Effective communication channels in the workplace

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In the workplace, effective communication between employees, employers and clients plays a vital role. Effective communication can be facilitated by using various communication channels. Communication channels refer to the mediums used to communicate within the workplace, for example, sending a message by email or telephone.

A lot of thought must be given as to what communication channels you want to use in the workplace because if you choose the incorrect channel for your business, it can cause communication obstacles such as information overload and inadequate feedback. Information overload is a result of receiving information quicker than you can process it. This especially comes into play in emails because when you receive too many emails, messages could become lost. A good rule of thumb is to choose communication channels that leave a lot of room for feedback.

When selecting the ideal communication channel for your business, establish the need for feedback as well as the purpose of your message, i.e. does the communication form a part of your everyday business routine, or is the communication type used for a special occasion only?

There are several types of communication channels that your business can choose from to facilitate effective and professional communication between employees, employers and clients. They include:

  • Personal communication channels

Face-to-face or personal communication is one of the best and most effective channels of communication that can be used in the workplace. Face-to-face communication allows the listener to hear your message and determine the meaning of your message. Face-to-face communication also allows for instant feedback.

  • Broadcast media communication channels

Broadcast media communication channels include television, radio, loudspeakers etc. When addressing a mass audience, the above-mentioned communication channels would be ideal. Additionally, if your business wants to promote a new product or service, a broadcast channel will be able to communicate your message to a broad and mass audience.

  • Mobile communication channels

When private or complex messages need to be shared with employees, employers or clients, a mobile communication channel would be the best means of communicating.

  • Electronic communication channels

Electronic communication channels include email, internet, intranet and social media platforms. Electronic communication channels have the added benefit of being able to be used for one-on-one, group and mass communication purposes. Although this channel of communication is less personal, it is more efficient and quicker.

  • Written communication channels

If a message needs to reach an employer or employee but does not necessarily require any response, written communication channels can be used. This includes policies, letters, memos, notices, announcements etc.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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