Communicating to management

Communicating to your coworkers and managers is usually part of everyone’s day to day work life. It is normal for your supervisors or team leaders to contact you on a daily basis to inform you of any tasks that may arise.

If there is an issue with a task or in general within the workplace and you want to speak to someone who is higher up than your supervisor, then business policies may have to be followed. Usually your supervisor can help you or they can go to the higher management authority for you. Where possible, discuss and get the advice of your supervisor with workplace issues as they arise before going into senior management. This ensures there are no misunderstandings between managers and supervisors. Sometimes bypassing supervisors and going straight to senior management with issues can cause questions as to why the chain of command was not followed.

Below is an example of  a chain of command. The chain of command is a hierarchy system that describes the level of authority within a workplace.

Communicating with team members

In workplaces, it is of great importance that the team work together and communicate in a respectful and professional manner. This ensures that work is not interrupted and tasks are being done efficiently.

Work is not a social occasion with your friends, so we must behave and communicate in a more professional way. At work, not everybody is your best friend, there may be some people that you work with that you think you would not socialise with, and that’s normal because we are there to work not to socialise. The main thing is that you are able to work with, communicate with and treat other people respectfully, even if they are not really your type of person.

If you are having trouble with a colleague or not getting on well with them, you may need to speak to your supervisor for help if that relationship is getting in the way of completing your work.

When communicating with colleagues we must:

  • Be polite, say please and thank you
  • Listen and pay attention when others are talking to you
  • Face the person talking and look at their face when they are talking to you
  • Smile and be happy
  • Be clear in your communication so that your message is not misunderstood
  • Using written notes in some cases can make sure that you do not forget important information
  • Be respectful about other peoples beliefs and lifestyle choices
  • Focus on the work and not the person

Communicating with customers

Customers are very important for success in every business. For customers to keep coming back to your business they need have a good experience. It is important to be polite, listen and understand that it is our job to help the customer.

Customers are not an inconvenience to our work; they are the very reason we have a job in the first place and without customers, a business has no means of making money.

When communicating with customers we must:

  • Be polite, say please and thank you
  • Listen and pay attention when customers are talking to you
  • Smile and be happy
  • Focus on being helpful to the customer
  • Make sure you give accurate information. If you do not know the answer or are unsure, ask your supervisor for the right information
  • If you are unable to help the customer, ask for help from your supervisor or colleague
  • Be aware of the customers body language and facial expressions
  • Don’t swear and avoid using slang terms
  • Call a customer sir or madam if you are unsure of their name


How the modern workplace communicates

Modern workplace communication has evolved and upgraded in major ways in recent years thanks to the help of technology. With smartphones and tablets being more accessible, there are more ways for colleagues and businesses to communicate with each other. This also means there are new ways of recording and collecting data.

The various ways the modern workplace communicates:

  • Face-to-face conversations: A face-to-face conversation is one of the most basic forms of communication that is used in the workplace. Having a conversation allows two or more people to share any information about any topic or business matter. It also has the advantage of including non-verbal body language as part of the communication.
  • Documents: Written documents record information in the form of words, such as meeting minutes. This has a great advantage that the document can be saved and reviewed at a later date.
  • Meetings: Meetings are typically a more formal version of face-to-face conversations but also have the advantage of being able to host meetings via video call. This allows customers from overseas the option to communicate with their suppliers with more ease.
  • Manuals: A manual is a book of procedure about a specific subject. Manuals usually give a detailed description on how to perform tasks and are very helpful when you are unfamiliar with a task or new to the position.
  • Email: Emails are a fast and efficient form of written communication. Emails can either be sent to a group or individually and are a great way for forwarding documents and keeping track of business communications.
  • Database software: Most businesses use a database software of some sort to record information in. For example, Stock Management software records everything that the business has in inventory.
  • Questions and answers: Questions and answers help to communicate specific information that is the basis of the question. This method of communication can take form in any means of communication, especially verbally and through email and text.
  • Text message: More frequently now, businesses use text messaging as a form of communication when a colleague is out of office or travelling. Text messages can be a very effective and non-intrusive form of communication to ask a question or share information.
  • Phone call: Phone calls have been used for many years as a form of communication. It is an effective and instant form of communication that can either be grouped or one on one. This is helpful for colleagues or customers who are on the move and cannot sit down for a video call or a face-to-face meeting.