The importance of communication in the workplace

Communication in the workplace

Developing communication skills as you step into a supervisor or management position cannot be underestimated.

Let’s consider the basics, with task completion –  if an employee is not familiar in how to do a task they need to be shown or guided. If this guidance is clear, the task will be completed correctly, without error. If the task involves making a product and they are provided with clarity of instruction, the product will be made and delivered on time, resulting in a happy customer.

Sometimes there maybe changes required to this task and these changes can happen at the beginning, middle or the end of the process. If the person making this product is not told of these changes at the right time, the product will be wrong, perhaps also late, resulting in an unhappy customer.

An unhappy customer, expresses their feelings on Facebook, does not return to purchase again and influences others not to purchase. The organisation loses money and future revenue.

A further analogy applying to the employer and employee relationship.

A staff member needs to change a shift, they ask their manager, without explaining why they need to change their hours. Their manager refuses, and employee becomes upset. Employee is miserable for the next week, spreading their unhappiness to everyone around them and voices an opinion of the employer being uncaring.

What the employee did not do, is tell the manager that they needed to take their child to an appointment, which they have been waiting on for 6 months. Nor did their manager come and talk to the employee and say, ‘I am unable to give you this time off because we are really short staffed’, or thought of asking ‘Is everything ok?’

A 2-minute conversation with the employer to employee, vice versa would have allowed the employer to understand how important this time off was. This would have prevented any negativity in the workplace, and the employee would have experienced a fair and caring conversation and then shared this with others.

When it comes to communication in the workplace always think simple – often it only takes three to four words to start a meaningful conversation keeping the business running smoothly and developing your communication skills too.

Simple questions can often be the most meaningful.

  • How are you?
  • Is everything ok?
  • How can I help you?
  • Do you understand?
  • What I heard was…
  • I understand that as…
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