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“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” – Sydney J. Harris
Communication takes place in organisations internally (amongst staff) and externally (with customers, suppliers, etc). The question is, “how does its effectiveness impact business?”
A study has shown that effective communication greatly impacts employee performance. Lack of communication could create conflicts in the organisation which will affect the effectiveness and efficiency of employees. This of course will affect the performance of the organisation. The level of effective communication within an organisation determines how much an organisation is able to achieve.
Ideally teams should work together to achieve optimum results, but lack of communication could lead to mistakes, time-wasting as well as delays which if not properly managed could affect working relationships and create conflicts. A report shows that effective communication can boast a team’s productivity by 20% to 30%.
In leading subordinates leaders communicate and expect feedback from their subordinates. If this process is not done effectively then subordinates are likely to act contrarily to the intention of their leader. A survey shows that 86% of employees and executives are of the opinion that lack of effective communication and collaboration are the main causes of workplace failures.
In an organisation there is often a need for employees from different departments to collaborate. In doing so each department relies on the other to give the required information at the right time.
As illustrated above, an increase in effective communication can help solve the following problems:
i) Poor communication with remote workers
ii) Horizontal and vertical silos due to information which is not being conveyed.
iii) High employee turnover/ low employee engagement
iv) Poor customer service
The importance of communication cannot be over-emphasized given the fact that on average we spend 80% to 90% of our time communicating with people. Unfortunately, communication is not always effective due to various factors including lack of understanding, wrong mindset, distraction, and prejudice to mention a few. In summary. The effectiveness of both Internal and external communication could make the difference between success and failure and so must be given the attention they deserve. All business functions depend on communication.