Communication is the backbone of almost all organizations and businesses—its effectiveness and futility determine the success or failure of an organization in realizing its objectives. While exploring the issue of communication skills in organizations, Noe observed that any organization that hopes to build trust, as well as an effective collaborative working relationship, must embark on improving communication skills within the workplace. Actually, the very existence of an organization is determined by how good its communication system is. It is through communication that teams are built, customer service is offered, management resolves conflicts, and people in the workplace interact (Noe, Para. 1).
This study’s objective is to explore the importance of communication skills in the workplace. The topic is critical in helping managers and employers create a favorable environment to facilitate effective communication.
Thesis statement: The success of any organization in realizing its objectives depends on effectiveness in communication skills.
Importance of Communication Skills in Workplace
Noe (Para. 2-3) observed that all forms of communication in the workplace have one primary objective, to create a common understanding of whatever message is passed between and among the parties involved. The author further noted that communication in the workplace is characterized by numerous challenges, thus necessitating effective communication skills in the endeavor to realize various objectives. Successful relationships in the workplace lead to improved delivery or heightened productivity. The secret of such working relationships is effectiveness in communication between the various stakeholders in the organization.
In an article published by McGraw-Hill (4), it was noted that business is as good as its systems of communication. The author noted that communication skills help the management and other stakeholders coordinate the various activities that define the workplace. The ability of the persons involved in running an organization or a business determines whether the workers will stay in an organization, will do what is expected of them, will realize their expectations, or will withdraw and eventually surrender their resignation letters. Skilled communicators manage to influence workers to work together towards the set goals and clients in buying the products and services of the organization. The opposite is also true—unskilled communicators push away both the clients and workers, causing conflicts and making the work environment unfavorable, which eventually affects productivity (McGraw-Hil 4).
Effective communication skills help in reducing miscommunications that would trigger conflicts among the workers (Guo & Sanchez 87-88). If a manager lacks effective communication skills, he might have a tendency of passing ambiguous or unclear messages, which are passed down the hierarchy of command. The junior employees are likely to implement the information that reached them, which may not be the intended information, thus causing conflicts between and among the various departments and management levels. This applies to both written and oral/verbal communication, although the latter is the most affected. This is because it depends on how the message is passed to the recipient, how it is received, how it is decoded, and how it is passed to the next person in the chain of communication.
According to the works of Davies (5), effective communication skills help in saving both time and effort. For example, if a person is skilled in communication and knows what to say, how to say it, and when to say it, it becomes easier to pass messages in the workplace as well as derive feedbacks from his audiences. Effective communicators do not need to repeat something several times using different approaches to pass the message: They understand their audience and employ the most effective communication approach in passing the message (Davies 5-6). The author argued that effective communication takes the least time and does not require extra and unnecessary meetings to impact the audience.
The first interview involved a personnel manager in a software development company. He perceived effective communication as the most fundamental aspect of his organization because everything about personnel is facilitated through communication. He posited that an organization can never succeed in realizing its objectives if the stakeholders, especially the leaders lack the necessary communication skills. According to the interviewee, communication breakdown is disastrous in the workplace and must be avoided at all costs. This is because it can change the course of an organization affecting its very existence. The manager ensures that every message he sends to various targets is also sent back to him from junior employees to evaluate whether its meaning has been altered. He also uses both verbal and non-verbal approaches in backing the most important messages to avoid misinterpretation. Effective communication skills help in understanding the roots of the problems and facilitate easier identification of solutions.
Interview 2 involved a sales manager in a beauty products company. To her, communication is the backbone of her department because sales are all about how good one is in convicting the clients that they need to buy the products. Therefore, everything in her department revolves around communication skills. She also believes that communication in any organization should be given the highest priority because no one can realize their goals without good communication within the organization and between the organization and outsiders. She posited that breakdown in communication is a time-bomb waiting to explode destroying the whole organization. Conflicts and challenges are addressed through analyzing them, which is basically realized through communication amongst the parties involved.
This study has explored different studies and literature in seeking to understand the importance of communication skills in the workplace. It was revealed that communication skills reduce miscommunication, help in saving time and efforts, facilitates coordination of organization affairs, help in solving conflicts and challenges, and facilitates the realization of organizational objectives. The interviews conducted also perceived communication as the most fundamental aspect of any organization, determining its success or failure.
Davis, Jeffery. The importance of effective communication: Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Workplace (2 Ed.). New Jersey: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, 2008.
Guo, Kristina, and Sanchez Yesenia. Workplace communication, 2009, In Organizational Behavior, Theory, and Design in Health Care, Nancy Borkowski. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
McGraw-Hill. Understanding business communication: communicating in the workplace, n.d. PDF file.
Noe, D.P. Why Good Communication Skills are Important in the Workplace, 2010. <http://www.careerpath360.com/index.php/why-good-communication-skills-are-important-in-the-workplace-8524/>
- What would you consider to be the most important aspect of your department?
- Do you perceive communication skills as vital to the success of an organization? If yes why?
- To what extent do you employ communication (verbal and written) in running your department?
- Do you believe that an organization can fail in realizing its objectives because of a lack of communication skills? If yes how?
- Can communication breakdown affect the running of an organization? Please explain
- What strategies do you employ in enhancing communication in the organization?
- Can communication skills alone lead to the success of your department?
- How do communication skills help in dealing with emerging problems in your organization?