Enterprises in the US and the UK lose a combined $37 billion each year due to something as avoidable as employee misunderstandings.
Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of such costly misunderstandings.
This is why recruiters worldwide consider communication assessment essential during the hiring process. Besides hiring good communicators, companies also try to upgrade the communication skills of their existing workforce with communication training programs.
But assessing communication skills quickly and efficiently isn’t easy, is it?
If you’re also struggling with setting up an effective communication testing system, you’ve landed at the right place.
In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know to conduct communication assessments that enhance productivity, sales, customer delight, and more.
What Is Communication Assessment?
A communication assessment tests a candidate’s or employee’s skills and knowledge of oral, written, or nonverbal communication. You can conduct communication tests as a part of your hiring, training, or succession planning programs to ensure every employee is fully equipped with the communication skills required for their role.
Strong communication plays a key role in several crucial business requirements, such as:
- streamlining collaboration and workflows to boost productivity
- establishing and maintaining customer, client & partner relationships
- Setting up effective leadership and management structures
- hazard prevention and management
- compliance management
and much more.
Communication assessment tests help you meet these requirements by letting you easily evaluate skills, such as:
- Communicating face-to-face and over email, phone, and other such mediums
- Reading and comprehending technical or non-technical information and messages
- Communicating through non-verbal mediums, such as facial expressions, gestures, etc.
Types of Communication Assessments
Depending on the communication skills you’re assessing, you can conduct various types of communication tests.
Workplace Communication Assessment
Employees must communicate with each other in various ways daily to get the job done. This includes face-to-face conversations, emails, video calls, chats, etc. They must also be adept at nonverbal communication, which, as research indicates, makes up more than half of all communication.
Nonverbal communication includes things such as:
- Facial expressions
- Tone of voice
- Eye contact
- Body language
The workplace communication assessment tests a candidate’s or employee’s ability to exchange information and ideas through oral, written, and non-verbal mediums in a way that enhances productivity and builds trust and mutual respect.
Language Proficiency Assessment
Language proficiency assessments test an individual’s ability to communicate in a specific language. Such assessments test skills in various aspects of language, such as vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, spelling, etc.
Reading Comprehension Assessment
You can conduct a reading comprehension test to assess the test taker’s ability to quickly and accurately process written information. Besides testing language skills, this assessment also provides insights into the individual’s critical thinking aptitude and attention to detail.
Writing Skills Assessment
Good writing skills are a critical requirement for various professions, such as sales, marketing, customer support, and more. Employees in such roles must manage written communication with customers and prospects via email, chat, and social media.
A writing skills assessment checks up on the assessment taker’s ability to craft their messages in a clear and compelling way. Such tests consist of essay-type questions that the test taker can answer by typing their response in a box or uploading a document.
Listening Skills Assessment
While often overlooked, listening skills are just as important as speaking or writing skills for meaningful, trust-building communication. You can conduct a listening skills assessment to test the assessment taker’s listening comprehension and knowledge of active listening best practices.
Speaking Skills Assessment
Effective speaking skills are key in various business functions, such as:
- Collaborating with colleagues
- Making strong presentations
- Persuading and negotiating with partners, clients, and prospects
- Motivating subordinates and peers
- Providing a delightful customer support experience
Speaking skills assessment tests various aspects of effective speaking, such as:
- Fluency of speech
- Thought clarity
- Usage of engaging language
Speaking skills assessment is especially useful when you’re hiring non-native speakers and want to ensure they’ll fit in the organization.
You can conduct a speaking skills assessment online by asking questions that the assessment taker has to answer by recording an audio or video response.
Watch: How to Create an Audio/Video Response Question
Email Etiquette Assessment
Email etiquette is a must in business communication. Whether communicating within the organization or writing sales or customer service emails, one needs to follow certain principles of professionalism. The email etiquette assessment checks the assessment taker’s awareness of email etiquette essentials.
Social Skills Assessment
Communication between individuals is much more fruitful when they have a positive relationship. So, you must also assess social skills as part of your communication assessment. Some of the top social skills for communication are:
- Emotional intelligence
Technical Communication Skills Assessment
Technical communication conveys technical information, such as product maintenance guidelines, product assembly procedures, etc. A technical communication assessment evaluates the assessment taker’s technical writing skills along with their knowledge of technical communication best practices.
