Communication in the Workplace

With the number of high profile corporations that function today, and the increased levels of competitiveness in the market, it is important to find ways to keep employees motivated and to keep their morale up at the workplace. To enable coordination and cooperation between various employees, communication takes added importance. Passing messages amongst the people in the office, maintaining effective chains of command, and also keeping track of what’s happening in the lives of fellow employees, are some of its most obvious advantages.

The forms of communication today have transformed from what it used to be in earlier times, due to the advent of plenty of electronic mediums. Despite all these changes though, its significance still remains the same as it ever was.

Importance of Workplace Communication

So, why exactly is it important at the workplace? The answer to this is known to almost everyone, but many people can’t find the right words to express it. It becomes clearer when you understand that every workplace must rely on teamwork and cooperation in order to carry out their work properly. The employees must also stay motivated. Disgruntled employees will never work efficiently, I think almost everyone is aware of that. It is proper communication that encourages and upholds this spirit of teamwork and cooperation amongst the employees. If the employees are friends with each other, obviously they will work better with each other.

Formal Communication
This is the kind that stems from necessity, rather than choice. Instructions, orders, guidelines, feedback, and appraisals provided to employees by the employer comprise this . Reporting, feedback, complaints, and sanctioning of leave are the components of communication from the employee to the employer. These channels are necessary for the proper functioning of any office, and if they are not followed in the right manner, the office will be unable to get any work accomplished.

Informal Communication
This is the kind takes place between employees, or between the employee and the employer in an informal manner, and about unofficial things. This implies a sense of friendship between the various parties involved. Too much of an informal approach can be harmful to a workplace, but it is true that some informal relationships need to be formed as well. This makes the people comfortable with each other, and produces a sense of camaraderie between the many employees of the workplace. This type also has some drawbacks, as many people choose to gossip a lot and spread rumors about other people. This is known as the ‘grapevine’.

Few Tips

The skill to communicate effectively in the workplace needs mastery over a period of time. This is not something that can be learned overnight. It requires tact, diplomacy, and a little bit of humility as well. If you find yourself lacking any of these qualities, maybe you need to reassess your personality and stop assuming that everyone listens to you by choice. Here are some tips that may help you improve some formal and informal relationships with fellow employees and even your employer.
Be polite and civil with everybody. Don’t be rude or emotional.
Respect the time and space of other people.
Learn to listen, instead of constantly running your mouth.
Be open and flexible, and do not keep a closed mind.
Learn to say no, it will save you from a lot of trouble occasionally.
Don’t get involved in conflicts unnecessarily.
Don’t complain too much, focus on the good parts instead. If you hate your workplace too much, just quit instead of increasing the unpleasantness by complaining.
If you have to meet your superiors, be on time.
Get to know your fellow employees.
Try not to mix personal and professional relationships.
Learn to compromise, and build a network of sorts.
Interaction between men and women requires slightly more diplomacy and tact. The ideal scenario is not to mix your personal and professional commitments, but this is something that cannot be avoided sometimes. There have been many cases where women have also accused men of sexual harassment, when in fact the man was just trying to make conversation. So make sure you get your signals right, and don’t make lewd comments or get personal with the women at your workplace. Learn to treat them with respect and dignity.

Sooner or later, you will begin to see the importance of good communication. You will get to know more people, improve your network of contacts, have a more stable and pleasant experience at work, and also make many new friends along the way.