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Building a Productive Workplace Environment through Communication

28th February 2020

Walking into the office only to find gloomy faces staring back at you probably isn’t the best way to start the workday. While the Monday blues may be particularly aggravated after having to come to work after a great weekend, it may also be because of the lack of effective workplace communication, leading to job dissatisfaction.

Did you know that around 36% of employees in the United Kingdom are unhappy with their jobs? As per the preliminary findings of a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, less than two-thirds of the 1,100 survey participants were satisfied with their current employment situation.

Needless to say, these facts aren’t particularly promising. A leading UK Job Board, Totaljobs, in collaboration with Universum, global employer brand specialists, conducted research trying to identify the problem behind increasing employee turnover in the country.

Not surprisingly so, the results revealed that 1 in 2 people were hoping to switch jobs. These are the telltale signs of an unproductive workforce, which could cost UK companies around £195 million each day.

We know that these stats are quite troubling, but there is a very easy solution that can turn your complicated professional relationships into committed and satisfied ones.

How to Increase Workplace Productivity?

Effective communication is the key to success in both personal and professional relationships. While that may sound like vague advice, it is the most effective solution besides increasing monetary perks and benefits. Here’s how you can improve workplace communication.

1. Clear Job Descriptions

According to an example mentioned in Harvard Business Review, a company hired employees based on vague job descriptions. Initially, the company was relatively small, and it was easier to manage the organisation as all employees had open access to managers.

As the company grew, employees found themselves more and more confused. Unlike before, it wasn’t as easy to clarify any unclear details. They missed out on important details, unaware that they were supposed to deal with them, which not only cost the company but also adversely affected the mental health of these employees.

It’s a constant downward spiral from there. Stress at the workplace causes:

  • Anxiety
  • Apathy towards work
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue

It becomes tough for employees to give their all when they are always out of sorts and fighting a war within themselves.

Clear job descriptions are the first step top building an effective communication channel between employees. When each person knows what they are responsible for, they will be better able to take ownership of their work, which not only boosts productivity but also reduces their stress levels.

2. Build Relationships

For a communication channel to be effective, there must be no barriers to open communication. Most employees find it intimidating to take matters up to their seniors. If their bravery is countered with an unresponsive, rude attitude, they may never again approach you to clear any issues that they may be having.

To create an effective workplace communication channel, you must first break down hierarchical barriers. Everything is not always black and white, and sometimes, you need to join heads with your team to solve day-to-day problems.

3. Simplify Communication Channels

Playing Chinese Whisper at work isn’t the best idea. The longer the communication channel, the higher the chances of the message getting distorted in the middle. Often, what reaches the end of the chain isn’t the same message that was communicated in the first place. Going back and forth, trying to clear miscommunications is a waste of time, energy, and resources for not only the employer but also the employees.

Define clear cut, simple communication channels to ease the process. It makes it easier for employers to relay:

  • Expectations
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Change in plans
  • Timely Feedback

These are essential for building employee morale. You don’t want to walk into work on Monday, thinking about the next project only to be told the previous one wasn’t done right because the details of the project weren’t properly communicated. This makes it impossible to be efficient and keep track of your performance.

4. Invest in Manager’s Communication Skills

The importance of investing in a manager’s communication skills cannot be stressed enough. It is not only essential but critical to the overall mental well-being of the employees of the organisation. According to Inc., 91% of 1000 employees felt their employers lacked communication skills.

This means that they are unable to communicate expectations and responsibilities and are unable to provide constructive feedback. Come to think of it, that is the picture of a failed organisation. In the absence of definite communication, team morale takes a hit.

All of that can improve only if companies decide to invest in their managers. The lack of emotional intelligence can be overcome with adequate training through workshops and seminars.

In fact, according to the Mental Health Foundation, companies that promote well-being at work through webinars, workshops, and personalised training can expect £695 return on per person investment. By our calculations, that provides a resultant profit of £347,722 annually with only £80 investment per person.

Effective workplace communication encourages innovation. When an employee feels heard and appreciated, it nourishes their creative thought process, which can help companies achieve goals and draft an overarching vision for their future.

By boosting employee morale, it also helps reduce the employee turnover ratio. It goes without saying, if you are happy at your workplace, feel challenged yet understood, you feel like your opinion matters, and you have an active say in the organisation, you will stay. Not only will you stay, but you will also give your best to that organisation because you feel appreciated.

According to the survey by Totaljobs and Universum (mentioned earlier in this article), two-third of British people would rather stay at a job they enjoyed than switch their jobs for better salaries. When you know that all it takes is a yearly investment of £80 to earn profits amounting to hundreds of thousands, then why wouldn’t you make that choice?