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Workplace Communication: Importance, Strategies & Examples

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  • 0:05 Definition
  • 0:37 Important Advantages
  • 3:01 Important Disadvantages
  • 3:55 Strategies
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Workplace communication is very important to companies because it allows companies to be productive and operate effectively. Employees can experience an increase in morale, productivity and commitment if they are able to communicate up and down the communication chain in an organization.

Definition

Gertrude has returned to work at her toy company job after a week's vacation. She heads to her office and cringes when she turns on her computer. Her email inbox shows 400 messages waiting for her reply as well as a bunch of voicemails. Gertrude sighs and realizes there is no escape from workplace communication.

Workplace communication is the transmitting of information between one person or group and another person or group in an organization. It can include emails, text messages, voicemails, notes, etc.

Important Advantages

Workplace communication is vital to an organization's ability to be productive and operate smoothly.

1. Workplace communication improves worker productivity.

Research has shown that effective lateral and work group communication leads to an improvement in overall company performance. It has also been discovered that employees who were graded as highest in production had received the most effective communication from their superiors. For example, Gertrude works in engineering, and her prototypes of toys receive accolades. She is an effective communicator about her designs and how they will be played with in real life by kids. In addition, she receives specific guidance from her superiors, allowing her to create designs quickly and efficiently.

2. Workplace communication can increase employee job satisfaction.

Employees feel empowered if they are able to have upward communication. This type of communication is when information flows upward in an organization and usually consists of feedback. If bosses or managers are able to listen to employees and respond, this leads to an increase in employee job satisfaction.

In addition, employees are also happy if there is intense downward communication, which is information flowing down from superiors or managers to direct reports. Gertrude recently sent an email to her boss recommending that her department upgrade its design software. Her upward communication feedback was not just acknowledged but also acted upon, resulting in a very happy design team.

3. Workplace communication can also have a positive effect on absenteeism and turnover rates.

Communication flow is very important to workers. Employees have to feel secure that they are receiving truthful and updated information from superiors. They also want to have the ability to share ideas, thoughts and concerns within the company. Studies have shown that even after a layoff, companies that have excellent communication are able to retain the surviving employees.

Gertrude did survive a corporate merger and was very concerned about her future with the company. Her immediate managers communicated right away that she was a huge value to the organization and would be getting a promotion within the year. This ultimately provided Gertrude with a reason to fully commit to a new organizational structure.

Important Disadvantages

1. Workplace communication can lead to the snowball effect in worker actions.

For example, many times when employees quit, there is a snowball effect where additional employees also quit. This usually occurs due to employees who communicate freely with each other over workplace concerns. Companies can avoid this issue if they are sensitive to worker complaints and issues.

2. Workplace communication can lead to worker burn-out or information overload.

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