Effective communication skills: empowering employees in 2024

Mastering effective communication is a highly valuable skill that can help any professional succeed in their career. Whether you're a seasoned leader or just starting, offering communication skills training demonstrates dedication to supporting your employees' growth while enhancing your company's overall performance.

What is communication skills training?

Companies implement communication skills training programs to teach employees the essentials of effective communication.

Training can include modules or exercises focusing on nonverbal and written communication and verbal skills like presenting ideas effectively and speaking confidently.

Communication training empowers employees to feel comfortable and confident in almost any situation, deliver better customer service, and streamline internal operations.

Qualified people within your organization can conduct communication skills training, although many companies opt to bring in outside experts who excel at teaching foundational communication skills. 

Why is communication skills training so vital?

Every company can benefit from having employees who communicate with each other effectively. Employees who feel comfortable and confident in their interactions with others will be able to 

  • de-escalate tense situations, 
  • serve customers better, 
  • operate better in groups and team settings, and
  • foster a more positive and productive work environment.

3 types of communication to include in skills training

Verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills are all relevant and should all be in any communication skills training program. 

Here are some of the basics within these three types:

1. Verbal communication training objectives

  • speaking with confidence
  • conveying empathy
  • importance of tone
  • thinking and processing cues before speaking
  • building rapport using open-ended questions and active listening
  • clarity when sharing ideas and approaches

2. Non-verbal communication training objectives

  • maintaining relaxed body language
  • being aware of facial expressions
  • confident body posture
  • importance of eye contact
  • avoiding distracting gestures like playing with hair or looking at your phone

3. Written communication training objectives

  • reviewing grammar and spelling in written communication
  • importance of using active voice
  • maintaining company standards and branding 

As with any training, tailor the modules and exercises to your company. 

Include relevant information and specific examples of how each type of communication works in your organization. 

Real-world examples will help employees understand the value of strong communication and show them how to contribute to the business's success.

Ways to enhance communication skills training

Whether you opt to outsource your company's communication skills training or have a manager lead it, consider advancing your team’s skills by dedicating time to:

Developing emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that allows people to express their emotions effectively and interpret the responses of those around them. 

According to Forbes, emotionally intelligent people account for the highest percentage of top performers in many organizations. Additionally, people with higher emotional intelligence tend to earn more at work. (Share these stats with your employees when discussing why emotional intelligence is so important). 

Discuss self-regulation, empathy, and self-awareness to foster and encourage greater emotional intelligence. These skills form the basis of emotional intelligence and contribute to strong communication skills.

Interactive workshops and activities

During a training session, the trainer or instructor usually shares information with the employees in a one-sided dialogue. However, to ensure that the employees understand and retain the information, including interactive workshops and activities in the communication skills training is helpful. 

To get things started, an icebreaker can get people talking and engaged. Activities like polls, conversation-based quizzes, and scenario-based questions are also helpful to involve the employees. Not only do these methods help the information stick, but it also prevents boredom. 

Additionally, giving the employees time to practice the skills they learned during the workshop is a good idea. Role-playing and impromptu questions or scenarios boost confidence.

Ready to ditch dull meetings and facilitate workshops people genuinely enjoy?
Check out Workshop Tactics

Practice active listening

Active listening is more than just hearing the words someone is speaking. It involves engaging with the speaker and fully understanding the meaning behind their words. By practicing active listening, employees can become more dynamic communicators and someone others enjoy interacting with. 

When providing communication skills training, it's important to include discussions around active listening and provide ways for employees to practice giving the speaker their undivided attention, acknowledging the speaker, and removing distractions.

Cultural sensitivity training

Cultural sensitivity training is vital to remind employees of the importance of creating an inclusive workplace. 

The primary objectives are to raise awareness about the significance of respecting every culture and handling bias or insensitive comments. Employees should also know what to do if they witness discrimination. 

Encouraging employees to share their life experiences, customs, and culture is crucial to understanding each other better. 

Seeking employee feedback before, during, and after training is also essential. During the training, you can send out surveys or conduct in-person polls to ask employees what they find helpful and what else they want to learn about a particular subject. Finally, after the training, run a survey to determine the effectiveness and identify areas of improvement for future sessions.

Ready to facilitate in-house communication skills training for your team?

Use Pip Decks’ Team Tactics to get into the teamwork mindset and unlock effective inter-team communication.

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