Effective communication is a two-way street.  A commitment must be made at the managerial level to provide employees with the information necessary for getting the job done.  Likewise, field representatives must be willing to relay their concerns to management without hesitation.  If honest, effective communication amongst employees is absent, an organization runs the risk of decreasing morale, which can in turn hurt customer relationships at the expense of the bottom line.

In an article published in 2009 by Harvard Graduate School of Education, Chris Dede emphasizes that collaboration tools have become more sophisticated, allowing colleagues to interact with each other from locations across the globe without ever meeting face to face. Furthermore, Dede highlights that in today’s modern workplace, human beings work in conjunction with a tool or application, such as Field Activity Management Software, to accomplish goals that would be unachievable otherwise.  This fact is especially true of employees that work together from remote locations.

Leigh Richards’ article in “What Does Effective Communication in Organizations Involve?”, outlines five methodologies organizations can utilize to improve internal communication.  These are, effective communication by managers to employees, proper training of managers to ensure strong communication skills, awareness of available communication tools, measurement of communication effectiveness, and honesty.

Strong internal communication begins at the management level.  The success of those managers who are able to openly and efficiently communicate with employees will speak for itself.  However, those who lack these necessary skills will require coaching and feedback in order to improve.  Countless training materials are at the disposal of managers via webinars, one-on-one training, and other online resources.  Websites such as mindtools.com and alison.com are examples of online communication training tools.

As previously mentioned, digital means have widely supplemented, and in some cases even replaced, face-to-face communication.  Employees should become knowledgeable about the many modern communication tools that are available, such as social media, online forums, or software designed to help manage field teams.  Employees who are easily able to communicate with one another and with management are likely to have increased morale and feel more included in the company culture.

Setting performance standards is critical for improving communication between members of an organization. It becomes difficult to improve any aspects of a business model if measurements of effectiveness are not taken on a regular basis.  Organizations looking to improve their internal communication should first establish a framework for success.  Next, areas that need improvement should be identified.  Solutions for improvement should then be implemented.  Finally, new measurements should be taken and the cycle should repeat.  Any valuable information collected from this process should be shared with managers and lower-level employees alike in order to foster strong communication habits.

Honest communication amongst all members in an organization helps to build a solid foundation of trust.  Withholding certain information, damages company culture and can leave employees feeling excluded.  This is especially true of remote field employees who may never have the opportunity to connect with employees and managers who work from the back office.  Organizations should strive to be transparent in regards to how they share information internally, even if that information is unfavorable.

If managers and field reps are unable to partake in open and effective communication, an organization runs the risk of having high employee turnover, customer dissatisfaction, and high rates of project failure.  The tips discussed in this post provide ways for businesses to foster smart communications practices.  When employees and managers communicate efficiently and honestly, the entire organization benefits.  Moreover, an improvement in internal communications practices can strengthen customer relationships, which can in turn increase an organization’s bottom line.