Workplace communication

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Workplace communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas, both verbal and non-verbal, within an organization. An organization may consist of employees from different parts of the society. These may have different cultures and backgrounds, and can be used to different norms. To unite activities of all employees and restrain from any missed deadline or activity that could affect the company negatively, communication is crucial. Effective workplace communication ensures that all the organizational objectives are achieved. Workplace communication is tremendously important to organizations because it increases productivity and efficiency. Ineffective workplace communication leads to communication gaps between employees, which causes confusion, wastes time, and reduces productivity. Misunderstandings that cause friction between people can be avoided by effective workplace communication.Effective communication, also called open communication, prevents barriers from forming among individuals within companies that might impede progress in striving to reach a common goal. For businesses to function as desired, managers and lower-level employees must be able to interact clearly and effectively with each other through verbal communication and non-verbal communication to achieve specific business goals. Effective communication with clients plays a vital role in development of an organization and success of any business. When communicating, nonverbal communication must also be taken into consideration. How a person delivers a message has a lot of influence on the meaning of this one.

Another important aspect to have effective workplace communication is taking into consideration the different backgrounds of employees. "While diversity enriches the environment, it can also cause communication barriers."[1] Difficulties arise when a coworker’s cultural background leads him or her to think differently than another. It is for this reason that knowing about intercultural communication at work and learning how to treat others without offending them can bring several benefits to the company.

Method of communication[edit]

Different people absorb information in different ways. To make sure that the information conveyed is understood by all, the method used for communication must be simple, clear, and precise. When presenting vital information, using pictures will make way for easy understanding. The presence of trust inside a corporation will also simplify the use of communication. Relationships must be established between coworkers to create a tension-free workplace. Messages should be sent and received with no alterations. To achieve healthy relationships in the workplace, behaviors such as bullying, taking credit for someone else's work and free riding should be avoided. These will create toxic relationships that will, in the long run, impact negatively a company and the productivity.[2] Preferring two-way communication is considered best for communicating. Adequate importance can be given for discussion, questions and clarifications.[3]


The content of the information plays a major role in workplace communication. The level of detail must be according to the grasping capacity of the audience. Giving too much detail may get the audience bored and too little detail won’t make them involved. Use of jargon while communicating is not considered good for effective workplace communication.[4]


While formal workplace communication that is done too rarely or too often is not good for an organization, frequent informal workplace communication has its benefits.[5] A perfect balance is required for the proper functioning of an organization. Information must be communicated as and when required rather than holding unnecessary meetings frequently. At the same time crucial information must not be held till the last hour or day, instead they must be communicated early to engage employees in the objectives of the organization.[6]


Getting the message across efficiently depends on the skills of the communicator such as presentation skills, group facilitation skills, negotiation and written communication skills. Successful communication also depends upon the capacity of the employees to understand the information. This requires providing the employees some basic financial literacy like financial statements, sales, profitability, etc.[7]

When selecting a candidate, most employers seek for those who have strong speaking and writing skills. Problem solving and self- motivation are also highly necessary skills among the workplace. These allow rapidly changing environments to become less of a challenge.[8]


With the fast evolution of technology, companies have to stay up to date with communication tools that facilitate the workplace communication. Some of these include email, blogs, instant messaging and even social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It is important to keep in mind that sending an email, a fax or a letter does not necessarily mean that communication has taken place. Only when a message has been sent, received and understood by the intended receiver, it can be said that communication has occurred.[9]

Even though they facilitate communication, studies have shown that communication tools may distract employees from their duties.[10] To reduce the interrupt effect, methods such as employee training and changing of environment can be implemented. Employees making themselves unavailable during specific times of the day or week can also help resolve this issue. This will increase concentration and as a result, productivity.[11]

The solution to have effective communication in a workplace can be achieved by having a central portal where everybody can access all the relevant information, communications, documents, and contracts in one place. [12]


Common barriers to effective communication at workplace:

Physical barriers: Physical structure, location and construction of the workplace acts as a barrier to effective communication. Employees seated remotely from each other hinders effective interaction.

Language barriers: Employees with different native languages will be working in an organization. As everyone in organization are not comfortable with native language of the other person, language acts as a barrier for effective workplace communication.

Cultural barriers: Employees from different cultures, following different practices will be working in an organization. This cultural diversity among the employees can act as barrier for effective communication at workplace.

Emotional barriers: Emotional barriers like fear, inferiority, shyness, lack of self confidence and skills will stop an employee in communicating effectively with his colleagues.

Perception barriers: Employees will have different experiences, values, preferences and attitudes.These may lead to a variety of assumptions and can act as a communication barrier.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guo, Kristina L.; Sanchez, Yesenia; Borkowski, Nancy (Dec 23, 2009). Organizational Behavior in Workplace. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  2. ^ DeIuliis, David, PhD. (2016). ""Workplace Communication"". Communication Research Trends. 35 (1).
  3. ^ Henson, Baden (2007). Communication in the workplace. Milton, Old: Wiley. ISBN 0-7314-0650-8.
  4. ^ Sudden, Marsha (2007). Effective workplace communication : skills for success in life and on the job (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, Ind.: JUST Works. ISBN 1-59357-433-9.
  5. ^ Whitaker, Steve; David Frolic; Owen Day-Jones (April 24–28, 1994). "Informal workplace communication: what is it like and how might we support it?". CHI '94 Proceedings of the SIGHS conference on Human factors in computing systems: celebrating interdependence: 131–137.
  6. ^ Picardi, Richard P. (2001). Skills of workplace communication : a handbook for T & D specialists and their organizations ([Online-Gauss.] ed.). West port, Conn.: Quorum Books. ISBN 978-1-56720-362-2.
  7. ^ Person, Sharon J. Person, Steven M. (2007). Workplace communication : process and product. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-228808-7.
  8. ^ Stevens, B (March 2005). "What communication skills do employers want? Silicon Valley Recruiters Respond". Journal of employment counseling. 42 (1): 2–9.
  9. ^ Guo, Kristina L.; Sanchez, Yesenia; Borkowski, Nancy (Dec 23, 2009). Organizational Behavior in Workplace. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  10. ^ Jackson, T; Dawson, R; Wilson, D (2003). "Reducing the effect of email interruption on employees". International Journal of Information Management. 21 (1): 55-65.
  11. ^ O'Conaill, Brid; Frohlich, David (1995). "Timespace in the workplace: dealing with interruptions". Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI 95: 262–263. doi:10.1145/223355.223665.
  12. ^ Ramadas, Nidhin. "Effective tools for workplace communication". axerosolutions. Retrieved 13 September 2016.