Effective communication in the workplace

June 2013 | Servcorp

Different managers have different communication styles, but the fact remains that to be successful, they have to be able to do so efficiently.

You'd be surprised at the number of successful managers that don't consider themselves naturally gifted communicators. Most of them have had to work at it – not just because it makes things less awkward for them and prevents them from getting into situations where they feel overwhelmed, but because having someone at the top that knows how to properly communicate makes the business as a whole stronger.

Firstly, you need to think about who needs to know key information. Yes, it's true that not everyone needs to know everything, but assuming that people know information that's never been made clear to them can be a death-knell for a business. Not only does it mean that seemingly basic things get missed, it'll also lower an employee's self-esteem with regards to their self-confidence, or simply their attitude to their position and the business.

So with that in mind, ensure that employees know everything they need to. And if information is ever miscommunicated (it can happen) be sure to apologise that the message wasn't properly passed on, as opposed to making an employee that simply didn't know to do any differently feel unworthy.

At the other end of the scale, don't pass key information on to anyone that doesn't need to know and is likely to gossip about it – there's only one thing worse than no communication, and that's someone else passing on half-truths to anyone that hasn't heard something from you.

Now, think about your own communication style. While the authoritarian communication style has its own drawbacks, you do need to be able to maintain your own power. That means you don't agree to anything that'll put you or anyone you're managing under any unnecessary strain, or more simply you don't agree to anything that you don't think is a good idea.

This can be easier said than done when dealing with different individuals, but always bearing in mind that you're the boss will go a long way here. You either manage your employees or they manage you – think of it that way.

Finally, encourage communication that isn't necessarily work related. Having a department or business where the people within it genuinely know and care about one another can increase both productivity and happiness. If someone looks forward to seeing the people they work alongside it can only be a good thing.

Communication can be key within business. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly where the business is heading, and you'll be able to sit back and reap the rewards.