Companies can improve performance, productivity and profitability by communicating effectively because good communication clarifies goals, fosters teamwork and cultivates success. But effective communication takes effort, and businesses must determine what they want to say and how to say it. Then, they must say it correctly, assess the impact and follow through to improve effectiveness.
Effective communication starts with a purpose. Knowing what you want to accomplish helps you communicate more effectively. If the goal is to sell more by establishing how a product differs from a competitor's product, determine how to communicate those differences to potential customers, such as through an advertising campaign. But if the business wants employees to work harder, then it would communicate differently, such as through internal emails.
People hear and react to messages differently. Even if a business were to say the same thing to two different groups, the people in those audiences would not necessarily respond in the same manner. So, choosing the appropriate audience, such as customers or employees, helps you determine the message. The more specific the audience is, the more customized the message can be, like an email for supervisors only.
Each person will respond to communication based on what is most important to them. One of the objectives of communication is to choose the most relevant message. If a business wants to produce more of an item, it may explain the importance of doing so differently to employees in production than to those in sales. It might stress the importance of supporting the company’s growth to employees and the opportunity to make more money through commissions to sales personnel.
Some people like emails; others prefer phone calls. Still others prefer to speak face-to-face most of all. One of the objectives of effective communication is to reach people in the way they prefer so that they will respond best.
Employees work as teams when everyone feels connected to a company and its goals. Effective communication fosters collaboration by ensuring that everyone knows what they should do and how to do it well.
When customers speak, businesses listen. Learning what your customers want by listening to their feedback through phone calls, surveys and social media comments helps companies communicate with them more effectively.
Customers are not the only people worthy of a company’s attention. Businesses also learn by listening to their employees through broad feedback from comments collected through a suggestions box or in one-to-one meetings with supervisors. Companies can improve performance by listening to what employees have to say and considering it carefully.
Disagreements can be damaging. If one employee feels slighted by another, or multiple employees feel disrespected by the company, then morale deteriorates and performance declines. The objectives of effective communication include communicating openly and honestly so that everyone is heard.
Employees often want to do their best. Defining their best and telling them how they are performing relative to those expectations will help them to do even better. Recognizing a job well done or tactfully telling an employee when they fall short helps employees improve, which benefits the company as a whole.