The Effect of Communication on Productivity
Productivity increases when your employees are satisfied with their jobs and with the level of communication they receive from management. Effective communication has a direct impact on morale as well, which ultimately affects productivity. When employees receive regular feedback on their performance, and are told what’s going on in the company and what role they play in the overall success of the business, they will reward you by working harder and more efficiently.
Employees tend to take ownership of their work when they are allowed to participate in the entire business process. That doesn’t mean they have to sit in the boardroom when you make decisions about the company’s future, but it does mean that you communicate your decisions to your staff in a timely manner. When employees know, for example, that you are launching a new product or service and that the company’s future success depends on a specific customer base, they can take ownership of the processes in which they are involved to meet company goals.
In addition to feeling a sense of ownership in the company, employees tend to increase productivity when they have some measure of control over their own duties. Training your supervisors to empower employees to self-monitor their activities is a step that fosters job ownership. Develop a culture of open communication between employees, supervisors, and you as the owner of the business to encourage autonomy. When employees feel that they are responsible for their own careers and that the outcomes of their daily work directly impact the company, they will be more open to asking for the tools they need to perform more efficiently, bringing problems and challenges to your attention and asking for assistance. When supervisors develop a communication style that tends more towards mentoring rather than ordering, they add to the open culture that results in increased productivity.
Poor communication between employees, front-line supervisors and top management can lead to a significant waste of time. According to HR Magazine, 48 percent of employees polled said they regularly received confusing directions that led to an average of 40 minutes of lost productivity per day, and that adds up. Supervisors often can’t clearly relay instructions, or wrongly assume that employees know how to perform a task. A breakdown in communications not only leads to reduced productivity, but also can cause negative customer reactions and ultimately lost business.
When employees believe they are valued, they tend to be more engaged in their work and want to perform at their best. In addition to reaping the benefits of increased productivity among workers, companies that listen to staff concerns and keep employees updated on the status of the business retain their best workers more effectively than those businesses with a secretive culture. At the same time, managers that develop effective communication techniques are much more likely to avoid resistance to change within the organization, and can more actively engage employees in making successful changes that help to improve productivity and customer service.