Effective Communication: Definition, Benefits and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Proper communication in the workplace is an important way to contribute to a thriving and efficient business. It helps ensure that everyone in the company understands their duties and builds strong relationships within the organisation so everyone can stay productive. Understanding what successful communication is and what its benefits are can help you prioritise it to improve your job satisfaction and performance. In this article, we explore what effective communication is, outline its benefits and provide you with tips on how to improve it in the workplace.

Related: What Is Corporate Communications and Its Primary Functions?

What is effective communication in the workplace?

Effective communication is when individuals or groups exchange information and ideas successfully and efficiently. In a professional setting, people frequently exchange ideas and information, but sometimes they don't communicate clearly, which can lead to miscommunication. Good communication involves relaying information in a clear and concise way so others can understand you. Good communication also ensures that employees understand each other and are more comfortable in their environment, which can lead to them being more productive and efficient.

There are many ways to give and receive information. Some forms of communication include:

  • oral communication, which includes speaking to another party

  • written communication, which may include letters or emails

  • non-verbal communication, which may include smiling or nodding

  • listening skills, which include active listening

Related: 4 Types of Communication

Benefits of this communication in the workplace

Here are eight benefits that can come from using strong communication in the workplace:

Resolution of conflict

Good communication often helps reduce and mitigate tension or conflict that may arise in a workplace. Most conflicts happen because of miscommunication, leading to people misunderstanding each other. Misunderstandings may cause others to feel disrespected or disregarded.

For example, a manager may tell a team member to make 30 customer service calls per day, but another team member heard that they're supposed to make 45 calls. To clear up any misunderstanding, the team leader can hold a meeting to clarify the number of calls each team member has to make per day so everyone understands their duties and can do their work efficiently with less tension arising in the workplace.

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? (With Methods and Examples)

Increased employee engagement

While good communication helps ensure everyone relays information accurately, it also helps team members form deeper connections with each other and keeps communication lines open. This leads to an increase in employee engagement, which can lead to better job satisfaction and a healthy company culture. Here are some ways communication can improve employee engagement:

  • It helps team leaders understand what the employees' career goals and needs are and what motivates them.

  • It ensures that the leadership team recognises employees' skills and talents and utilises them efficiently.

  • It improves working relations between staff members which can lead to a happier work environment.

Related: What Is Employee Retention and How to Improve It (With Steps)

Greater productivity

Employees who feel higher job satisfaction and a connection to their workplace are often more productive and work more efficiently since they understand what the company expects from them. This leads to less confusion since they're able to perform their job to the best of their ability. If there's good communication between departments and team members, employees can perform their duties more accurately, leading to higher productivity levels throughout the company.

Better client relations

Good communication can extend to better communication between employees and their clients. Businesses that communicate clearly with their clients or customers usually build strong relationships with them, leading to improved customer retention and satisfaction. Good communication can also increase customer loyalty too, as people prefer to buy from and work with companies that value their relationship and communicate clearly.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication, and Why Is It Important?

Improved workplace culture

Good communication also plays an important role in keeping a healthy workplace culture and environment. Many companies employ staff members of various races, beliefs and cultures, so there's often a range of different viewpoints and perspectives. Prioritising open communication between teams and employees can help nurture an accepting and healthy environment that promotes understanding and equality among team members.

Related: What Is Organisational Culture? (With Types and Tips)

Clearer direction for employees

Open communication in the workplace can also give employees a clear understanding of their roles in the company so they understand the direction the company wants them to work towards. This ensures that they know which steps to take to complete their duties efficiently. With clearer direction, employees can focus on their projects and complete them more quickly and confidently.

Increased innovation

Companies that encourage their employees to communicate their ideas and opinions openly tend to have increased innovation. This is because employees feel more confident in speaking up and contributing meaningful and creative strategies and ideas. These new ideas can lead to better projects that create interesting products and services for the company.

Stronger team building

To build an effective working environment, it's important for team members to know they can trust each other. Good communication often leads to stronger trust between people and a better understanding of each others' expectations and duties. With proper guidelines and communication throughout the team, employees are clear on their roles within the company and feel like they belong within the team, leading to strong teamwork and synchronisation.

Related: 10 Helpful Tips for Communication Skills in the Workplace

Tips for building strong communication in the workplace

Use these tips to help improve your communication skills:

Practise active listening

Active listening is an important component of strong communication since it helps others know that you hear and understand what they're trying to say or present in the workplace. Good listening skills support how employees share information effectively, leading to better communication. By actively listening to your teammates, you can learn from them and improve your own workflow. One way to practise it is to focus on the speaker and try asking questions to better understand the and narrow your focus when they're speaking.

Related: Verbal Communication Examples (With Benefits and Tips)

Provide positive feedback

While providing constructive criticism can improve an employee's work performance, it's also important to provide positive feedback. This helps foster communication while boosting employee morale. Positive feedback also gives managers and leadership teams the chance to highlight ways that their team members are performing well so they can encourage this pattern. It also helps employees be more receptive to constructive criticism while providing them with the opportunity to ask for help with issues they may face.

Related: 10 Examples for Leaders to Give Feedback on Communication Skills

Have more in-person meetings

While emails can convey a message and team calls can help you speak to each other easily and quickly, they don't always relay messages in a clear and effective manner. In some cases, in-person meetings can give you the opportunity to clarify information with your teammates while encouraging employees to spend time with each other. This helps team members communicate clearly and fosters positive working relations, too.

Related: What Is Nonverbal Communication (With Benefits and Types)

Understand what the barriers to effective communication are

While practising how to effectively communicate in the workplace, it can also be important to understand what some of the most common barriers there are to connecting with others. Some barriers may include stress, difficulty in focusing, inconsistent non-verbal communication or just feeling emotionally overwhelmed. When you can identify what these barriers to communication are, you can also work on finding solutions to them, so that you're able to connect with others in the workplace.

Choose the right method of communicating with others

Effective communication often involves picking the best method of communication for the topic. For example, it may be best to communicate some topics in person rather than over email or through the phone, since it may help you verbalise the message that you're trying to convey to your team members or clients. It's also important to consider someone's cultural background when communicating with them since it can influence the style in which they communicate.

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