Workplace communication: what happens when you get it right

Sara Ana Cemazar
November 29, 2021
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5
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Workplace communication isn’t something that companies master by default. In fact, it’s much easier to get it wrong than getting it right.

Luckily, organizations realize in more significant numbers than ever that their workplace communication can cause larger issues. These could be built up stress, losses in productivity, and a lack of trust among coworkers.

So, what exactly does good workplace communication stand for, why is it more important than ever, and what are its most prominent benefits?

Why is workplace communication more important than ever?

There was never a time when workplace communication wasn’t crucial for organizational health. However, it’s become something that organizations pay more and more attention to.

Here’s why.

Rise of digital workplaces

It’s no secret that digital workplaces are on the rise. Even though the switch to remote and hybrid work models wasn’t exactly planned, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for many employees. Now, it looks like many companies are going to keep hybrid work policies.

However, this calls for improved workplace communication. Employees will work in and out of offices, and the nature of communication has changed. No wonder that 20% of employees say their #1 struggle with remote work is communication and collaboration.

The war for talent

Have you heard about the Great Resignation? It marked one of the highest voluntary turnover rates in history in mid-2021. The reasons for the massive quitting trend were burnout, lack of flexibility, and the need for more wellbeing policies.

And so, the war for talent began. Companies must prove that they are the best employers - and they can hardly fake it with sites like Glassdoor. Since ineffective workplace communication is stressful for 80% of employees, organizations must optimize it to increase employee retention and attract fresh talents.

workplace communication

Research showing the power of collaboration

There is no effective team collaboration without well-functioning workplace communication. However, the nature of collaboration has also changed with the move towards digital workplaces.

That’s why employers are looking to provide the best team collaboration software to their workforce. Since collaboration spurs productivity, work satisfaction, and innovation, it’s clear that it needs to be supported with technology.

What are the benefits of optimized workplace communication?

Optimized workplace communication has many advantages for organizations and employees alike. Here are the most significant benefits of optimized business communication.

Increased productivity and engagement

Going to meetings is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is such thing as too much of them. In fact, research shows that 67% of workers say they are less productive due to too many meetings.

workplace communication

Too many meetings are just one example of imbalanced workplace communication. On the other hand, optimized communication in the workplace increases productivity and engagement.

Moreover, many employers are using communication software to help employees stay productive and engaged

Successful conflict resolution

Communication is at the heart of conflict resolution, especially in the workplace. By talking openly and in a non-accusatory way, managers can safeguard conflict resolution in their teams. However, if the workplace communication is set up in the right way, there is less chance of conflict even happening in the first place.

➡️ Find out more reasons why team communication is important in the workplace.

Improved collaboration

Collaboration is the fuel behind every company’s competitiveness in the market. Why? Because effective workplace collaboration spurs innovation, productivity, and employees’ growth as professionals. Organizations know this: research shows that managers and employees now spend up to 50% of their work on collaborative activities.

Without well-functioning workplace communication, it’s harder to collaborate, especially when working hybrid or remote. This is also why 83% of employees rely on technology to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues.

workplace communication

Heightened team spirit

Every company wants to inspire its employees to feel like a part of the whole. However, it’s hard to do so if workplace communication is not functioning correctly. For example, imagine being ignored by your manager or unable to get an important document from your colleague. You would not feel like you matter - nor as a part of a team.

On the other hand, optimized workplace communication removes obstacles to positive company culture.

Higher trust towards employers

Lack of transparency or leadership involvement in workplace communication leads to a decrease in trust. At the same time, when company communication is optimized, employees don’t feel like they are missing out on important information and tend to trust their leaders more.

Better customer satisfaction

You may think - how exactly does optimized workplace communication lead to better customer satisfaction?

We could say that the internal team communication of a company is a reflection of external communication - towards customers, prospects, and partners.

When customers are asking for new product features or services, organizations must respond. If the customer relations team does not effectively communicate with leaders or the product team, their message will hardly be heard.

On the other hand, when workplace communication works well, customers’ demands and likes are easier to implement.

How does effective workplace communication look like?

Yes, effective workplace communication has a myriad of benefits. But, how does it look like in reality, and what are its common traits?

It’s easy to reach anyone.

First and foremost, effective communication means that you can reach anyone. This means that you don’t have to ask anybody for your work colleagues’ contact information.

Secondly, when you do have your colleagues’ contact information, and you reach them, they respond on time. That is one of the most telling signs that workplace communication works. There are no blockers, and nobodys’ email is getting lost in the inbox.

This aspect of workplace communication also enables more successful cross-functional collaboration.

Everybody’s opinion matters

Another staple of successful workplace communication is that everybody’s opinion matters. Sadly, only 30% of employees feel like their opinion counts at work.

workplace communication

How does making everybody feel heard look like? For example, it means that employees respond to each others’ emails and instant messages in a timely manner.

Moreover, it means that employees have a channel to communicate their concerns and dissatisfaction. These include, for example, frequent employee surveys.

Last but not least, every employee needs to feel supported when voicing their opinions and ideas. Put differently, every employee’s opinion is respected and is not dismissed by higher-ups.

Communication channel versatility

To communicate effectively at work, you need both asynchronous and synchronous communication channels. This means that you need tools to communicate with your colleagues in real-time and solutions that enable them to respond when they have time.

In other words, it would be too tedious to jump on a video call for every little thing you need to discuss. Moreover, communicating only via email could feel impersonal and disengaging.

Solutions like instant messaging platforms successfully marry communicating via video, messages, voice messages, pictures, and more. That’s the reason why many organizations are basing digital workplace communication on such apps.

Employers voice their concerns to management

Effective communication in the workplace also implies that employees trust their leaders enough to make a complaint. The more troubling situation is when employees are not saying anything - that’s when you know that something is up.

Leaders are involved in communication

According to research, 63% of employees don’t trust their leaders. Moreover, 71% of employees think their leaders should communicate goals and plans more.

workplace communication

When leaders are involved in workplace communication, it makes them more trustworthy. Transparently communicating company news, plans, and goals is a significant part of healthy company culture.

The role of technology in workplace communication

Successful workplace communication takes a lot of practice and sometimes also involves training employees on communication skills. However, one thing is certain: the role of technology in workplace communication is undeniable.

Research shows that 83% of employees depend on technology to collaborate, but 59% find their organizations’ tools challenging. That’s why 16% of them resort to other communication tools unapproved by their employers.

This shows that it’s very important to offer your employees a solution that they will actually want to use. For example, our survey on instant messaging has shown that 77% of employees want their messaging app to be easy to use. Moreover, 63% of employees want to communicate with their colleagues and external parties like vendors and partners from a single app.

Technology plays a crucial role in enabling digital workplace communication, but technology also can be exploited. For example, the abrupt switch to remote work policies in 2020 has initiated a steep increase in cyber attacks on organizations.

To prevent that from happening while putting workplace communication best practices to work, we created Rocket.Chat. Get in touch with our team and find out why security-oriented companies choose us as their workplace communication platform.




Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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