Communication is perhaps the most essential component in business. Without communication, companies cannot interact with their customers. Internally, confusion will arise and slow productivity. Without well-defined oral communication skills, a worker will not likely advance in his or her career and may even be terminated.
Internal oral communication is important for both the individual and organization. Internal oral communication can be defined as the language and verbal exchanges within a company. For the individual employee, effective oral communication is necessary to be a good manager because a good manager must relay instructions and interact with junior employees. Oral communication is also valuable to the employee while speaking with his or her superiors. If the employee cannot communicate effectively, his or her needs may go unnoticed and he or she may be blamed for miscommunication and not following instructions. If an organization does not have employees with a well-defined skill set for oral communication, loss of productivity, along with internal confusion, can be a problem.
Any customer who has dealt with a customer service representative who lacks effective oral communication skills or conversational English skills has undoubtedly found it frustrating. Customer service representatives, sales staff and any front-line workers must be well versed in oral communication, and it is essential for them to speak the native language fluently. Customers want to communicate their needs to these employees; they may need a certain product or question answered. If the employee does not understand or cannot effectively communicate the right information the customer, that customer may take his or her business elsewhere.
Things become more complex with industry-specific or technical knowledge. Not only are basic language skills required for the interaction, advanced language skills may be required to translate technical knowledge into layman's terms. This is a difficult enough task for a person with average oral communication skills. For example, internally, communication with an engineer or product specialist may require an in-depth discussion to discuss a new product. This information must then be translated into the language a salesperson or manager can understand--they may not care about how it works but rather about the benefits they can tell consumers about.
Ideas may be very clear in the mind of the person who comes up with them. However, if that person cannot translate the idea into words his or her colleagues can understand, the idea is useless. If a person does manage to get his or her idea out, but his or her communication is so poor the idea is misinterpreted and dismissed, both the company and the individual lose out.
Efficiency and Productivity
There is a tangible benefit or loss for organizations based on their overall level of oral communication competency. Efficiency can be enhanced if instructions do not need to be repeated because communication was complete the first time. This increases productivity and creates a culture of understanding, in which employees can foster new ideas because they know the company values communication and sharing information.