Good communication isn’t just a handy soft skill, it’s the key to a highly-profitable company. Here’s how prioritizing a culture of communication can make your business a financial success.

If you’re struggling to reach a company goal or keep up with your competition, the problem may be less obvious than you think.
Instead of looking to your sales or marketing teams, turn your attention internally—to your level of communication. While it seems quite simple, if you take an in-depth look at where you’re at, you might just discover a few critical areas that need some work.
When your company culture emphasizes communication and teamwork, you’re able to retain top talent, motivate struggling employees and ultimately make your business more profitable. Here are five key ways a culture of communication can boost your bottom line:

1. Retention rates increase.

Losing employees—and filling those empty gaps with new employees—is expensive. “For workers earning less than $50,000 annually—which covers three-quarters of all workers in the United States—22 case studies show a typical cost of turnover of 20 percent of salary, the same as across positions earning $75,000 a year or less, which includes 9 in 10 U.S. workers,” according to Center for American Business Progress.
Luckily, a culture of communication can reduce the need to replace employees so often: “When employees feel they can communicate freely with their leaders and each other, they’re more likely to feel valued, satisfied and motivated at work,” explain experts at The Office Club. Happy employees are more likely to stay with your organization and help grow it.

2. Your expectations are met.

It can be frustrating when teams aren’t meeting company goals—and it’s just as frustrating for employees who aren’t given clear expectations. Too often, team leaders and company owners assume that their team knows exactly what the anticipated outcome for a project should be, and they’re shocked to find out too late that team members had a different perception.
“Expectations for performance should be straightforward and simple, with all employees achieving clarity on the ultimate purpose of a project and long term goals of the company,” says
Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Circular Board.
A culture of communication allows management and leaders to check in often, correct mistakes and clearly communicate the vision for every single project, which allows everyone to be more effective.

3. Openness inspires innovation.

Establishing a culture that appreciates open communication is the quickest way to inspire innovation among your teams. Some of your best assets for future ideas and growth will come from people you already have working for you.
While every idea won’t be a good one, if you allow your employees to make suggestions and propose new ideas, you may be surprised at how your organization grows. For example, the idea of a semi-sticky adhesive for the Post-it Note came from  3M scientist Spencer Silver. The value of that employee idea: More than 1,000 Post-it products sold in 150 countries worldwide.

4. Feedback fixes problems.

As a leader, being transparent and providing feedback is absolutely critical to the success of your teams and ultimately your business. If you can find ways to effectively communicate to each and every employee how they are performing and what needs improvement as you praise their successes—you will reap the benefits financially.teamwork

5. Communication reduces employee fears.

A 2016 study, Fighting Fear: The 7 Billion Dollar Price Tag, found that 34.2 million Americans have a phobia, and the number one on the list of common fears is personal failure. Those polled reported giving up a promotion and even losing a job because of this fear, but the good news is that communication can quell those concerns. A culture of communication allows employees to speak freely, express concerns and worries and ask for feedback that will allow them to feel confident in their work and position within the company. Reducing fears goes right back to retention: the fewer fears your employees have, the more money you save on employee turnover and training new hires.
Building a culture of communication will take time and training with management and leaders within your organization. In the end, however, your bottom line will reap the benefits, whether an employee idea skyrockets your business or your retention rates increase significantly.

Author Bio: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has managed a number of employees in her various roles. She now owns her own consulting business and has been featured on Forbes and Business Insider. She regularly writes for StartupNation, Manta, Glassdoor and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.