By Ainul Haliza Binti Abdul Hair, Lecturer, School of American Degree Program
Interpersonal Skills Are Crucial For Business Success
Let us now take a look into why interpersonal communication is crucial for your career development and productivity in the workplace.
Alignment with business goals
Poor communication between employers and employees can harm the business in many ways. When managers and leaders are unable to clearly communicate tasks, workers can quickly become frustrated and disconnected with the business goals. Moreover, many employees say that their managers do not give them clear directions and goals for their work.
‘71% of employee believe that their leaders do not spend enough time communicating goals and plans’
According to the American Psychological Association, a quarter of employees in the US do not trust their employers, and only about 50% of them believe that their bosses are open with them. Lack of trust and transparency are some of the most common causes of poor workplace communication. Interpersonal communication skills are crucial for improving trust and workplace communication, and all employees, especially business leaders, should therefore improve communication with their employees.
Managers who maintain professionalism, open workplace communication and a positive attitude are more likely to be seen as approachable by their employees. When employees feel like they can speak openly with decision-makers, workplace miscommunication, gossip and rumors are much less likely to happen.
‘81% of employees indicated that miscommunication occurred in their organisation very frequently, frequently, or occasionally’ – Quantum Workplace-
As many employers are looking for workers with good communication skills, continuous improvements of interpersonal communication skills can bring career progressions for many employees.
‘More than 60% of employers say that applicants are not demonstrating sufficient communication and interpersonal skills to be considered for jobs.’ – Workforce Solutions Group-
In addition, the increasing prevalence of communication technologies means that employees and communicators now have to adapt to the new employee communication trends.
Starting in March 2020, we have all witnessed the importance of communication in the workplace. With the emergence of remote work, interpersonal communication among peers, colleagues, managers and leaders has been disrupted. Yet it is more important than ever before. In order to keep their cultures open and transparent, employers need to continue to drive engaging workplace conversations even when employees are physically dispersed. According to Gallup, the percentage of US remote workers jumped from 31% to 62% in just three weeks. This remote work is also happening in Malaysia and other countries due to the pandemic that has affected the whole world. It already become the new norm where every organisation must adapt to make sure that the system can still operate as usual.
The fact that remote work is becoming the new normal for many organisations also raises many questions about how to adapt workplace communications to this new situation.
Even though interpersonal communication is often considered an in-person communication, we all know that remote work is completely reshaping the way our employees communicate. In order to adapt to this new trend, employers are now looking for new ways to keep their workforce connected, engaged and well informed. Also, as many employees are now experiencing extensive information overload, employers need to understand that when it comes to internal communications, one size does not fit all.
They need to have a very good understanding about how internal communications channels are used, and they need to have the knowledge around how to make communication more personalised based on employees’ locations, languages spoken, titles and responsibilities, as well as employees’ interests. Many are therefore implementing new, modern employee-communication solutions that serve as a central place for keeping remote, blue-collar, as well as in-office employees together, and for driving meaningful, two-way company conversations on a daily basis.