What is Business Communication? Essential Strategies for Business Growth
Good and effective communication is the key to success in any organization. Teams need to be able to understand the company’s overall goals, share how they’re contributing with their work, vocalize any impediments, provide feedback, and highlight wins. All of this requires strong communication skills, no matter what position someone holds.
By using strategic business communications, companies and organizations can create better products, improve team culture, and become more transparent. Effective communication empowers your team and helps them feel more valued. In fact, a study from Watson Wyatt showed that businesses with effective communication practices were more than 50 percent more likely to report lower than industry average employee turnover levels.
While communication styles may change with different leaders and methodologies, some common characteristics are the same across the board. In this post, we’ll showcase how to make business communication easier for everyone by setting the right foundation and implementing the right tools. The goal is to equip you with the best, most practical strategies to help your team succeed.
Transform Your Business with Business Communication Solutions
Why are communication strategies so crucial for enhancing business processes? The answer is simple– communication is the cornerstone of how and why those processes happen in the first place. Without clear vocalization, priorities can get lost in the shuffle and leave team members feeling frustrated.
Business process management helps managers and team members organize, analyze, and assess performance on company goals. Being able to communicate these expectations and results to a team, or even company-wide can be instrumental to an organization’s success.
Not only does communication matter on a large scale, but it also shapes processes at a granular level. Clear communication is needed to answer questions regarding things like budget, mistakes, productivity, and risk management. In this respect, team efficiency and strong communication go hand in hand.
Why Team Communication Matters in Business
Strong business communication can have a positive impact on an organization’s overall process management. But at the team level, improving communication skills can also change the way that people work, function, and act on certain information.
Below are several reasons why emphasizing good communication matters in business.
- Effect on performance. When employees trust that communication standards are high, motivation follows suit. If communication is poor, research shows that staff members feel less compelled to work. There may be higher levels of turnover as well.
- Effect on business culture. Communication can also change the way people feel about a business or team. Transparent and honest communication boosts trust and helps foster a positive work environment.
- Effect on team cohesiveness. Team communication is one of the primary ingredients in improving team cohesiveness. This term describes how closely a team works together to achieve a common goal. When every player understands their role and how they can help others, the effect on team cohesion is immensely positive.
- Effect on process improvement. Improving a process relies on being able to answer key questions about how a team should function and what they need to achieve. Clear, concise, and timely communication can be transformative for businesses struggling with their processes.
Common Communication Challenges in Business
The reality is whenever a group of people comes together, there’s a chance for miscommunication. This is especially true when it comes to the business world, where there are lots of moving parts and team members’ livelihood at stake. Some of the biggest hurdles and challenges in business communication are listed below.
- Ineffective meetings. Meetings are one of the primary ways that team members communicate. Whether in person or virtual, meetings can either be helpful, collaborative, and productive or a giant waste of time. (We’ve all been part of those meetings that could have been an email.) All team members need to have a realistic view of whether meetings are an essential or ineffective use of time.
- Outdated or overabundant technology. Old technology can obviously hinder workplace advancements, but too much technology, even if it’s the latest and greatest, can also do the same. (Was that message in my email, texts, Slack, or on Trello?) Make sure your team is equipped with tech to help them communicate efficiently and effectively and knows where each type of communication should take place.
- Failure to listen. Business leaders that lose sight of the ability to listen may also forfeit the ability to improve communication. Feedback comes in every day from customers, team members, middle management, and other parties. While it’s important to filter messages appropriately, it’s also important to hear constructive feedback when it occurs.
Business Communication: Main Goals and Objectives
When setting business communication goals and objectives, it’s important to distinguish between internal and external goals. Internal goals describe how your company communicates with one another within the organization. External goals describe how a business relates to its customers, clients, and the world at large.
