The Importance of Effective Communication in the Workplace — and How AI Can Help Improve It Here are a few strategies to improve communication in the workplace and how AI can serve as an effective solution as well.
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It is no secret that running a business successfully requires effective communication between employees and management. However, this is an aspect that most businesses across the United States seem to be lacking in. According to a survey conducted by Grammarly and The Harris Poll in 2021, companies lose almost USD $1.2 trillion or USD $12,506 per employee each year due to poor internal communication.
This factor has been heightened due to the recent trends of hybrid and remote work. As per the same Grammarly survey, 72% of company leaders say that their teams have been struggling with communication issues over the past year. Moreover, 82% of them are concerned about how poor communication is going to affect their business in the future.
Ninety-six percent of organization heads agree that proper communication is the only way for their team to deliver expected results in the upcoming year. So, it is time for enterprises to move ahead from how much damage poor communication has caused and devise effective means to resolve the problem.
How to improve workplace communication
Here are some methods businesses can use to improve communication within their organization:
Use the right tools for communication:
With hybrid and remote work being the norm these days, using the right tools for communication is a must for employers. Most of the official talks tend to happen over email, but they may not be effective in every situation. In fact, as per a Cisco study, 84% of employees believe that having a proper networking infrastructure is essential to ensure seamless communication in a hybrid model.
For example, during a project, when a group needs to constantly stay in touch with each other, the use of messaging apps can be of tremendous help. Moreover, if there is a need for an in-depth discussion or briefing, managers can effectively use video calls for facilitating the same.
All communication modes have their own benefits. Thus, it is up to the business owner to make judicious use of them as the situation demands.
Make no assumptions:
During miscommunications, it is very common for individuals to make assumptions. This practice can be a severe issue when it comes to maintaining proper workplace communication. Under such circumstances, leaders should consider asking open-ended questions. This will help them understand what the other person actually meant and make the appropriate decision.
Take time to listen to the employees:
Communication is a two-way road. Thus, it is essential that the management takes the time to really listen to employees. In this regard, giving full attention to conversations, avoiding multitasking and not forming replies before the person in front has finished speaking, is essential. Doing so will make employees feel valued and help owners establish an atmosphere of trust.
How can AI help in improving workplace communication?
In recent years, the use of AI has been a hot digital transformation trend among businesses. Now, the good news is that artificial intelligence can serve as an effective solution to improving workplace communication.
Automatic system that takes notes:
During a meeting or project discussion, it is very difficult for employees to participate in the conversation as well as take notes. This may result in serious errors, leading to miscommunication of facts. Moreover, that individual may forget to send the minutes of the meeting to all the stakeholders, which may lead to further problems.
In this regard, having an AI-automated system that takes notes during a meeting can be an effective solution. The software can be programmed to transcribe the data and send it to all the participating members via email.
Virtual assistants for routine HR tasks:
Often, employees find themselves having trouble contacting the HR department to know basic procedures, benefits, organization policies, etc. This can lead to poor communication between departments, which can later give rise to several complications.
Companies can employ AI-based virtual assistants to provide employees access to general organizational data. They can also use such software to automate reminders for meetings, events, etc., which can significantly streamline internal communication.
As per a 2022 PwC report, 52% of companies accelerated their AI adoption plans after the pandemic. Also, 86% of them believe that AI has become "mainstream technology" in companies now. This highlights the popularity of AI across industries when it comes to automating routine tasks.
Troubleshooting internal communication issues:
It is quite normal for software applications to malfunction once in a while. But waiting for technical help to arrive and resolve the issue can lead to delays. In this regard, companies can decide to use AI in their internal communication channels. Such solutions can help employees troubleshoot the problem instantly, thus preventing any gap in communication.
Collecting employee feedback:
Providing feedback to employees timely and responding to their concerns is a must when it comes to maintaining proper workplace communication. In this regard, artificial intelligence apps can facilitate real-time collection and analysis of employee feedback regarding organizational issues.
This will help leaders avoid unnecessary delays and take immediate action. Furthermore, it can assist them to provide prompt performance-related feedback to their workforce, thus enabling them to improve their efficiency and skills.
Apart from streamlining workplace communication, AI applications can help businesses conduct market research, handle clients, reply to emails, set meetings and more. With AI at our fingertips, transparent and effective communication between departments can be accelerated above and beyond what we already know. It is time to accept the new "normal."