A student in a management program at a local university contacted me recently to ask my opinion on Human Resources communications. Many of her questions were far broader than HR communications and actually related to all corporate communications.
One question she asked was “What constitutes effective communication in the workplace?”
Here was my answer:
Communication must at all times be accurate and courteous. It doesn’t matter if it’s between supervisor and subordinate, between co-workers, between employees and HR, between leadership and employees, or between insiders and outsiders. At all times, in all communications, written and oral, employees at all levels must state the situation accurately and clearly, and they must be civil in the language and tone they use.
I always have told people that every communication should be stated or written as if the CEO, a newspaper reporter, and your mother were all hearing or seeing it. It is even more true today than it used to be that anything you say or write or do can and will be used against you. So be careful.
Obviously, some communications are less formal than others. But the rules of accuracy and civility should always be followed.
Readers, what do you think? What should I have added?