So, those were all the skill tests for assessing the wide range of skills required for business communication. Now let’s look at why conducting employee communication skills evaluations is vital for your organization.
Benefits of Communication Tests
Communication tests provide an easy way to test communication skills, enabling you to hire good communicators and deliver effective training to improve the communication skills of your existing employees. This way, they help ensure that your business gets all the benefits of having a workforce with strong communication abilities. Let’s have a look at these benefits in detail now:
Teamwork and Collaboration
Good communication is essential for result-oriented collaboration. It enables team members to quickly exchange ideas, knowledge, and information and fosters team building and trust, which can have a huge, positive impact on your bottom line.
The good bonding between employees also improves employee satisfaction and engagement, reducing turnover.
An interpersonal communication skills test can reveal which candidates and employees have the communication abilities needed for successful teamwork.
Just as miscommunication can create issues, effective communication can help resolve, manage or even avoid them. Discussions among co-workers that feature careful listening and professional, polite responses result in creative solutions to disagreements and speedy conflict resolutions.
Such discussions can even enable employees to brainstorm new, more effective ways of doing things.
Pro Tip: If you’re assessing communication skills as part of a conflict resolution training program, conducting a conflict management style assessment would also be a good idea. This way, you can teach employees how to resolve conflicts using effective communication combined with the knowledge of their conflict style.
Employees can perform their job effectively only if they fully understand the information, guidelines, and suggestions they receive. Also, in case of misunderstandings, employees must be able to ask the right questions in the right way to clear them up quickly.
Besides minimizing misunderstandings and streamlining information flow, there are other ways workplace communication improves productivity, such as:
- It helps have more productive meetings.
- It improves employee engagement, which in turn reduces absenteeism and increases productivity.
- It enables employees to keep one another accountable.
- It builds a healthy work culture, improving employee motivation.
Positive Work Environment
Good communication helps create a positive work culture and environment by minimizing misunderstandings, conflict, and animosity between employees.
This is especially true for diverse workplaces that face a greater potential for miscommunication and communication barriers stemming from cultural differences. Building a great communication culture with an adequate focus on cross-cultural communication is a highly effective way to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Better Customer Relationships
According to a report by Salesforce, as many as 79% of business buyers and 69% of consumers admit to making purchase decisions based on customer service quality. This highlights just how important it is to maintain excellent customer relationships.
Communication is a foundational element in providing effective customer service and managing customer expectations. Communication skills, such as active listening, email etiquette, empathy, and confidence, contribute to creating positive, trust-building customer experiences and improving customer retention and brand loyalty.
Better Leadership & Employee Feedback
Leaders must be effective at various things, such as:
- making strong connections with subordinates, peers, and seniors
- influencing, inspiring, and guiding people
- giving constructive employee feedback
All of this requires top-notch proficiency in verbal and nonverbal communication.
When it comes to feedback, leaders must also receive valuable feedback to help employees, meaning that effective leadership is only possible if there’s a culture of good communication in the workplace.
Pro Tip: To implement a streamlined 360-degree feedback system, you can use an online survey software, such as ProProfs Survey Maker, that lets you easily collect feedback anonymously using 20+ question types.
Persuasion & Negotiation
Having employees with good persuasion and negotiation skills offers several advantages, such as:
- Faster group decision-making
- Improved productivity
- Efficient customer service
- More sales
- Better hiring
Good communication is essential for properly implementing persuasion and negotiation tactics to achieve the desired results. This is equally true whether you’re talking to employees, customers, or job candidates.
Creating a safe work culture involves a lot of efficient communication. Employers must use clear and impactful messages to provide information about safety hazards and precautions and what to do in case of a hazard or emergency.
Similarly, creating a good communication culture also ensures that employees can easily ask for and provide help regarding safe operating procedures.
Effective and open communication is a vital ingredient for innovation. Communication skills empower employees to freely share their ideas among themselves and with the leadership. This enables a group effort that can result in radically creative ideas and solutions to achieve specific goals.
Those were the various benefits you can get by using communication assessment tests to hire and train better and improve workplace and business communication.
A key thing to note here is that when it comes to communication training, communication skills assessments not only help enhance knowledge comprehension and retention but also help you deliver better training.
You can conduct communication assessments to find skill gaps and personalize your training. And after the training is done, you can conduct assessments to check training effectiveness and modify your program accordingly.
