to effectively work together. Communication forms a major element of trust and assures that each of the team members has the same understanding when it comes to expectations and duties.
Precise guidelines that are delivered efficiently also help the team members in knowing how to behave and function as a team for a collaborative work effort.
With the ability to smoothly brainstorm and share ideas in the organization without being looked down upon or judged, you become more inventive and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. This infuses more creativity and innovation into the business. It also surges employee motivation and results in a win-win proposition for both employees and the organization.
For organizations to run efficiently and flourish, they require to deploy transparent communication strategies. Along with this, leveraging the right communication instruments in place is also crucial.
How to build an effective communication strategy for your Organization
Be an active listener
Active listening is an important character of excellent communication and helps in making employees feel a vital part of the organization. Excellent listening ability also enables conveying of the information in an effective way. This promotes a healthy work culture in the organization.
Offer positive feedback
Many businesses recognize the value of productive criticism, but it’s also necessary to offer the workforce positive feedback to enhance employee productivity and internal communication. Constructive feedback furnishes team leaders with the chance to guide employees about how to optimize their performance.
This will also inculcate confidence in employees to raise any issue on their own and talk openly about it with the management.
Another highly efficient communication strategy is meeting with your team on a regular basis. This aids in enhancing interaction with the employees and motivates them to work dedicatedly.
One advantage of video conferencing over audio calls is that you can see the body language of the speaker to comprehensively understand the message that is being delivered.
Accomplishments need to be acknowledged
If you are working in the role of manager or team leader then it is important for you to keep the morale and motivation of your team-high.
One simple yet effective way to do it is by recognizing the accomplishments of your team members publicly. This will highlight your care and importance for the team and its efforts towards achieving the common objective. Appreciation for accomplishments can result in an encouraging impact on employee performance and increase productivity.
Focus on one-on-one interactions
To promote an open environment in the organization, it is necessary to arrange one-on-one conferences with each team member to allow them to raise any issues, questions, or feedback for the organization.
One-on-one interactions are excellent events to interact with team members and know about their performance and also about any issues which they are facing to offer support to them.
Organize virtual group conferences
While one-on-one interactions have their own set of advantages, the same holds true for group conferences where employees from different departments can interact and share product ideas. This helps in nurturing a greater understanding of the directions to achieve the organization’s objectives.
Utilize multiple channels to deliver messages
It is important to ensure that every employee of your organization receives the message and hence leveraging multiple channels is an excellent idea. Some of the useful channels that you can leverage to deliver messages include meetings, postings, emails, video conferences, faxes, telephone, etc.
The use of technology makes it a cost-effective process to implement different means of communication in an organization. An organization should always use innovative means of communication for both internal and external audiences for better delivery of messages and intended outcome.
Minimizing distractions can considerably improve your chances of effectively delivering your point. It ensures that your information does not get distorted or neglected, and is taken seriously by the receiver. To adequately reduce noise, senders should take into account the personal beliefs and ideology of the receiver as well as their physical environment.
Explaining the rationale behind a decision
Team leaders often come with excellent ideas, materialize them, and at times may also efficiently communicate them with the team members. However, they fail to explain the motive behind the decision or the objective it is expected to accomplish.
In order to realize the end goal, team leaders should make their employees understand the rationale behind a new initiative and how exactly it aligns with the organizations’ objectives.