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Importance of effective communication in the workplace

Importance of effective communication in the workplace

Effective communication keeps professional and personal relationships going.

With excellent communication skills, one learns another person’s feelings and thoughts. They get to agree on a few aspects since they exchange thoughts with each other.

It is also one of the concerns in the workplace.

A 2016 study finds that more than two-thirds (69%) of managers in the poll find it uncomfortable to speak with their employees. Meanwhile, half of their employees do not have clear procedures.

It is even a different case with remote workers. According to studies, remote workers still feel left out of their company, the cost of flexible remote working.

Over the years, poor communication skills have cost businesses a lot. This is why establishing effective communication is important, especially when handling a remote workforce.

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Definition of effective communication

The term “communication” has a lot of definitions. All of these involve the exchange of thoughts and information from one vessel to another.

Meanwhile, “effectiveness” means producing a desired result or output from something.

Effective communication, therefore, is the exchange of information while delivering and understanding its message successfully.

It uses different mediums such as speaking, hearing, and writing and involves different communication channels like telephone, text messages, emails, letters, and social media chats.

This involves more than just sharing messages. Other aspects are also observed, such as:

  • Tone and intonation
  • Nonverbal cues
  • Facial expressions
  • Timing
  • Body language
  • Eye contact
  • Hidden meaning
effective communication
Definition of effective communication

Why is it important?

Practicing effective communication skills impacts the relationship between the sender and their audience.

It can strengthen or weaken connections between friends, family members, or colleagues. Whatever the situation, we express our feelings and insights through a different approach.

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The proper delivery of our message keeps the audience from misinterpreting us. It also avoids having conflicts and tension in every argument we face.

We also get to know our audience when communicating effectively through words, expressions, and actions.

Categories of communication

Communication has different categories as a form of delivery. Those are:

  • Verbal communication. This involves speaking to a person physically or virtually through phone calls, physical talks, radio, television, and virtual conferences.
  • Non-verbal communication. Movements include nonverbal signals, body language, gestures, posture, mannerisms, and physical contact with another person.
  • Written communication. Letters, emails, chats, social media, books, magazines, and other media that involve writing.
  • Visual communication. This refers to graphs, charts, paintings, maps, and other visual imageries.

Methods for ensuring successful communication

Improving workplace communication is essential for employee engagement and team collaboration.

A deep understanding of everyone’s thoughts and ideas ensures that the organization and the employees underneath them are on the same page.

An example of effective communication in the workplace is when an entire message is transmitted and received correctly. However, a successful exchange inside your workplace does not only work as simple as sharing ideas and information.

Here are some methods to practice effective communication skills in the workplace:

Make a speech plan

A good communicator thinks before they speak.

Before you say something, consider it. It will be more effective if you’ve planned ahead of time, thoroughly thought out, and established what you want to say and get out of the conversation.

Otherwise, failing to think before you speak may result in poor communication.

Set up a meeting

In-person or virtual meetings are an important aspect of business communication.

During the session, the entire team gets the opportunity to convene and discuss current concerns. Each team member can share their thoughts and discuss their accomplishments.

This creates a positive work environment where everyone lets a person feel heard.

Start speaking

Take responsibility, and don’t hesitate to begin talking right away.

In-person communication is preferable to avoid misunderstandings or unnecessary misconceptions. Ensure that your message is clear and understandable to your target audience.

Pay attention to feedback

The ability to actively listen to each other is one of the most challenging aspects of good communication. Always listen, pay attention to what the other person is saying, and ask if you don’t understand.

Before you respond, double-check that you’ve heard and understood everything accurately. Doing so shows you are a good listener, which is crucial during one-on-one meetings.

Avoid excessive repetition

Don’t get carried away with your language if you want your colleagues to understand your views.

Tell your coworkers, customers, and other team members what you want them to know quickly and precisely, and then ask if everything is clear.

Methods for ensuring successful communication

The five C’s of effective communication

Effective communication is one of the keys to establishing a strong relationship with your team.

