Communication – hidden in plain sight

Today more than ever, workforces have been obliged to change and no longer look like they used to. The current pandemic has only accelerated the changes brought about by globalisation and technological developments. Getting communication right means a happy, effective, productive workplace that positively contributes to the employee’s experience; while doing it wrong can leave employees confused, unproductive and disconnected from company initiatives.

The responsibility for good communication lies with everyone, and it is the leader’s role to help coach and facilitate this, with the help of appropriate tools, tactics and channels. Thus, communication is not telling people what to do, it is creating a shared understanding and meaning, and only when this happens will employees work effectively towards a common goal for the business.

According to an Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (2018) study, 60% of companies do not have a thorough communication strategy, nevertheless about half wanted to make improvement of communication a top priority. While there is awareness of the importance of communication, some companies may not have the capacity or the right tools necessary to maintain it. But if we take a look at the reasons why it is important, you’ll soon find that it is vital for the health of your organisation.

  1. It keeps people informed

It may seem obvious, but people don’t like to be kept in the dark. For example, as we have seen with government plans post coronavirus, they need information about the company that they’re working for. Good communication is about getting them involved and invested in the bigger picture.

  1. It helps to build the organisation’s culture

Good communication is the bricks and mortar of a robust workplace culture. Realistically, culture should be the primary factor of a communication strategy, and if it is missing then it can leave employees feeling disconnected – and this commonly leads to frustration.

  1. It enables a smooth end-to-end process

Effective communication involves a pre-prepared plan. The root cause of many problems is the lack of standardised communication. Once mastered, there should be a rise in productivity and overall performance of an organisation, leading to annualised savings and a lower staff churn.

The most effective method of building a strong organisational culture, is primarily driven by the communication routes in place. They should be flexible to change and be delivered across the organisation as a user friendly toolset. Employees should be able to understand and put the tools into practice to effectively deliver against objectives, track progress, provide feedback and communicate ideas. Understandably, the communication piece can be lost in translation with “the day-to-day job” taking precedence, but short-interval control helps that all important communication to take place. Across the entire business, representatives should meet, discuss and share ideas as well as frustrations. Strong workplace communications like this, which are both encouraged and practised, often result in a more sustainable business model, with customers and employees benefitting in return.

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh