So what is interpersonal communication? How can it be improved, to help companies make the way employees and management interact more efficient? These may seem like basic questions, but they’re crucial to formulating an employee communication strategy in todays’ digital world.

It’s no secret that the way companies communicate both internally and externally has undergone a massive shift in recent years, changes brought on by new technologies, new tools, and new hybrid work scenarios that have redefined our concept of “the office.”

Which is why it’s more important than ever to get back to the basics when thinking about what interpersonal communication actually means, and how its basic principles can be harnessed for a more effective exchange of information in this fast-changing digital world.

Current Communication Challenges

The health crisis we are currently experiencing has truly been a game-changer in terms of corporate communication. Although this evolution has led to the multiplication of tools for communicating remotely, like corporate live video streaming tools, for example, the various remote working scenarios (hybrid, 100% remote working, etc.) have made communication more challenging in general, as it is more difficult to communicate remotely than in many more traditional in-office scenarios.

Indeed, the three biggest challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (22%), loneliness (19%) and communication (17%).

Why? Because of these primary obstacles, which have unfortunately become realities for companies trying to navigate this new digital/remote landscape:

  • Fewer social interactions
  • Collaboration difficulties
  • Lack of communication/overcommunication
  • For international companies, working in different areas & time zones

Which is why it’s more necessary than ever to develop interpersonal communication skills in order to better communicate with employees, both for managers and colleagues alike. It’s simply essential for strong communication at the workplace.

What is Interpersonal Communication?

A good place to start, however, before addressing ways to fine-tune the flow of corporate information, is with the actual interpersonal communication definition. What is interpersonal communication? According to the most popular definition, interpersonal communication is an exchange of information between two or more people.

It is also an area of research that seeks to understand how humans use verbal and nonverbal cues to accomplish a number of personal and relational goals. It’s worth emphasizing the second component—non-verbal—because that is the kind of subtlety that’s so often lost with remote work and online scenarios.

What are the 4 Types of Interpersonal Communication?

So now that we’ve established what interpersonal communication is, the next step is describing what forms it can actually take. Essentially, there are four main categories for interpersonal communication, all of which figure prominently in corporate communication.

The 4 types of interpersonal communication

  • Written. The written word, be it digital or analog.
  • Oral. Talking, which can be in person, or recorded through a digital or analog medium.
  • Non-Verbal. Gestures, expressions, possibly even emojis, depending on how you categorize them.
  • Aural. Listening, which again can be either in person, or via a recording on a digital or analog device.
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Why is Interpersonal Communication Important?

When interpersonal communication is honed and perfected, it comes with a host of benefits that can readily impact an organization, and individual employees alike.

These can be both tangible and intangible, but generally include:

  • Creating an environment conducive to success. A positive workplace culture and set of relationships in which desired behaviors can flourish.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction. Ensuring that clients are fully informed of what they’re getting, and that the company is equally aware of their concerns and needs.
  • Better collaboration between colleagues. Smooth, effective business relationships that foster cooperation and the sharing of ideas.
  • Better employee engagement. A workforce that’s aware of and interacting with company and industry news.

Did you know ? Here are some statistics about a lack of / poor corporate communications:

Interpersonal communication

Tips to Improve Interpersonal Communication Skills for Employees

But what can employees and managers do to improve interpersonal communication? We know that it matters, but what are the steps needed to enhance the way an organization communicates? Here are a few suggestions for boosting corporate communication’s overall effectiveness.

Improve emotional intelligence.

Empathy, understanding, self-awareness, these can all make interpersonal communication more effective.

Improve stress management.

Emotional stress is a hindrance to strong communication. Find ways to control and avoid it.

Be an active listener.

Hearing what others have to say, and understanding why they’re saying it, is critical to interpersonal communication.

Work on body language.

Be aware that there are many ways to communicate that don’t simply have to do with words. We’re always sending messages, whether we know it or not.

Be assertive.

Effective communication is reliant on a measure of confidence and openness. Thoughts and feelings should be expressed openly, but in a considerate way.

Be open to receiving feedback.

We have to accept that there is always room for improvement, and being open to this fact will allow us to grow in our communication skills.

Looking for Tools to Improve Corporate Communication? Try Sociabble.

All of the above can make a difference; however, improving your company’s interpersonal communication skills while also using an employee communication tool can be a real game-changer.

Why? Because it can offer communication features that compensate for the problems posed by remote work and online collaboration.

For example, a strong peer-to-peer recognition program, like the one offered by the Sociabble platform, can fill in for some of the missing nonverbal cues and positive reinforcement that are so often missing from digital interactions. Sociabble offers an Employee Communication platform designed to do precisely this, and more!

Interpersonal communication

What are the Sociabble platform features?

  • Visual communication using photos, videos, and audio to make online communication more human
  • Ability for every employee to share content through User Generated Content creation features (including video)
  • Ability to receive feedback from your employees with the employee survey feature, which is probably the best way to get direct feedback from employees and optimize engagement
  • The Employee recognition & gamification/reward system, which allows you to reward the actions of employees (sharing content, for example), get them involved and interacting with other employees in a gamified environment, and provide reward and recognition for top performers. A CSR component can also add meaning to the rewards, such as donations to good causes.

The Sociabble platform has already been used by industry leaders like Coca-Cola CCEP, L’Occitane, and Primark, to enhance their corporate communication.

Want to learn more? You can sign up for a free Sociabble demo here. We’d love to chat!

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Want to see Sociabble in action?

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