To communicate effectively, we must know and understand the principles of communication, such as:


The sender must deliver the message to the recipient.

They should use short sentences in an active voice and reduce fluff and buzzwords. Delivering a concrete message helps the recipient to act on it appropriately.


The message should be easily understandable. Avoid using complex sentences and language.

To avoid confusion, focus on a single objective instead of cramming a few ones into a single idea. This helps the recipient get the message fully and clearly.


Concise communication means the message should go directly to the point and in the least possible words.

Simplify the language to make it more understandable. This helps keep the recipient’s attention at bay and retain the message in their head.


Deliver the message completely. Provide all the information necessary that the receiver needs to know.

State facts and back them up with adequate data to make it more effective. An incomplete message can add confusion to the recipient and might get misinterpreted.


Consider the recipient in delivering the message. It should not be disrespectful or offensive on their part.

Instead, this should have a positive impact on them. Avoid biases and include respectful terms, such as preferred designation and greetings.

Skills to enhance effective communication

Talking with the team or the company’s customers efficiently comes from continuous practice and cultivation. An effective communicator usually possesses skills such as:

Active listening

First, good communication comes from active listening. Focus on what the speaker says and take note of all the details. Do not just speak without fully understanding the context of the message.

This approach minimizes misunderstandings and better connects the company and the brand’s customers.

Non-verbal gestures

Aside from speaking, good communication also involves gestures and body language. An active listener also observes the speaker’s facial expression, body language, postures, tone, and eye contact.

Practice acting naturally when speaking with another person. A more relaxed gesture and tone indicate the listener is interested in what the speaker says.

Questions and feedback

The listener must ask the speaker questions whenever something needs to be clarified.

The speaker, meanwhile, should be open to constructive feedback and suggestions, whether through email, calls, or personal talk.

This helps increase engagement and tells the speaker that their contribution is valid.


Both parties should be aware of and show empathy when communicating. Active listening gives an understanding of what the speaker is going through.

Awareness tells the speaker to be sensitive about what they say and how they say it. Show empathy by understanding and respecting each other’s points of view.

Choosing the right medium

Lastly, some conversations should be done in an appropriate medium. For instance, serious conversations should be in person or through email when one or both of them are busy.

Short personal conversations, meanwhile, are through text or chat messages. Choosing the right medium indicates courtesy and thoughtfulness to the person speaking.

Skills for effective communication

Effective communication in a remote workplace

The increasing manpower demand of SMEs and technology advancement gave way to the rise of business process outsourcing and remote workers.

However, with these advancements, the challenges in communicating with each other have also increased.

In a study by Harvard Business Review, remote employees feel more left out with their company since they work away from the office. This is why more people point out the importance of good communication in BPO companies.

Communicating our thoughts, insights, and feelings improves business connections. It also creates a good business environment where employees can share their insights in the workplace and feel that they matter in improving the company’s future.

With this, they engage more in meetings, brainstorming, etc. This is important, especially when working with a remote team, since the employees rarely see their coworkers. This leads to improved productivity and employee retention.

Otherwise, these physical barriers prompt employees to disconnect from their team.

This disconnection might turn to dissatisfaction, which can make them leave the company. Worse, this might create a negative work environment for everyone, affecting overall team performance.

In a call center or business process outsourcing firm, especially those who are fielding customer calls, good communication skills are important to resolve customer concerns.

Call center agents should fully understand their customers’ situation to help them resolve their issues.

Call center agents who listen attentively and give knowledgeable answers help establish a good relationship between the customer and the company, which helps retain their loyalty.

Barriers to communicating effectively

Employees in an office setting may face different hindrances in communicating. The following may be causes of ineffective communication.

  • Loss of attention. Checking out social media, chatting away with another person, or failing to maintain eye contact while someone is talking indicates that a person does not pay attention to the speaker.
  • Judging the person. The audience does not listen effectively to the speaker when they criticize, demean, or judge them. This goes the same when the speaker does this to the audience.
  • Too much technical jargon. Unless the speaker is talking to a leveled audience, using too many technical terms in their message can confuse them. Simplify the language to deliver the message.
  • Avoiding constructive feedback. A conversation is a two-way process. When the speaker avoids listening to their audiences, they don’t address their audiences’ feelings and insights.

