Communication is at the foundation of all that we do as companies, teams, and individuals. Being able to effectively communicate our ideas gives validity to them while inspiring those around us to believe in our leadership.
In a previous post, I highlighted the lesser-known ways that unnecessary meetings can hurt you, your team, and your company. One of the best solutions for too many meetings comes not in the form of meeting management, but rather through putting emphasis on better communication outside of the office - reducing the need for those meetings altogether.
And reducing meetings is not the only positive effect of improved communication! As if fewer meetings weren't enough of a reason to invest in workplace communication, here are just a few of the many benefits that come from simply conversing more consistently and effectively.
It comes as no surprise for anyone who's ever set foot in an office that miscommunication is constantly listed as one of the biggest time-wasters. The larger the team, the greater this time-waster becomes - like a giant, expensive game of telephone. HR Magazine conducted a poll in which 48% of respondents stated that, on average, they lost 40 minutes of productivity every day due to confusing and poorly communicated instructions. That adds up to over 3 hours every week that each employee spends deciphering what they are meant to be doing. Were a small team of 10 employees able to reduce this statistic by even half, they would have almost 60 extra hours of productivity every month from their team!
A study performed by the staffing agency, Accountemps, surveyed over 300 HR employees concerning employee morale. 33% of respondents stated that poor communication was the number one cause of low employee morale with the second most popular response only receiving 18% of the votes. Conversely, (and not surprisingly) when asked how best to improve low morale, 38% of participants said communication, far out-weighing additional days off, recognition programs, and even monetary rewards for excellent performance.
Not only does better communication give your team more time to be productive, but also inspires them to do better work during that time. The Ey Australian Productivity Pulse held a study that revealed that 91% of employees in organizations where the communication was good were actively trying to increase their productivity. When leaders are able to communicate effectively, team members tend to feel a higher level of confidence and autonomy in their work.
If you are wanting to see improvements in all of these areas (productivity, morale, performance, and more), then try investing in better communication before booking in that wiffle ball team-building exercise or desperately throwing bonuses to your team.
"I'm a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they're interested in." - Bill Gates