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How to Improve the Communication Skills of Your Employees

  • By Diana Kawarsky, MA, CCP
  • February 23, 2023

Oral Communication Skills Training

Did you know that good communication skills in employees make for better performance and greater success in the workplace? Effective communication is essential to successful teams, departments, and businesses.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can improve communication skills in the workplace and how better oral and written communication skills can create a stronger work environment.

Types of Workplace Communication

Across most organizations, there are five main methods of communication: oral, non-verbal, written, presentation/visual, and active listening.

  • Oral communication is speaking back and forth between colleagues or customers in person or through digital audio technology such as teleconferencing.
  • Non-verbal communication can involve hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
  • Written communication focuses on emails, memos, and reports which help to provide a record of conversations.
  • Presentation/visual communication may include video footage or slideshows to demonstrate how a product works or present company information.
  • Active listening involves receiving and understanding messages others send without interruption or judgment.

Common Workplace Communication Problems

Workplace communication problems can be a significant roadblock to a productive and successful organizational culture. Below are some of the most common issues associated with poor oral and written communication skills in the workplace.

Poor Leadership Communication

When effective leadership communication is not adequately utilized, it can devastate productivity and morale among workers. It’s important to give employees open avenues for direct communication with management so that organizations can become more productive and collaborative environments where everyone is on the same page with goals, objectives, and expectations.

Assumptions and Misinterpretations

One of the most common communication issues that arise is when expectations are either misunderstood or unclear. Communication that relies heavily on assumptions rather than clearly spelled-out instructions can often result in misinterpretation, leading team members to execute a less-than-desirable end product. Poorly written emails or off-the-cuff remarks distributed among people can also create confusion and chaos where clarity is needed most.

Sharing Constructive Employee Feedback

To effectively share constructive feedback, it should always be framed with an emphasis on continuous improvement and providing employees with goals and strategies for success. Moreover, it’s important to explain why feedback is necessary for employees to understand how it could benefit them in the long run. This effective communication also helps build trust by allowing employees to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and productivity levels while encouraging them to grow professionally in their work environment.

Poor Onboarding Communication in Remote Working

In many organizations, it’s easy for new remote hires to feel overwhelmed or alienated when they don’t receive the same warm welcome as they would in a physical office space. Employees don’t always know how to access resources or navigate disparate systems and technologies without proper introduction and guidance. Managers need to ensure that good onboarding materials are provided, so new hires have a structured approach when starting with their new organization.

Poor Team Coordination

In the workplace, poor team coordination is a prevalent communication issue that affects employee collaboration and can result in a lack of clarity while working on projects or tasks. Companies need to keep their employees informed about changes, deadlines, or updates to avoid disruptive coordination issues. By doing so, employees can work together more effectively, resulting in better team outcomes and higher productivity.

Not Creating a Positive Environment for Open Communication

Communicating honestly and openly within the workplace is essential for creating a productive and successful working environment. However, communication problems can arise, preventing employees from sharing their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. This closed environment can be especially damaging when there is a lack of positive energy in the professional setting because it increases the likelihood of misunderstandings.

How to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace

Improving communication in the workplace is essential for fostering productivity and employee engagement. Here are some tips on how to improve communication skills.

  • Actively Listen: Not only does active listening promote a greater understanding between peers and co-workers, but it can also foster trust as team members learn they can rely on one another.
  • Avoid Hoarding Information: Seeking input from all staff members will help eliminate any potential hoarding of information that can lead to misunderstandings or even create unnecessary competition.
  • Be Empathetic: Leaders must use empathy when addressing team issues by carefully considering how their behaviour and words can affect others working with them.
  • Recognize Employees: Taking regular breaks throughout the day to clear one’s mind and understanding each individual’s strengths within the organization can be very beneficial in improving workplace communication.
  • Hold Regular Team Meetings: This allows team members, especially those in different departments that don’t normally interact, to come together and directly communicate progress, concerns, and ideas.
  • Use Direct Communication with Employees: Managers should prioritize direct communication channels with their employees, such as one-on-one emails or conversations, instead of relying too heavily on digital messages like group emails or text messages, which can lead to information overload for employees.
  • Develop Assertive Communication Skills: Implementing assertive communication styles helps foster trust and collaboration among workers and helps prevent potentially embarrassing or awkward situations.
  • Plan Team-Building Sessions to Boost Employee Engagement: Taking time to get to know one another on a deeper level can create a space of honest communication where comfort levels increase, and more collaborative solutions can develop.

Arrange a Communication Skills Training Workshop for Employees

The Soft Skills Group specializes in helping employees and managers improve their communication skills with comprehensive programs and workshops. We have online and in-person options for employees across a wide range of industries in Canada and the U.S.

Our workshops offer valuable training to improve written and oral communication skills to ensure employees are equipped with the tools they need for success, such as business storytelling, persuasive communication, employee presentation skills training, email writing, and technical writing.

Investing in your team’s oral and written communication training can help boost performance, promote teamwork, facilitate better understanding between management and staff, and decrease costly mistakes. Contact us today to learn more or to reserve your spot!

Diana Kawarsky, MA, CCP

Diana is President of The Soft Skills Group Inc., and a senior training & development professional with over 20 years of experience in delivery, design & consulting with Fortune 500 companies, Universities & Colleges in Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia. Read More