Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The increasing importance of corporate communication underscores the need for organisations to be strategic when communicating. According to this Towers Watson study, companies with highly effective communication practices enjoy 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared to organizations with poor communication. Improved communication doesn’t only affect your returns to shareholders, it can also increase employee engagement, build stronger teams, and enhance the competitiveness of your company. Moreover, effective communication practices increase productivity, build a better workplace, and reduce day-to-day conflict between team members.
Honing your communication skills is the key to building a strategic corporate communications function and strategy that generates the results your organization wants. Organizations today expect corporate communications to be the trusted advisors, business leaders as well as the communication experts. ROI for communication and delivering business value is expected, in a cost/budget-constrained environment, where resources are stretched, and the audience relationships have become more demanding.
The goals of a corporate communication plan should align with the overall goals of the company. Corporate communication objectives may include:
- Always being transparent with employees and customers
- Building credibility and establishing expertise in the industry
- Minimizing damage to the brand’s reputation
- Preventing miscommunication and clarifying details
In today’s modern business world, it is important to understand your own personal value and your role as a strategic advisor and trusted business partner among the competencies of today’s communication professional. Here are 5 essential communication skills every employee and boss need to improve to become an expert communicator.
- Active Listening
- Nonverbal Communication
- Engaging with the Audience
- Understanding Email Etiquette
- Exchanging Feedback
To communicate effectively, listen to what others have to say. This includes giving full attention to the speaker so you are able to connect with them and provide a thoughtful response. Being a bad listener – such as someone who interrupts or doesn’t make eye contact when another person speaks to you – can compromise your position at work.
A study found that nonverbal communication accounted for 55 percent of how an audience perceived a presenter. Hence, the majority of communication is attributed to physical cues. To communicate clearly and confidently, adopt positive body language. For example, through proper posture by avoiding slouching, folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller than you are.
Engaging with the Audience
Regardless of how compelling the speaker is, all audiences have limited attention spans. To become a more effective communicator, make presentations and discussions interactive. Ask the audience a question, encourage people to call out their thoughts during a brainstorming session or at the very least ask hypothetical questions to stimulate the audience.
Understanding Email Etiquette
In 2019, most of the communication we do is via email or another online platform. Experts agree that your e-mail behaviour has the potential to sabotage your reputation both personally and professionally. A good email is concise, has lots of white space and the use of bullet points to make it easy to ready. You should state the purpose of the e-mail within the first two sentences.
Regardless if it’s commending your staff or correcting mistakes, this communication skill is important to help staff and the business grow. As with most leadership skills, receiving honest feedback from peers, managers and members of your team is critical to becoming a better communicator. If you regularly solicit feedback, others will help you to discover areas for improvement that you might have otherwise overlooked. This feedback exchange is key in preventing miscommunication in the workplace and promotes transparency in the workplace.
Advanced Strategic Corporate Communication is a 2-day training course held from 25-26 November 2019 (Kuala Lumpur). In this hands-on interactive workshop, you will explore the ‘Standards for the communications profession’. You will learn how the standards impact the focus for your communications strategy and the focus for your career. Learn how to review your corporate communication function and how to make sure it is on track understanding your measurement approach and the basics of the 4M’s (Message, Market, Media and Measure). Also, how to assess and implement the best channels for your communication efforts. The workshop includes presentations, case studies, exercises, and hands-on approach as well as some very active participation.