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Free course

Effective communication in the workplace

Free statement of participation on completion
Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

Many of the problems we encounter in the workplace are the result of poor communication. Whether we are frustrated by a lack of information from senior managers or worrying about how to break bad news to a colleague, communication is often at the root of the issue and the solution. By learning how to communicate more effectively, we can stop problems from escalating and make the workplace a more efficient and harmonious environment to be in. We can also present ourselves more positively, both to existing colleagues and future employers during the job application process.

This free course, Effective communication in the workplace, explores the importance of communication as a skill in the workplace. It aims to increase your understanding of communication skills and to help you to consider how your communication could be perceived by others. You'll cover areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, written communication and using your communication skills in challenging and diverse situations. You'll also look at possible scenarios for communication in the future, ranging from remote working to virtual reality.

Each week you'll have an opportunity to reflect on your own communication skills, setting goals to improve them.

Watch the following video in which Lynne Johnson from the Careers Service at The Open University, who you'll hear from at the start of each week, introduces the course.


Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn statement of participation  which also displays your Open University badge.

This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office. It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded 24 CPD points. Evidence of your CPD achievement is provided on the free Statement of Participation awarded on completion.

Please tell us more about your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and personal skill development! 

We would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to complete this survey and tell us about yourself and your experiences of CPD and lifelong learning. 

The Open University is working in collaboration with the CPD Standards Office in a national study to understand more about individual professionals' experiences, perceptions and practice for adult skill development. Find out more here

By participating in this high profile research, you will be contributing to scientific knowledge about adult skill development and how we can develop successful future careers. Participation is confidential, voluntary and we will not pass on your details to others. 

Effective communication in the workplace

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe different types of communication and how they are used in the workplace
  • recognise the skills required for effective communication
  • understand the impact that communication can have on how people are perceived by others
  • identify how effective communication can overcome challenges in the workplace
  • reflect on current personal communication skills and how these can be developed and used more successfully.

First Published: 10/09/2018

Updated: 07/04/2020

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