No matter how large or small the company, communication can stand improvement at any workplace. Good communication skills are essential for job growth in four ways. Companies that put a premium on explaining their objectives build credibility that does not exist in hostile work environments, where uninhibited gossip poisons relationships and damages the bottom line. Companies that accept these principles are also better at building morale, strengthening management skills and promoting a more diverse workforce.
Communication is everything in business. Employees who cannot express themselves clearly are less likely to perform well and are less promotable. American businesses spend about £2.0 billion annually just teaching people how to write, according to a National Commission on Writing survey cited by Marty Blalock, a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Forty per cent of the 120 firms that participated in the survey offer or require some type of remedial writing training, according to Blalock.
Managers and supervisors build credibility through effective communication. Employees are less likely to go elsewhere for information if they know that supervisors are communicating honestly with them and seem willing to listen, according to Texas Association of Counties Field Director Richard Slagle. Building that credibility is best accomplished by sharing all information with employees instead of dishing out details on a need-to-know basis, Slagle says in an article posted on the association's website.
Employees who communicate effectively and understand each other's motivations are less likely to gossip. Left unchecked, workplace gossip becomes a breeding ground for resentments, as well as a roadblock to collaboration, according to business coach Beth Weissenberger. When her company is called in, addressing the gossip issue typically heads its list of organizational priorities, Weissenberger stated in a November 2009 column for Bloomberg Businessweek. The flip side of this situation is improved morale, which helps companies function more efficiently.
The autocratic management model that once defined many workplaces is rapidly giving way to a collaborative ethic, making good communication skills all the more relevant, Blalock says. As the workplace grows more diverse, managers must work with many different types of employees. Organizations now realise that utilising many talents and perspectives is not merely a matter of social conscience, but it makes good economic sense, Blalock says. An organisation that promotes these differences is more likely to succeed than one that ignores them.
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