Internal communication goals and objectives might include:
- Setting timelines for receiving feedback about key deadlines on a project
- Creating agendas for meetings that are distributed ahead of time
- Offering transparency about hiring processes and team management
- Allowing lower-level employees to hear regularly from upper leadership about the company mission, vision, or future outlook
External communication goals and objectives might include:
- Regularly surveying customers about a service or product
- Creating a system for logging complaints or feedback
- Setting up an escalation plan for questions and concerns for upper management
- Maintaining transparent and positive PR opportunities to generate more interest in the company at large
What are the Main Business Communication Channels?
There are obviously different ways that team members will communicate within an organization. These outlets are referred to as communication channels. Each channel changes the dynamics of how communication takes place, but having a process and expectation for all is important when it comes to team efficiency.
Verbal team communication
Verbal communication is the type of discussion that takes place in person, over a phone call, or in a Zoom meeting. While verbal exchanges used to happen most frequently in meetings or around the office, the rise of remote work has increased the need for interactions that happen over the phone or through a video call. Many teams rely on verbal communication when they host brainstorming or planning sessions, since having an “all hands on deck” approach can help everyone share ideas.
Written team communication
Written communication is just as important as verbal communication. In fact, one could argue that having clear expectations for written communication is even more important since things like tone and expression aren’t as clear through this communication channel.
Written communication includes any formal company documents, email chains, chat threads, or text. The benefit of written communication is that it exists after a conversation takes place. This can help clarify important questions or offer reminders after the fact.
“Unofficial” team communication
Unofficial team communication describes those conversations that are more personal in nature. Occasionally, these conversations can turn into a rumor mill, with speculative information shared “through the grapevine.” Because of that, companies may wish to cut down on unofficial communication methods in order to provide accurate and reliable facts. However, there can be a benefit to “unofficial” communication, as team members use this communication method to form bonds and understand each other on a more personal level.
In order to foster a positive environment for more casual work conversations, ensure that your company is honest and transparent about what’s going on within the organization. Then team members won’t feel the need to gossip or speculate, focusing their conversations instead on learning more about their coworkers’ lives outside of the 9-5.
The Best Business Communication Tools
If your company is struggling to improve business communication processes, the right technology and tools can help. As transformative as these tools can be, it’s also critical that you set expectations and standards for using them in the best way. User adoption is key to any successful strategy, and that includes communication.
Slack is an online messaging platform that brings companies together, whether the business operates remotely or in person. It allows team members to replace back and forth emails with real-time chat messages powered by advanced integrations and features. Slack channels give specific teams the ability to communicate internally, while still keeping a pulse on company communications at large.
Microsoft Teams is another collaboration platform that’s especially suited to companies already working in Microsoft 365. This tool offers chat features, meeting schedulers, voice calls, and more. The platform also integrates with third-party services and custom apps for a more personalized approach to teamwork.
Zoom is one of the leading service providers for video conferencing and web conference calls. With advanced security and privacy features, users can set up public and private conference rooms to conduct meetings, webinars, brainstorming sessions, and more. Customers love Zoom for its ability to host hundreds of participants in one central video location.
Although it’s not a communication tool specifically, Google Suite is a powerful collaboration platform. Users can create documents and spreadsheets, send email, curate calendars, create slide decks, and more. Google Meet is a video and calling component specifically designed to help businesses communicate through simple and secure virtual meetups.
Improve Communication to Make Your Business Thrive
At Striventa, we understand that improving business communication often means implementing a hands-on approach. Instilling best practices and choosing the best tools can be your first action item when it comes to improving team communication.
When it’s time to take the next step, Striventa’s consulting services can serve as helpful, powerful enforcement to keep your company on the right trajectory. Our team of experts is specially trained to help you develop the best processes and leverage the right technology every step of the way. We’ll help you streamline communication for better interactions across your sales, marketing, and service teams.
Contact Striventa today to schedule your free Business Exploratory Session. During this call, we’ll get to know your current questions about team communication tactics and begin building a plan for improving processes. It’s time to start reinventing your communication processes for the better!