Communication: The Cornerstone Of Company Culture

by | May 17, 2022

In many ways, a business is like a family. That may seem cliché, but it’s true. Just like a family struggles without clear, concise, and consistent communication, a business does, too. In fact, with 86% of employees blaming company failures on poor communication, it’s pretty obvious that communication is the cornerstone of any successful business. 

But what do we mean by communication? 

The word “communication” in a business setting probably evokes images of long, unnecessary meetings; lengthy, excessive emails; and annoying micromanagement. But far from being examples of consistent communication, these methods can actually be harmful to a business. Instead, healthy communication should be based around communicating expectations clearly, checking in frequently but not excessively, and making sure everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions and concerns at every level of the business hierarchy. 

What Is Healthy Communication?

Healthy communication within a business can also pay dividends down the line. In fact, teams that communicate effectively can increase their overall productivity by as much as 25%. Communication can also help with motivation, with 85% of employees stating they feel the most motivated when managers offer regular updates on company news. What business couldn’t benefit from more productive and motivated employees, especially when these metrics can be improved for free? 

But what does great communication look like in a real business setting? Here are some examples. 

Communicate Expectations.

All projects begin with a vision and need to be tweaked along the way in order to stay on the right track. That’s why constructive criticism is a fundamental part of managing and communicating with a team and building your overall company culture. 

Live chat chatting and social network concepts, Close-up hands typing on keyboard laptop with chat box icons

However, be aware of “right” and “wrong” ways to communicate your criticisms to your team. Here are some do’s and don’ts for giving feedback. 

Don’t: 

  • Make personal attacks (e.g., “You always screw stuff like this up.”) 
  • Wait to speak up until the very end of the project 
  • Be overly vague 
  • Be condescending or rude 
  • Embarrass the employee in front of other coworkers. 

Do: 

  • Provide constructive feedback privately, calmly, and professionally, with consideration for the employee’s work and feelings 
  • Give instructions in a detailed manner that allows the employee to do their work without micromanagement 

According to TeamStage, 96% of employees would like to see a more empathetic approach to workplace communication. So, making that a priority at your company is imperative if you want to improve employee retention, satisfaction, and overall company culture. 

Communicate Appreciation.

As important as it is to give negative feedback in an appropriate manner, you also need to praise employees when they have done well. 

So, what are the do’s and don’ts of communicating employees’ achievement? 

Don’t: 

Businesswoman receiving award from businessman in front of business professionals, applauding at business seminar in office building
  • Give praise in name only (with no real incentives) 
  • Praise only in private 
  • Let one employee take credit for a team effort 
  • Show blatant favoritism 

Do: 

  • Reward stellar performance with stellar rewards, like a raise or promotion 
  • Praise your employees casually and publicly for what they do well (e.g., “If you want help with design, Mark is very talented and did a great job on the Winston project.”) 
  • Give credit where credit is due 
  • Praise teams for a job well done instead of just one individual if it was a group effort 

Keeping your employees motivated isn’t a given: In 2016, 65% of employees reported receiving no positive feedback or recognition during the year. Was your business part of that statistic? Don’t let your business lose talented employees because they go unrecognized. 

Communicate Goals And Vision. 

It’s easy to get people motivated behind a combined goal when you communicate your vision clearly and create a future worth striving for. This goes for a family, a 5-year plan, and yes, your business. So, make your vision a good one and communicate it clearly. 

Don’t: 

Success in Business or Personal Talent Concept. Happy Businessman in black suit Smiling and Showing a Golden Star in Hand
  • Be impractical (e.g., set a goal that is nearly impossible to achieve) 
  • Say things you have no intention of doing 
  • Cling to the past

Do: 

  • Set achievable, well-communicated goals with your teams. If you say you want to do something, set a timeline and do it. 
  • Update systems that are no longer working 
  • Get your employees’ feedback on how to fix problems 

If you want to reach a long-term goal, the first step is getting your teams on board — and you can do that through great communication. 

By communicating clearly and effectively with your employees, you set your business up to run smoothly and more efficiently. You are also setting up your employees to be more satisfied, fulfilled, and productive. What could be better than that? That’s why we’re saying it again: Communication really is the cornerstone of a vibrant company culture.

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