A remote team works the same as a physical team in the office. However, additional hindrances like time zones and language and cultural differences apply to them.

Effective communication in a remote workplace

Necessary skills for online communication

Virtual and faceless communication requires skills to communicate effectively with the audience. These are:

  • Proper netiquette. When communicating online, everyone must follow proper internet etiquette, or “netiquette.” Respect their online privacy, respond to emails when needed, and don’t share unreliable facts online.
  • Simple language. Use simple language when communicating online. Do not use too many technical terms in an email. Also, avoid using colloquial ones. Learn to sound formal when reaching out to employees.
  • Active listening. This should also apply when doing video conferences. Wait for the person in the line to finish before replying. There might be delays in the call due to the connection, so wait for a few seconds to avoid overlapping.
  • Building an online persona. Establish a favorable online persona by communicating with employees properly.

Areas where effective communication is vital to your company

Effective exchange of ideas and providing feedback within a company fosters a sense of common purpose among team members, allowing them to achieve their objectives.

Here are four areas in which effective communication is a must:


Effective communication in a group setting is critical because these sessions allow employees to discuss strategies, develop ideas, celebrate accomplishments, and analyze failures. If business meetings were mismanaged, it could be a waste of time for a company.

The success of workplace conversations is related to understanding the essential principles of having good communication skills.

Business presentations

Presentation and clear communication skills that are well-developed will improve your positive identity.

This increases your capacity to influence others, allows you to advance your career more quickly, and allows you to develop a communication style.

Sales pitches

A sales pitch is between sales agents and prospective customers.

Customers must be able to comprehend your items, believe in them, and eventually purchase them. Keep your sales pitch brief and direct to the point.

Remember to maintain eye contact, positive body language, and appropriate facial expressions.

Team building activities

Employees must communicate effectively to foster team cohesion. Companies can use team building to examine and recognize their and coworkers’ behaviors.

Frequent friendly contact can aid in developing a sense of belonging and strengthening connections among team members, leading to fewer workplace conflicts.

Best practices in communicating effectively

Combining correct communication techniques and proper communication tools for collaborating with an online worker is important in creating a good work environment.

Build a communication process

Build an excellent conversation strategy with the team.

Streamline where they can inquire and express concerns, how they will reach out through email and messaging platforms, and what times they can reach the person out.

Use proper communication tools

Agree on what team communication app is needed to speak to the rest of your team. Messaging platforms such as Skype can hold video calls and conferences.

Collaboration tools like Slack can streamline conversations based on topics, projects, etc. Other conference platforms, such as GoToMeeting, enable screen sharing.

Build trust

One of the important things in communicating with a remote team is building trust.

For assurance, use screen monitoring tools to track their work and productivity periodically. However, let them do their work and do not control them too much.

Open time for sharing feedback

Open a time where they can share feedback from everyone’s outputs. Hold a video conference or have a thread where they can post constructive comments.

Alternatively, open a GSuite account to let them comment directly on the document.

Best practices in communicating effectively

Let employees engage with each other

Let employees have a casual talk away from work. Set aside a time when they can engage with each other through chat.

Let them discuss anything freely, from sports to fashion to politics. Give them time to bond after work, which increases employee engagement and communication in the workplace.

Maintain proper netiquette when communicating

Set standard rules to maintain respect for each other. Impose a penalty or a warning to an employee who violates communication rules. Let them build their online persona to get to know them fully.

Hold online meetings at a specific time

Considering the time zone differences for remote employees is necessary. Agree on a specific time to hold monthly meetings for their progress.

Ask them if they have any difficulties in doing a task. Let this be a time to hear each other, even virtually.

Organize virtual team building activities

Lastly, nothing can make their bond stronger but team building. Set a mini-game where they can interact and have fun with each other.

Organizing activities to boost confidence and camaraderie can have a positive impact on an employee’s behavior.

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Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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