Communication At Work

The Importance of Effective Communication in the Workplace

6 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

When building strong working relationships and a resilient workplace, clear lines of communication are a must – especially when you have team members working remotely

Communicating effectively with your team can boost employee engagement, morale, productivity and satisfaction. Effective communication is also essential for team collaboration and cooperation. 

We know communication is important at work, but the skill can be challenging to develop and implement – we are here to help you break down barriers and improve your messaging with our handy guide. 

What is effective workplace communication?  

We all know the basics of communication, but just because you’re sharing information doesn’t mean you’re communicating it effectively. According to Gallup research, only 7% of workers strongly agree that communication is accurate, timely and open in their workplace – that leaves a lot of room for improvement!

Good workplace communication is the ability to say what needs to be said clearly and in the most appropriate way at the most appropriate time. That means effective communication can differ depending on the information that needs to be shared. 

Why good communication is essential at work

Good communication results in higher levels of understanding, which is vital for personal and professional development. Here are a few ways that working on your workplace communication can benefit everyone. 

It reduces wasted effort

One of the most frustrating things about poor communication in the workplace is the amount of time it can waste. For example, if you roll out a new holiday system with poor instructions, there’s a decent chance that your teams won’t understand and will make mistakes, creating a massive time drain for individuals, managers and HR. 

It improves productivity

Not only does clear communication end the sort of misunderstandings that can waste time and effort, but it also helps boost productivity. According to a study by CMSwire, 97% of employees believe communication impacts their ability to carry out tasks efficiently on a daily basis. 

Once everyone knows that expectations and plans will be laid out clearly and without fuss, they can trust instructions and adapt to change better. 

It boosts growth and morale 

Employees who know they can rely on their organisation to give them important updates and feedback regularly can relax and concentrate on their growth and development. 

When organisational or personal feedback is late, missing or confusing, people tend to start fretting about the unknown. The Economist found that 31% of employees cited communication barriers are a reason for low morale. 

It creates more resilient workplace relationships

Good relationships are all about good communication. When people can share ideas, issues and even praise without any danger of misunderstanding, you can create relationships that can withstand the sort of problems that come up in workplaces all the time.  

It improves team collaboration

If you want your team to be able to connect, you need to make it easy for them to communicate. Teams that can’t and don’t talk to each other will naturally be more insular, which means they may not feel able to rely on each other when needed. 

Common types of communication in the workplace

When it comes to communication, there’s no one rule to fit everything. Your organisation may share information in many ways, and they can always benefit from a little extra attention. A few areas to consider include:

Leadership communication

How you cascade information to your managers and teams greatly impacts how it is received. Leaders are often incredibly busy and juggling a huge number of commitments, but if there’s one thing worth carving out time for, it’s communication. 

Are you using a lot of buzzwords and heavy jargon? Do you expect your team to understand where you’re coming from without you having to spell it out? Building up an honest communication style is much more likely to yield good results.

Company updates 

Keeping everyone up to date about new developments is essential for any company. 

Everyone needs to be on the same page, which is why it’s always worth taking a step back and looking at how often and how well you’re sharing company updates. 

If you always use the same format, such as an internal newsletter, there’s a chance that important information will be drowned out in busy inboxes. 

It’s worth looking at different ways to deliver updates depending on their importance. For example, you could host a monthly company-wide meeting, use bulletins or communication platforms like Slack or Teams for quick wins or smaller updates. 


Meetings are a natural forum for all sorts of workplace communication. If you want to make the most of meetings, it’s great to take a look at who regularly shares information and how they do it. 

Is each point given enough breathing space, or are several essential pieces of information often jammed together? Are there only ever a handful of people speaking? Be sure to book plenty of time for meetings, especially when there is critical information to share, and regularly open the floor to feedback and questions.

Inter-team communication

While you or your management team may often be the ones imparting business-critical information, your team’s daily communication is very important too. 

There are a few things you can do to make sure this is as productive as possible, including making sure you have a policy around acceptable speech in the workplace (this could be part of a wider diversity and inclusion policy) and finding ways to foster honesty as well as encouraging peer-to-peer feedback.  

How to develop communication skills at work

Now that we’ve identified the benefits and challenges around clear communication, it’s time to look at practical ways to develop those skills across your organisation. 

Think about what you need your message to achieve

When you have information to share, it’s always a good idea to think about your goals. 

Do you simply check that everyone is up to speed, or are you looking for insight from your teams? Are there actions and objectives you hope to achieve? By laying these out from the start, you’re more likely to be able to pass on important information successfully.  

Choose your medium depending on your message 

It’s always wise to match the medium to your message. For example, if you need to communicate something essential like news that a train strike might affect employees in the office, you’ll want to do something like send a one-off mailshot to the entire staff and potentially phone people who may be impacted. 

If you want to share general good news or success stories, then an employee communication and recognition platform like Mo might be the perfect solution. 

Be clear and consider your audience 

The clearer and more straightforward your message is, the more likely it will be successfully received. 

Use plain language and avoid phrases that might alienate people who aren’t already in the know. You may need to practice being an empathetic leader to key in the best ways to communicate with your entire team, but that’s a process with the potential for a huge payoff. 

Always keep lines of communication open

Communication is a two-way street – you want the information to be easily shared in all directions. This means investing in useful communication tools like Zoom or Slack (and introducing them successfully to your team) to ensure that all employees feel respected and valued. 

You may also want to think about what you can do to make difficult conversations easier – not all news is good news. Still, clear communication can make even tricky situations easier. 

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