The Importance of Communication

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The Importance of Communication

The Importance of Communication

Imagine trying to run a business without communication. There would be no way to:

  1. Describe to an employee what their job is.
  2. Instruct an employee on how to do their work.
  3. Correct or commend an employee when they do something wrong or right.
  4. Converse with customers or vendors.

It would be chaotic to say the least.

Communication between humans within a social group is as essential as breathing, whether that group is a family, a society, or a business. While this seems obvious, poor communication abounds. Communication can be problematic if it does not deliver the intended message.

Departments and organizations benefit when managers ensure communication is:

  1. Of good quality.
  2. Available to all staff.
  3. Not geographically dependent.

Staff working without information struggle with moments of chaos, and a manager's role is to prevent this from happening.

Water Cooler Communication

In a traditional business environment, much communication and exchange of information is done in random, informal conversations. We pass information on when we run into people:

  1. In the hallway.
  2. At lunch.
  3. In meetings.
  4. At the water cooler.

The following are facts that managers need to understand:

  1. Relationships are built on repeated exposure to others in both formal and informal settings.
  2. Careers are often nurtured through these relationships.
  3. Virtual staff can easily be forgotten because they are not able to participate in "water cooler" exchanges. This results in:
    1. Excellent employees being bypassed for job openings.
    2. Employees being unable to share their knowledge or concerns.
    3. Staff feeling unappreciated or forgotten.
    4. Staff leaving the company.

It is a manager's responsibility to make certain this does not happen by providing equal access to information for all staff, and liberal opportunities for interaction, whether local or virtual.

Something can be equal, but not identical. For example, 2 plus 5 is equal, but not identical, to 8 minus 1. It may not be possible to provide identical communication channels for your virtual employees as you would for employees who work in the same location, but it is possible to provide equal communication.

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