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Beyond words: The benefits of healthy communication at work

Why should companies prioritise effective communication at work and how does this lead to a healthier workforce?

Healthy communication at work is essential for a thriving work environment. For a workplace to function effectively, there has to be smooth communication between employees, both those on the same hierarchical level and different levels. We must follow certain ways to communicate respectfully and effectively with others, whether we communicate with work colleagues in person, via an internal communication channel, or both. Companies should be responsible for guiding employees through these frameworks so the whole workforce is aligned, this can be done by implementing mental health platforms for employees

In addition, healthy communication also benefits employees’ mental health in many ways. Being able to share ideas openly, having the confidence to do so, and creating an environment of trust and clarity are essential for employees’ mental health. This article analyses the benefits of good workplace communication and provides tips to improve communication.

Effective communication at work 

Communication doesn’t just involve talking and listening, it means understanding what the other person has to say for both people to achieve the common goal of their conversation. Understanding fosters empathy, trust, and a sense of unity, which are key to achieving the shared goals of any conversation. Communication is about the active process of interpreting and absorbing the underlying meaning and emotions in the message. Although not everyone knows how to foster healthy communication, having an employee assistance program can be a good first step to guide employees in the right direction. 

Two-way communication is a key component of effective interpersonal interactions. It involves actively exchanging information, ideas, and opinions between two or more parties. In such a dialogue, both participants can express their thoughts and listen to each other’s perspectives, fostering collaboration and mutual understanding. This two-way flow of information is essential for achieving clarity, solving problems, and building stronger relationships.

Remote team communication

In the last couple of years, there has been an increase in remote and hybrid work settings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has greatly affected communication as it’s not the same to communicate in person as through a screen. Employees have had to learn to communicate effectively through a company’s internal communications channel or remote meetings. This can have an effect on their mental well-being as not everyone feel comfortable or confident enough to communicate via different means. Therefore it is essential to train employees and provide them with workplace mental health support so they do not feel overwhelmed but using communication channels. Here are some tips to keep communication productive if you have a remote or hybrid work setting:

Keep open lines of communication: Foster transparency within your remote team by making communication channels accessible, allowing for easy information sharing and collaboration. It is important for those in a hybrid setting to outline that meetings can be done remotely and not necessarily in person. 

Provide feedback: Continuous feedback helps employees grow and feel confident enough to provide insight to their managers. This helps create an environment of trust and improvement. 

Use up-to-date communication tools: For teams to communicate remotely, companies must provide and install up-to-date communication tools and channels. This will make it easier for employees to connect, share, and stay informed

What are the benefits of healthy communication at work? 

Healthy communication at work has several benefits, affecting employees, overall productivity, and company performance. Here are 5 key benefits of having healthy communication at work: 

1. Improves team cohesion

Open and smooth communication improves team cohesion by fostering a shared understanding of goals and objectives among team members. Effective communication builds trust, transparency, and a sense of belonging to the team, strengthening the bonds between team members and creating a collaborative and supportive working environment.

2. Boosts employee confidence and self-esteem

Good communication builds employees’ confidence and self-esteem by providing regular feedback highlighting their strengths and achievements, reinforcing their sense of competence and worth. When employees experience open and transparent communication, it fosters a sense of validation and respect for their ideas and contributions, leading to greater self-confidence.

3. Builds an environment of clarity and trust

An environment of clarity and trust fosters collaboration, aligns employees with common goals, and minimises potential misunderstandings, which increases effectiveness and adaptability. Openly communicated recognition and appreciation contribute to employee engagement, while empathy and supportive communication improve overall well-being. In essence, a culture of good communication creates a cohesive and productive work environment where clarity and trust thrive.

4. Fewer conflicts

The majority of conflicts arise due to poor communication. This can also occur as people have different beliefs, backgrounds, and communication methods. When staff members express their ideas and concerns openly and honestly, it fosters an environment of trust and collaboration that allows potential problems to be resolved before they escalate into conflict.

5. Boosts mental well-being

Effective communication at work improves employees’ mental well-being by reducing stress and fostering a supportive environment. When employees feel listened to and valued, they are more likely to experience lower anxiety levels and greater motivation, fostering a positive environment for mental health in the workplace.

Nurturing mental well-being at work

Building healthy communication in the workplace is the cornerstone of numerous organisational benefits. It can improve team cohesion, increase employee confidence, reduce conflict, and enhance mental well-being. Encouraging and training employees to communicate effectively should be ingrained in a company’s culture. If this is not the case, seeking guidance from professional psychologists and mental health solutions can help steer them in the right direction.

A supportive atmosphere with smooth communication fosters a positive space for mental health, where employees feel valued as contributors to the organisation and as individuals.

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