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Effective Communication at the Office

A knowledge-based or a service industry warrants a high degree of effective communication at work. Unlike a manufacturing industry, where, on an assembly line the criticality of communication is low, in a services industry, be it IT enabled Services or IT services, communicating effectively can be critical to the success of the company.

The very foundation of the knowledge industry, like management consultancy, computer firms etc, is dependent on the communication system. The expectations and work content for knowledge industry is higher as it is a growing industry. A delay in transmission can cause the disruption of the process, which in turn, can result in project delay. Project delay leads to customer dissatisfaction and can jeopardize the future relationship with the customer. A single dissatisfied customer can threaten the brand image, thus resulting in a vicious circle. The fabric of perishable goods industry is interwoven on effective and efficient communication. A slight delay places its existence in a precarious position. Extreme work pressure and crisis demands a good communication system to avoid stoppage of work. Unlike mechanical work where crisis is mainly handled by middle and top management, knowledge industry depends on the lower levels for rectification. Communication and support from the team members can fight the crisis effectively.

Communication system must be integrated in an organization. One-to-one conversation, communication through telephone, e-mails, video conferencing, telephone conferencing, instant messaging and many other options are open to the employees. A unified system of communication must be followed to avoid confusions. Changing economic conditions calls for changes in company strategy. Lack of an integrated system leads to inappropriate data which can end up in loss of business.

Boost in outsourcing have led to an upward trend in telecommuting. Outsourcing demands security of information transmission. This calls for secure channels of communication which are integrated with the official channel of the organization to avoid disruption of work. Many techniques like Cisco Unified Communication Applications are available which ensure continuous flow of data over secure channels.

Ceaseless effort to improve the communication skills of its workforce must be undertaken by the business house. With business relations spread beyond the geographical boundaries of the enterprise, data should be communicated in simple language as workforce is also comprised of people from countries where English is the secondary language. Avoid unnecessary words to avoid confusions. Proper training to improve the listening and communicating skills must be provided. Interpersonal communication is vital for any team work. It speeds up the learning process and guarantees better working environment. Improved environment reduces the chances for stress related problems, thus ensuring quality results.

Information must be communicated succinctly. It should be well balanced and delivered cautiously. Communication should be effective. Effective means giving right quantum of information with the right abstraction. Information communicated must be according to the needs of the recipient. Presentation to the lower level management might require more stress on minute details and should be more specific, while one to the top level can be generic avoiding the murky details.

While its up to the workforce to ensure quality and quantity of the information pumped out, the organization is to provide a framework that assists in a smooth flow of communication which is uninterrupted and secure. An organization with a proper balance between these two alone can survive in the long run.

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