Turn chaos into clarity: 6 reasons to invest in your team’s communication skills – right now

Allow me to paint an unimpressive but perhaps all-too-familiar picture.

After months of resume scanning and interviewing, you finally hired the super-qualified and experienced new team member you’ve been searching for.  

And all seems to be going well… until, a few weeks down the track, you start to notice a concerning gap in their skillset.

Their client presentations seem to be falling flat. They rarely contribute to team meetings. And their emails and reports are confusing and convoluted. 

There’s no doubt about it: their communication skills are severely lacking.

Now, we’re not denying that technical skills are essential. No one wants a software programmer who’s never coded. Or a graphic artist who’s never designed. But the revolution of AI software such as ChatGPT is making it easier than ever to get many technical, repetitive tasks off our hands.

So what’s left? 

Communication, of course. 

The latest research from McKinsey finds that communication is one of the top three missing soft skill areas in workplaces. So it’s no wonder so many new hires go wrong – and why so many teams fail to innovate. 

Let’s look at why communication skills training is the smartest way to invest in your team in 2024 – and beyond.

1. A big boost in efficiency 

You may not realise it, but the average worker spends up to 88% of their workweek communicating. 

That’s a lot of emails, phone calls, documents, interviews, presentations… the list goes on. 

So where do the problems start? With information that’s either foggy, vague or simply underwhelming.  

No one should have to navigate puzzling punctuation or piles of jargon just to understand what’s going on. Time will slip through your fingers if you’re wasting it on these pointless productivity hoggers. 

Warning: Missed deadlines, overwhelm and unnecessary interruptions are sure to follow! 

2. No more Monday blues

Poor communication doesn’t just slow down productivity – it also unsettles the workplace ecosystem.

It’s true, your colleagues are like your family. We spend a third of our lives with them, after all! 

Without good communication skills, team members can easily become frustrated, isolated and stressed. This leads to conflicts, misunderstandings and missed opportunities. 

Yikes! It’s scary to think about. 

But picture this instead: happy team members who share, learn and grow within your business. (Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?) 

Good communication will make it happen. For real. 

3. No disputes, no lawsuits 

Careless communication can do much more harm than simply slowing things down. It can also spark legal fires.

Just ask Energy Australia! 

Back in September 2023, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), took the corporate giant to Federal Court over ‘vague and misleading’ information in consumers’ bills. 

The Electricity Retail Code requires ‘all electricity retailers to communicate price information in a simple and standardised way.’ 

Energy Australia allegedly breached the code by failing to provide consumers with essential information. Customers couldn’t decide who should power their homes and/or businesses without it. 

Does this sound like a company that knows the value of good communication?

Problems with obscure communication may lead to liabilities, compliance risks or court actions for your business. What follows is damaged credibility. (Not to mention an ugly hole in your finances!) 

Don’t be cavalier. 

Repairing poor communication is crucial to safeguard your company’s reputation and success. 

4. Speak clearly, gain credibility

We’ve covered legal troubles – but did you know that haughty communication is another way to lose public faith? 

How your business expresses itself is what people remember about you. 

But public trust evaporates if your message is drowning in pompous words or is unnecessarily long-winded. We don’t know why everyone writes ‘regarding’ when ‘about’ is clearer. And it’s much faster to say ‘soon’ instead of ‘in the near future’.

Know this: It’s not as trivial as you think. 

These poor communication habits can grow into big problems until, suddenly, your brand reputation is in the gutter. (We all remember what happened to a certain mobile network recently.)

Our recommendation? Fix those bad communication habits before clients and customers start looking elsewhere. 

5. Ban the boring

The crimes of weak communication are many – it demotivates team members, disrupts productivity, disconnects people from your message…

It might even offend. 

But what’s more… It can be plain boring

Overly technical and flowery language doesn’t impress people. It usually does the opposite. 

Instead of being engaged, people feel confused. Instead of getting the right answers, all they have is more questions. 

Worse, if it’s too much, they’ll yawn and leave. No one wants that to happen! 

Everyone wants a dose of entertainment with their information. So if every team member in your business has the tools to create compelling content, engagement will soar. 

6. On the road to innovation

Clear, professional communication is valuable for all of the above today – but what about the future?

Let’s be honest, it’s a cutthroat world out there. Every business wants to be noticed, and they’re all competing for customers’ limited attention spans.

But have you noticed that companies who don’t work towards the future get stuck in the past? 

This drive for progress must come from inside your company. If employees don’t have the ability to effectively share their ideas, creativity ceases to exist. 

Roadblocks to innovation rise up. The brake pedal is through the floor.  

The next exciting direction for your business could be churning in someone’s mind right now. Don’t let it get away; teach them how to share it.

Make good communication invaluable. Businesses that prioritise it are overtaking everyone else. 

Ready to boost your brand reputation, staff productivity and morale – and your bottom line? Learn more about our Business Writing Essentials, Presenting with Confidence or Effective Business Storytelling courses for teams!