Face to Face Communication, 5 Reasons Why It's Still Important

Kim Huggins
April 7, 2009 — 11,340 views  

In today's world, reliance on technology is a fact of doing business. However, the value of face to face communication within your organization and with your clients should not go unrecognized. Recently, K HR Solutions conducted a generational survey. 56% of survey participants indicated that they prefer face to face communication with their boss and over 50% prefer face to face communication with their colleagues. The next highest was only 35% preferring e-mail. Whereas technology has increased the number of people that we can communicate with, it has also increased the amount of techno-chatter that we experience on a daily basis. 
 
Here are 5 reasons why it's important to utilize face to face communication:
 
Guidance: All of us are looking for guidance to aid us in finding various types of information. Seeking and offering guidance based upon real experience lends to your credibility and trustworthiness no matter what the topic.
 
Honesty:   No one likes to be taken advantage of. Filtering through the vast amount of information to try to find truly valuable and hones pieces can be a daunting task for any subject matter. Face to face communication provides us with the opportunity to gauge the honesty of information through facial expression, body language and tone of voice. These can be scripted or unavailable through other methods of communication.
 
Mentoring:   There's no question that mentoring aids in the retention of employees. It also provides a great opportunity to communicate face to face and get to know others on a more personal level. Our survey indicated that 56% of respondents felt mentors in the workplace were very important or extremely important. Gen X thought even higher of mentors with 65% saying it was of high importance to them. However, this desire for mentors did not translate to the workplace in practice. 64% of all respondents stated that they currently did not have a mentor. 
 
Recognition: When our survey asked participants "what type of recognition/reward means the most to you?" 57% preferred verbal acknowledgement from their boss as opposed to 27% preferring cash and 13% seeking time off. We attribute this desire for verbal recognition to employees need for candid, honest feedback for a job well done. This offers reassurance that the employee is on the right track and lends to a sense of stability. 
 
Value:   All consumers want value from their investments. Whether it is an employee seeking a sense of value for good work or a customer seeking validation that the services paid for are indeed worth the cost, face to face communication can solidify or enhance the value proposition of any transaction. 
 
Technology is a wonderful and necessary communication tool but it is only of many and too often it is used in place of an opportunity to talk face to face.   Keep in mind the importance and value of face to face communication and try to use it more often. It's a great way to build and maintain relationships. 

Kim Huggins is the President of K HR Solutions, LLC based in Harleysville, PA. Her company offers services in the areas of organizational effectiveness, leadership development and team dynamics. Kim is a nationally recognized trainer and speaker on the topic of Generational Differences. http://khrsolutions.com

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Kim Huggins