While most businesses know the importance of having good speech skills for their managers and high-ranking staff members, they may not focus as much on the average employee. However, it is just as important that every employee is able to speak clearly and well for many reasons. In fact, it is so vital that employees develop good speech habits that you may want to hire a speech coach.
Improve Company Image
Bad grammar or using slang words can give your customers a poor image of the company even if it comes from an employee with limited contact to customers. Co-workers can hear that poor speech and assume the company is not as professional or capable as you want to appear. This can encourage them to think they don’t need to work as hard or be as dedicated to quality.
Street talk and slang or even curse words can lead to trouble within the company if someone becomes offended by something they find objectionable. Eliminating this kind of language in front of customers and co-workers serves to enhance the image of professionalism within the company.
Employees need to be able to deliver accurate information in a way that is easily understood, whether it is to customers or other workers. This is more difficult if they do not know how to speak proper English or pepper their sentences with slang and common wording.
Using improper English can lead to miscommunication and incorrect information relayed to others. This not only happens in verbal communication but in writing as well. While not all employees may have an excellent grasp of certain words, they can all learn to communicate minus cursing, foul language and street talk.
Enhance Conflict Resolution
Communication skills are essential to resolving conflict whether it is within the company or with unhappy customers. Employees must learn how to speak without offending others and to speak clearly to ensure their messages are heard.
Part of this learning is understanding how to listen to others and know what they are saying. The other part is being able to communicate your own feelings in a positive, non-confrontational way.
Teaching Proper Speech
The first step to enhancing speech skills in the workplace is by creating policies that address vulgar language or improper speech and subjects. The next step is working with employees to learn the proper way to communicate. While not every employee needs to work on public speaking or accent reduction, they all can learn communication skills that will enhance their performance.
You may want to consider incorporating speaking courses or holding an in-house communication seminar to help your employees learn to communicate. A greater focus on speech and communication by management will make it a bigger priority for the rest of the staff as well. In today’s business world, proper speech isn’t just for the top employees. Everyone needs to learn how to improve communication in the office, the factory and the retail setting.
Claudette Roche is a dialect coach in the Los Angeles area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.