Why is Effective Employee Communication Important to Your Bottom Line?
Effective communication is critical to business success on all levels. When leaders can communicate effectively with employees, work is completed more efficiently, and productivity rises. When employees communicate more effectively among themselves and with customers, overall results are improved, and companies experience a healthier bottom line.
Unfortunately, many organizations advocate that they understand effective employee communication, but in reality, they might not have leaders that possess the necessary communication skills to help move the organization forward.
I live and breathe this reality in my work each and every day as I support leaders across North America who struggle with these skills. The positive side in sharing all of this is that change and growth are tangible and real, so please tune in.
The Impact of Ineffective Communication
We have all had experiences where poor communication has encumbered the goals of the team or organization we work for. In my past experience, I have witnessed the lack of cross-functional communication as an example, where marketing departments launch new products and services without communicating the pertinent information to the frontline staff who were servicing and supporting customers and responding to potential clients.
What was the end result? The customer service team receives calls asking about the company's new offerings, and they are caught off guard with no information to convey to customers and potential clients.
Have you ever experienced this in your organization or similar examples where communication was lacking? It happens as we get so caught up in our own day-to-day delivery that we forget we are a part of a bigger machine that needs to work together and in sync.
This is just one example that illustrates the types of problems that can occur when people and departments that are all part of the same organization fail to communicate and engage each other for support.
Functional silos and the failure to acknowledge that everyone in the business needs to understand what is happening can lead to lost revenue and contention amongst team members. Additionally, a lack of effective communication correlates with low levels of employee engagement and satisfaction because people are not emotionally invested in wanting to do a great job. The result is rather mediocre, with subsequent challenges retaining and growing the business.
Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers
Here are some statistics that shed light on the true importance of effective employee communication:
- Companies that have demonstrated highly effective employee communication will generate 48% higher shareholder returns over a five-year period
- The two main factors that contribute to an increase in employee engagement at the organizational level are the effectiveness of individual supervisors (85%) and the amount of effective employee communication (81%) respectively
- Companies that demonstrate high levels of effectiveness in both communication and change management are 2.5 times more likely to outperform their competitors as organizations that are not as effective in either area
- The cumulative cost per employee, per year due to productivity losses that result from the presence of communication barriers is $26,041 (or in an organization with 500 employees, this represent over $1.3 million in productivity loss)
- Organizations with approximately 100 employees spend 17 hours per week, on average, experiencing downtime because they need to clarify communications
- On average, 70% of employees state they feel managers do not spend enough time explaining plans and goals
- Two thirds of workers state that they do not receive enough information during periods of corporate change
Improving Employee Communication
So, how do leaders within companies improve communication?
Here are a few things that leaders can start doing right away to benefit communication levels and improve employee engagement:
- Stop telling people what to do and start engaging them in discussions and dialogue.
- Engage people in the decision making process and ask for their feedback; show that you acknowledge an issue or a problem, demonstrate that you want to come to a solution then engage in an open, honest discussion about potential solutions together.
- Make sure you are actively listening and not just doing all the talking when you engage with your team. Talk less and listen more; let them come up with the solutions and answers.
- Build relationships; find out what makes your people special and learn about the things that inspire them. Develop a rapport that improves communications in both directions.
- Lastly, think strategically about how your team’s efforts and roles contribute to the bigger picture and bottom line. Who are the internal partners that you need to work with on a regular and consistent basis to ensure you are all working together to deliver exceptional service to your clients?
What are your presently experiencing within your organization? Can you use an effective communication tune up? Are you interested in learning more about how to communicate effectively to achieve the results you want for your business?
Leaders Edge has the expertise and resources that can help. Contact me call today at 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. to learn more about how we can assist your organization with effective communication skills and approaches that will benefit your people and your bottom line.