Why is team communication important in the workplace? Or, why is communication important at all?
Team communication is one of the most fundamental aspects of collaboration. Communication in teams is more than just efficient work. It allows everyone on the team to be educated on any topic that may affect their work. Moreover, it develops trust, builds camaraderie among the team members, boosts morale, and helps employees stay engaged in the workplace.
According to David Grossman in “The Cost of Poor Communications,” a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each found that poor communication between employees cost each company $62.4 million annually on average.
Team communication provides several other benefits, including the potential to encourage creativity, enhance employee engagement, and increase productivity.
The benefits make it clear how essential communication is to the workplace. And this is why business leaders must invest in promoting a culture of strong team communication.
As you will find out, communication is detrimental to teams’ success. In our report, we found out how employees really want to communicate and which communication tools’ features they find the most important. Get the report here.
Here are the reasons why communication is important in a team
1. Builds healthy work relationships
In any corporate culture, it’s important to have a connection with your co-workers. Research shows that happier employees have higher productivity levels, meaning that you, as a leader, can’t go wrong by investing in team communication.
People have psychological needs; they want to be understood, validated, and accepted. In a workplace culture, it does not change. Healthy work relationships can increase self-esteem and job satisfaction, improve employee retention, and create a more stable work environment.
Team communication in a professional, in-person context can build positive work relationships. However, in a remote team environment, poor communication can erode work relationships. It is due to inconsistency and a lack of communication and appreciation. Companies must take advantage of digital communication tools to keep the team connected and together in such a case.
2. Improves employee engagement
If you want to improve employee engagement in your workplace, having a clear, concise, and consistent set of communication practices in place is crucial.
Effective team communication clears employee doubts and helps them brainstorm ideas and doubts with their peers and managers. Team communication encourages a culture of recognition in the workplace.
Recognition is a great way to motivate employees and boost their morale. When you foster a culture of strong internal team communication, team members acknowledge each other’s accomplishments. It creates a sense of belonging among the team members, which keeps them more engaged and satisfied.
3. Impacts employee wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is critical for an organization to succeed. If your workforce is not physically and psychologically healthy, it directly impacts their performance.
Employees’ productivity can drop when they are not in regular contact with their colleagues and team leaders. When team members feel undervalued because they aren’t receiving the interactions they need, they will also feel unwell.
In addition, most of the global workforce has adapted to the remote or hybrid work culture after the pandemic. The sudden shift has changed the team dynamics since employees can no longer communicate in person, resulting in stress and anxiety.
People have psychological needs; they want to be understood, validated, and accepted. In a workplace culture, it’s the same.
When employees keep open communication and share their experiences related to any issues, it keeps them emotionally healthy. Finding ways to bridge that gap and providing the right remote communication tools is the key.
4. Brings more innovation
In this digital economy, companies from all sectors must find innovative ways to sustain and reinvent themselves. One can only achieve that with good communication and active listening practices.
A workplace has diverse people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Their life experiences and perspectives allow them to look at an existing problem with clear lenses.
We can only benefit from it if they are allowed to build a culture of strong communication. Creating a company culture of openness and encouraging employees to share their ideas and views helps companies to make better decisions and bring innovation. Innovation is unlikely to occur in an organization lacking open communication because it is a significant factor that drives it.
5. Enhances transparency
People run businesses. And people inherently want to know things to evaluate and learn. In an organization, energy is shared, and positive relationships are built by fostering workplace transparency. Being surrounded by secrets and hidden information is uncomfortable, especially at work.
To ensure a smooth work process and the best results, all team members must keep each other informed and maintain transparency. Transparency would allow them to communicate effectively, provide constructive feedback, solve problems, and build relationships.
It helps build stronger teams while also increasing their collective work efficiency. When team communication is not effective, transparency takes a back seat and affects the company’s overall productivity.
6. Develop employee skills
A team that does not communicate effectively cannot function at its highest level. Team members who work together in a collaborative environment or work cross-functionally develop better skills.
