Communication is a somewhat intangible thing, and yet it can be very powerful and effective. Communication covers so much, from team management, through to marketing and sales. Oil isn’t what makes a great business a well-oiled machine; excellent communication is. Below I’ve listed a heap of reasons why communication in business is so important. I’m also sure you can think of further reasons that I’ve not even covered.
Communication is Important in Business
1. A business needs a strategy for its success and even if it has that strategy, it’s not good locked up in a folder, or in the business owner’s head.
When you have a business goal, and a strategy and a plan to implement that goal, then you’ve got a roadmap to achieve your goals. But the whole team needs to be on board and know what the goals and strategies are. 72% of employees don’t have an understanding of the strategies of the business that they work for!
2. For business success, when you have staff, you need to retain those people. It costs (on average) 2.5 times a person’s annual salary to replace them.
Part of staff retention is making them feel valued, appreciated, in the loop and involved. Money and benefits help too, but are not the only factors. Yet 74% of staff feel they are missing out on knowing what is happening in the business and only 17% of staff think their line managers are good communicators; so are not leading from the top.
3. On the above note, productivity is said to improve 20-25% where staff feel connected.
Put bluntly, productivity often correlates to profit. When staff know what’s going on, feel valued and connected, they are more productive. They help clients more, they solve more problems, they provide solutions and they help the business grow and improve. When they are engaged, they are working; not on their phone personally, hanging out in the lunch room or pulling a sickie.
4. Good communication eliminates errors, mistakes and wrong assumptions.
Your team should not have to guess what you want from them or how to do something. When you don’t communicate, you start making mistakes or doing things in the wrong way. If I’ve ever had a team member approach something in the wrong way, I’ve gone back to my instructions and sure enough, it wasn’t crystal clear.
5. Prevention is better than a cure.
We all know that and yet 60% of people face a crisis due to communication issues at work. Improve communication in your business and you’re on the road to reducing crisis in your business. Rather than your team focussing on communication problems, have them instead problem solving to improve the business, help clients and achieve great outcomes.
6. Effective communication is partly about ascertaining the channels that work, or don’t.
Only 13% of employees use their intranet system, whilst 87% of them use their mobile phone to communicate work related matters at least once a week. Have you got old fashioned methods in place which staff are not using?
7. More than ever with more and more team working from home (several years ago it was 38% of staff, but I suspect more now), you need ways to communicate.
You also need ways to engage people, iron out problems before they even occur and keep everything running smoothly and effectively. In other words, you need a communication plan. More than 65% of businesses do not have a strategic communication plan.
8. Don’t email your team to death!
Over 62% of work emails are not important. Find more interesting ways to communicate, share information and communicate with your team. I’m not a big fan of meetings (they tend to be time wasters) but a quick Zoom, or perhaps a quick video where you chat to people and say what you need to say visually. 75% of staff are more likely to watch a video than read text. Additionally, 61% of staff admit to ignoring work emails – often or occasionally. Also 48% of staff say they would be happier if there were less emails.
9. The main reason a project fails is reportedly due to poor communication; or so say 28% of leaders.
Think about your business’ competitors. If they are communicating well, they will be outperforming you, by a lot.
10. Here I’ve mostly talked about internal communication as I believe you should start internally and work out from there.
Other important aspects of communication include communication with clients, prospective customers, suppliers and the public. If you can’t communicate with your own team, then I cringe at how poor your communication is with everyone else externally. Are you wasting marketing dollars, sales opportunities and losing relationships with valuable suppliers due to poor communication?
I’ve hit you here with a tonne of reasons to improve your communication and lots of stats to back up those statements, but now what are you going to do about it?
It all starts with a strategy, plan and putting in place how you will achieve that strategy. Like with any goals or plans, these are ideally in writing and documented. They should be – you guessed it – communicated with your staff and in fact, you might even involve your staff in the creation of your communications strategy.
Once you have a plan, then it’s time to implement that plan. I realise that some people don’t like change and will need encouragement and nurturing to accept and adopt any changes you’re implementing. But if you communicate the benefits, involve them and engage them, the likelihood of success will certainly increase.
If you need assistance helping your business to improve, grow, change or communicate better – internally or externally – please reach out to me at my Contact Page – I’d be happy to have a chat with you and communicate how I can help you as an experienced Business Coach, Consultant and Marketing Strategist.