** This article was updated in June 2020**
Every member of the Australian workforce needs to be able to communicate effectively. This could be with colleagues or clients, and can be through written or verbal communication, active listening and positive body language. Without effective communication, tasks can’t progress and business goals may be missed.
Ensuring employees have effective communication skills is important to businesses, regardless of the industry or the employee’s seniority level or job role.
This article outlines just a few of the key reasons why professional communication is so important. It also shares ways you can help develop your communication skills further in the future.
6 business benefits of good communication skills
For businesses, the effectiveness of communication can have a huge impact. Put simply, it can mean the difference between success and failure.
- Capture people’s attention – Businesses want to be able to capture people’s attention quickly and communicate with them in a way that encourages purchases. In order to achieve this, companies need to invest in employees who can write captivating email newsletters, engaging social media posts, eye-catching articles and many other types of marketing material.
- Build a rapport with people – When meeting with potential new customers or even job candidates, businesses want to make a good first impression.
This means that employers are looking for people who have good communication skills, including positive body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. Actively listening, asking intelligent questions and following up with strong written communication is equally as important, too. Bad communication, on the other hand, can lead to missed business opportunities and may even damage a brand’s image.
- Close the sale – A business needs sales. And so once people’s attention has been captured and a strong rapport has been built, the deal must be closed. Having employees with strong communication skills is invaluable when negotiating. In an important situation where a deal is on the line, it’s important to always remain polite and professional, yet firm and steady.
- Discover new opportunities – By hiring employees who have mastered active listening, businesses can truly understand the needs of its customers and employees. This is a key step in solving issues and can create a better working environment and a more desirable product/service. This can lead to happier staff, more loyal customers and a more successful business.
- Keep processes moving forward – For tasks to move forward, information often needs to be passed from one employee to another. This could be via face-to-face conversations, presentations, emails, phone calls or even via collaboration tools such as Slack or Trello. Employees with good communication skills can ensure messages are communicated efficiently and accurately so processes run smoothly, and productivity remains high. However, poor communicators can cause misunderstandings. This can make processes complicated, lengthy and even costly.
- Create a positive working environment – For businesses, it’s important that employees can work well together as part of a team. Good communication skills can ensure everyone shares ideas, as well as understand the importance of listening to others. This can help develop stronger working relationships and a positive working environment. Poor communication can leave employees feeling frustrated, unmotivated and could even lead to staff turnover which can be damaging and costly to businesses.
How to improve your professional communication skills?
As you can see, to succeed, businesses need employees who have good professional communication skills. Subsequently, it’s a skill that is often high on their list during recruitment processes. Professional communication is therefore not a skill that you should overlook. If you would like some advice, read our blog “Tips to become a better communicator”.
You can also take a look at our Professional Communications short course to help you develop the skills and knowledge to become an expert communicator.
To succeed in business, having good communication skills is vital. It will take time and effort to perfect them, but it will pay off in the long-term. You will not only be able to better communicate with others, but it may even help you to stand out and advance in your career.