Face-to-face communication is one of the most polarizing things in the modern workplace. It seems that depending on the specific employee that is asked, they will either love or hate engaging in face-to-face communication.
Although age is a big factor in this, it is not the only thing that matters. Someone's personality can make them feel one way or another about face-to-face communication, even if the rest of their generation mostly feels the opposite.
Regardless of how certain employees feel, it is hard to deny the face-to-face communication plays an important role in business. It enables employees and managers to tackle issues head-on and efficiently, if done well. However, face-to-face communication should only be used in addition to other communication methods, rather than being the sole or even main form used.
Alienates Large Groups of Employees
The modern workplace is a very diverse environment, especially when it comes to the ages of the employees. For example, approximately 35 percent of employees are now Millennials, with Generation X coming in at a close second. For this reason, it is important for companies to take into account the preferences of these large groups of employees.
For example, one common preferences of Millennials and Generation Z is the distaste of face-to-face communication. The age groups that responds the best to this type of communication are Traditionalists and Baby Boomers. Therefore, it is important to include a range of communication types that will appeal to all employees, instead of relying on one that alienates a large group of them.
Difficult to Communicate With Many Employees
Throughout the course of a typical business week, there are often a few things that need to be told to the vast majority of employees, if not all of them. When dealing with a large or even medium-sized company, this can involve hundreds of employees needing to be told the exact same piece of information.
When this happens, it does not make logistical sense to try and get everyone corralled in one large conference room or to book a bunch of smaller meetings to tell them all the information face-to-face. This is one of the many situations where using emails has a huge advantage, as it allows employers to effortlessly contact every employee at once. However, an even more effective option is to use an employee messaging app, which will be able to reach employees even if they are no longer in the office or by a computer.
Inconvenience All Parties Involved
Many forms of communication are asynchronous, where the involved parties can respond and contribute at their convenience. However, face-to-face requires that everyone be together in the same place at the same time. This makes the mere act of scheduling something complex and inconvenient, leading to more unproductive employees. With modern technology, a lot of conversations can be taken care of without draining everyone’s mental bandwidth.
Some Tasks are Easier to Complete
It is not to say that companies should get rid of face-to-face communication entirely. However, it is important for businesses to use it in a smaller role compared to the other forms of communication. For example, they should be using emails, messaging apps, telephone calls, texting, and various other formats to communicate the vast majority of things. However, when it comes to completing tasks like performance reviews, grassroots meetings, and other similar events, it is best to get these done with face-to-face meetings so that importance and emotions can all be conveyed as accurately as possible.
In order to find out how to further improve internal communication, whether it is face-to-face or some other form, contact us today.