Collaboration allows your employees to gain knowledge and insights from their colleagues, which is essential to improving their skills. Effective communication among team members gives a clearer evaluation of their skills and performance.
It lets you understand how and where you need to enhance your expertise. Open feedback channels help employees set benchmarks for themselves and learn more about their shortcomings and strengths. It gives employees the objectivity to improve, learn and grow.
7. Reduces conflicts
Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. It may arise when two parties involved in events or scenarios cannot agree or accept an outcome. The clash of ideas, miscommunications, or an inability to acknowledge one another can also lead to internal and external conflicts.
Conflicts happen, and most people do not know how to avoid them by communicating effectively. Effective communication leads to productive discussions and allows for better planning. It helps employees to look into a conflict objectively without getting personal. And it strengthens the likelihood of healthy cooperation among team members.
How can you improve team communication?
1. Improve communication skills
Improving communication skills will benefit both individual employees and the entire team. With optimized communication, employees can better understand their tasks and voice their needs and concerns. This will ultimately lead to optimized team performance.
Active listening is a technique often used by salespeople to optimize business communication with clients. By listening actively, you are being fully engaged in the conversation. It includes asking follow-up questions to summarize or clarify what was said.
Active listening is a prerequisite for successful team communication. When team members listen to each other, they are more likely to find common ground and resolve issues more effectively.
When we empathize with another person, we establish a deeper emotional connection. We are being attentive and responsive to what is being said.
Workplace communication doesn’t only include exchanging crude, factual information. Employees need to receive empathy from their leaders and colleagues in order to extend it to other team members and customers.
Research says that up to 80% of communication is non-verbal. But, for distributed teams, communication is mostly based on chat platforms, which takes away a lot of non-verbal cues like tone of voice and facial expressions.
Therefore, remote teams should use different types of tools to communicate. Using video conferencing platforms and meeting in person when possible is key.
2. Communicate clearly and concisely
Being clear and concise is crucial when it comes to organizational communication. When leaders communicate dependencies clearly, team members have a better understanding of their roles and tasks.
Many organizations use collaboration apps to make sure team members are aligned in their work. The goal is to bring more clarity to what everyone is supposed to do.
Also, one of the aspects of successful team collaboration is concise communication. Employees have their inboxes full, and their days are busy. When you communicate concisely, your message is more likely to be received and understood.
3. Be open to feedback
Leaders who understand the importance of team communication in the workplace often promote a culture of open feedback. After all, 75% of employees do want more feedback.
Open feedback means recognizing a job well done as well as giving suggestions on improving in certain areas. Leaders should also frequently ask their teams for suggestions, comments, and ideas to open up opportunities for improvement.
4. Organize 1-1s and group meetings
Every leader should have regular 1-on-1s with every team member and also facilitate regular group meetings. This ensures that every employee gets the dedicated time to talk about themselves and their individual work.
On the other hand, group meetings promote stronger team bond and alignment on crucial projects.
5. Use the right communication tools
Effective communication in a distributed workplace is impossible without team communication apps. They range from instant messaging platforms to video conferencing tools but also extend to various collaboration platforms.
The “right” technology will enable teams to successfully communicate asynchronously and effectively. Ease of use and data security should be the most important criteria when choosing a team chat, as it will ensure that people don’t resort to using inadequate employee communication tools like WhatsApp.
Conclusion: Communication in a team is crucial to business success
Making the workplace more productive doesn’t just mean completing more tasks. It means improving communication, too. How a workforce communicates internally is directly proportional to the company’s bottom line, because a lousy internal interaction among team members yields irresponsible behaviors and negligence towards your customers.
Just imagine how productive your company would be if the team members could communicate effectively and help each other create a healthy and supportive work environment.
Therefore, leaders must prioritize effective team communication and implement all the necessary tools and strategies to make that happen.
Get in touch with our team here at Rocket.Chat to start communicating with your team securely and efficiently.
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