Pro Tip: To make your communication training programs even more impactful, you can use an online learning management system, such as ProProfs Training Maker. This way, you can deliver communication training anytime, anywhere, using pre-built and customizable courses featuring videos, assessments, presentations, surveys, and more.
Now let’s look at how you can create communication tests online and optimize them for success.
How to Create a Communication Assessment Test Online
Here’s the process for creating communication tests in a few simple steps.
Step 1: Pick a pre-made communication skills test or start from scratch
Step 2: Add questions or import them from a question library
Step 3: Automate scoring and results
Step 4: Configure settings for security, notifications, etc.
Step 5: Customize the look and feel
Watch: How to Create an Online Assessment Test
Tips to Conduct an Effective Communication Assessment
While creating an online communication test is a straightforward process, there are some things you can do to make sure your tests get you the best results.
Customize the test for the role
If you’re creating a communication assessment to hire for a particular role, you must have full clarity regarding the job requirements before drafting your questions. The more clarity you have on this, the more impactful the test will be.
For example, you’d want to ask somewhat different questions if you’re hiring for a leadership role compared to a junior or entry-level one.
Similarly, it would be best to create a separate test for hiring for a customer-facing role, such as customer service or sales, and a separate one for other roles. Check out the communication assessment example below to know what we mean.
Include both open-ended & closed-ended questions
The best communication assessments contain a healthy mix of open-ended, essay-style questions and objective question types, such as multiple-choice, checkbox, fill-in-the-blanks, matching, etc.
Watch: Question Types for Online Assessment
Objective question types let you assess knowledge of communication best practices, such as using the right body language and facial cues or ensuring email etiquette. Meanwhile, open-ended questions let you check writing skills, thought clarity, empathy, and more.
Include audio/video response questions
Video response questions are an amazing way to test someone’s speaking ability and use of facial expressions for communication. Audio/video response questions also let you ask open-ended questions more engagingly and conduct remote interviews.
When it comes to remote interviews, video questions offer unmatched flexibility by removing scheduling barriers. The interviewer can record their questions and share the quiz with the candidates, who can then record their responses at their convenience. Doing so lets you easily hire people from any time zone.
Ask situational questions
Situational communication questions present the assessment taker with a hypothetical situation requiring deft communication and ask them how they would deal with it. While commonly used in pre-employment tests to check practical knowledge and judgment, such questions can also make training more engaging.
Use images and videos in questions
You can add images and videos to your communication assessment test in various ways to improve its effectiveness:
- Adding images to questions makes them more visual and engaging.
- You can add a video or image and ask questions based on it.
- You can create answer options featuring images or even image-only options.
Watch: How to Create a Video Quiz
When conducting communication assessments for communication training, make sure you provide engaging feedback to your learners to help them in their self-learning. You can provide this feedback in two ways:
- Add feedback for each question that will be displayed either at the end of the quiz or instantly after each question is answered.
- Provide personalized feedback in text or video form once you receive a test taker’s report.
Choose the right assessment tool
Choosing the right communication assessment tool lets you create highly engaging and insightful communication tests and implement the best practices shared in this section. Some of the key benefits of using quality assessment software are:
- Good communication testing tools are easy to use
- They let you create communication assessments quickly using ready-made resources
- Let you accurately compare candidates and analyze learner performance using robust reporting and analytics
- Provide several security features for test privacy and cheating prevention
- Let you add a wide variety of multimedia to your quizzes and assessments
- Let you customize your quizzes your way by providing all essential test settings and configurations
- Integrate with HRIS systems to manage hiring and training data
Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software
Drive Growth With Effective Communication
Communication is as important as any other skill (if not more so) for productivity and customer relationships. This makes it crucial to implement efficient ways of testing communication skills and knowledge during hiring and training.
Using what you’ve learned in this guide, you can easily conduct communication assessments in a streamlined and impactful way. All you need to do is select an assessment tool suited to your requirements and start building your first test.
If you’re looking for simplicity and feature-richness in your assessment platform, ProProfs Quiz Maker is a perfect choice. It has a highly intuitive interface and a massive library featuring one million+ ready questions and a wide variety of professionally-designed communication tests. You also get powerful reporting and 100+ settings to customize and secure your assessments.
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