Importance of Effective Interpersonal Communication in Organizations

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Interpersonal relationship is defined as “a string, deep or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This relationship may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some type of social commitment.” Interpersonal expresses “relating to relationship between people” (Collins Dictionary). On the one hand, the Oxford dictionary defines ‘interpersonal’ refers to “relating to relationships or communication between people.” On the other hand, ‘relationship’ is defined as “the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected” (Oxford Dictionary).

From the above definitions, an interpersonal relationship, therefore, is a deep and close connection between two or more people who share a common bond, which forms the basis of their alliance. As such, an interpersonal relationship at a workplace is a connection between people sharing a workspace of sorts. However, their link or association may only be temporary depending on the nature of the job they are doing. Their common interest is therefore the progress of the company from which they earn their livelihood. Thus, in an organization setting, there are at least two levels of interpersonal relationships. First, co-workers relate because they would want to benefit personally by ensuring the company also progresses. The second level of interpersonal relationship in such a setting is the personal connection between the workers. Since the company has brought them together, the workers also develop relationships among themselves, which may even be intimate.

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Why is it Important?

Maintaining an effective interpersonal relationship at a workplace is essential for every company. There are various good reasons an organizations would want to encourage and cultivate interpersonal relationship amongst its employees. Some of these include:

Lengthy working hours

The first reason why employees in a workplace need closeness is the length of time they spend together in the same place or around one another. Most organizations have legislations that define working hours as the amount of time workers spend on productive activities at an establishment or business. According to Wikipedia, legislations set “standard working hours per day, per week or per year”. The working hours for a full-time employee are about eight hours per day. Spending this time in solitude is not possible. Human beings are very sensitive and get tired and stressed. Due to these factors, they need to take breaks between jobs, forcing them to talk to colleagues.

Decision Making

The main purpose of a workplace is production and problem solving. To this effect, interactions between different cadres of employees must occur. According to Small Business Chron, engaging employees in an organization’s decision-making is paramount. Effective interactions in workplace develop “trust, the assessment problems from different angles bring about good relationship as well as offer different types of discussions.” Under these circumstances, different departments and employees, say a production manager and a marketing department need to explain themselves to the employees. To disseminate all these issues, formal and informal meetings take place at a workplace where employees exchange ideas. An excellent interpersonal relationship simplifies problem solving in a workplace and makes work efficient.

Better Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is perhaps the cardinal role of fostering harmonious workplace interactions. According to John McLaughlin, an organizational culture is “a system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs which governs how people behave in organizations”. He further states the phenomenon is characterized by “innovations, attention to details, emphasis to outcome, and emphasis to people, teamwork, aggressiveness and stability.” For an organization to attain its mission and vision, it must have a well spelt-out organizational culture. Naturally, it is the employees who are expected to implement the company’s cultural objectives. Since every individual is different, harnessing the interpersonal relationship of the workers effectively is paramount for the achievement of corporate values.

Motivation and Teamwork

Motivation is essential in getting the best out of the employees. Motivation helps employees surmount difficulties and drawbacks. Shane Kelly defines motivation as “the level of desire employees feel to perform regardless of the level of happiness. Employees who are motivated to perform will be more productive, more engaged and feel invested in their work. It is the process through which managers encourage employees to be more productive and effective”.

Motivation is some sort of encouragement given to employees to increase their level of production and enthusiasm in undertaking their assigned projects. When employees are actively engaged, they are likely to radiate the passion to the entire workforce, creating a sense of cohesion or togetherness. This engagement results in greater teamwork. Therefore, stating that an effective interpersonal interaction in a workplace is likely to enhance the quality of work as well as the general working moods so that the company surpasses its set targets is correct. From the above definition of an effective interpersonal relationship at a workplace, as well as the evaluation of factors that a corporation could likely gain from a cohesive workplace, it is evident that an organization gears itself to achieve much from an exciting employee working environment.

Not only does such a company exude positive and enjoyable employee interactions, but it is also likely to save costs as a result of better decision-making mechanisms. Another significant milestone arising out of ethical interpersonal interactions at a workplace is the attainment of organizational core culture. Since this culture works well both in a company’s internal and external environment, the company stands to gain a more significant foothold in the market due to satisfied customers, reliable suppliers and motivated employees.These factors inevitably results in greater profits and more efficiencies. An effective interpersonal relationship in a workplace also leads to the elimination of wastes and losses occasioned by unproductive staff, disgruntled clients and hazardous workplace.

A company derives many benefits from effective interpersonal relationship at a workplace; hence, it is important to encourage workers to relate to one another effectively. A positive interaction among the employees at a workplace will certainly translate to higher productivity.

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