What is workplace communication? This is a question that has preoccupied communications specialists for years and it is still a topic that continues to be debated today. But it can easily be understood.
Workplace Communication is the exchange of ideas and information, both oral and non-oral between one group and another group within an organisation. It often includes e-mail messages, phone calls, notes, calls, emails, etc. In other words, workplace communication involves all communication that takes place in the workplace, including e-mails, phone calls, visits, interviews, training or formal or informal gatherings. The essence of communication in any working environment is that it takes place between and among people who are in a position to affect a decision about an issue. It is therefore important that good workplace communication strategies are well implemented in organisations.
Good communication in any working environment requires that messages are exchanged in a constructive and friendly manner. This means that the message itself should not be abusive or derogatory; it should be brief and clear and that it should be provided in a friendly and polite manner. In addition, the content of the message itself should be accurate and not misleading or inaccurate.
Workplaces that have effective communication can achieve much more than simple communication. Employees who know how to communicate effectively can make a positive difference to their organisation. Effective communication helps reduce the number of conflicts and misunderstandings that take place in the workplace, as well as, improve the level of productivity. But even more importantly, it can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress and anger on the part of employees and co-workers. There are various kinds of barriers to effective communication in the workplace. Let us consider a few.
One form of barrier is external stimuli. External stimuli can be difficult for people to overcome, especially if they have been conditioned to ignore them. For example, if the person in a cubicle has been taught to ignore the voice of the other cubicle fellow workers, this may mean that she will not be able to ignore the words of her coworker who is talking to her. Similarly, if an individual has been conditioned to avoid using his own name in conversations, he may be unable to break the habit and speak to someone in her team anonymously.
Another is a lack of motivation or a lack of inspiration. This happens when employees feel disinterested in their tasks or do not have the drive to participate in work that they enjoy. When there is no passion in workers, the quality of their work suffers. They may try to work harder, but they often fail. Similarly, when they have no motivation to try out for a particular project, they may not take it up at all. Workplaces that have low morale and poor morale are known to have negative feedback and comments about other employees and company.
The third reason for poor performance in workplaces is a lack of understanding on the part of employers and employees. It is not uncommon for employers to know what works and what does not work. They do not understand that employees feel uninformed and that they need to be informed about what is expected of them and what is going wrong so that they can do things to improve it. Similarly, employees feel that they are not given enough opportunities to raise their performance so that they can get the raises and promotions they feel deserve.
It is important that you talk to your coworkers not just in the course of your job but also while you are on break or during lunch time. Ask your colleagues questions about what is going on with them and how you can help them. Communication breaks can go a long way towards improving workplace communication. In fact, studies have shown that the longer you use this method of communicating with your coworker, the more likely he or she is to give you feedback that improves your performance.