Effective communication is key to ensuring the smooth running and consistent positive direction of a workplace. Therefore, it is essential that communication is under constant evaluation for long term success.
The statistics demonstrate that workplace communication is in a poor state. A study by the Harvard Business Review found 57% of employees reporting that they are not being given clear directions and 69% of managers admitting they are not comfortable communicating with their employees.
Listed below are some examples of aspects of a company that communication affects, and areas where it can be improved.
Aligning everyone to the company’s vision
A study from Deloitte found that only 23% of executives say their companies have successfully worked to align employee’s goals with corporate purposes. The study found the biggest factor for such a low number was poor communication. It demonstrates one of the biggest tasks for a company leader is aligning employees with the company’s shared vision.
Improving employee motivation and productivity
Research shows employees are more motivated when they feel in the know and up to date on the company’s activities. A study by McKinsey states employee productivity increases by 25% in companies whose employees feel connected to the organisation.
Reducing employee turnover
Including employees in discussions regarding improvement is an effective way of getting more people to commit to working for you long-term. A study from Clear Company found that business with effective communication between management and employee are 50% more likely to have a lower turnover.
Addressing remote working
According to Buffer, 20% of employees say communication and collaboration are their biggest struggles for remote working. Considering the growing popularity and necessity for remote working, companies must address this factor, which could dramatically improve employee productivity.
Improving collaboration cross-department
Cross-department communication is poor. A Deloitte study found only 14% of workers believe their companies processes for cross-departmental collaboration is working well.
Identifying poor workplace communication
Look out for these behaviours within yourself and others as examples of communication going wrong.
Providing short answers to offer a definitive solution often results in questions not being fully answered. Indefinite or incomplete answers lead to time being wasted through confusion or the necessity to ask for follow-ups.
When writing and editing e-mails, it can be easy to ignore spelling or grammar that may result in a message being misread or misinterpreted. A study by Deloitte even notes that 77% of employees no longer see email as a viable form of communication for the future.
Choosing the wrong form of communication when delivering a message can affect the situation. Just because it may be more convenient to send an email rather than talking face-to-face, does not mean it is the right form of communication at that moment.
Thinking that someone is going to do a piece of work instead of verifying that they are, is a sure-fire way for projects being delayed and progress being halted.
Overcomplicating the message
Many of us are guilty of giving too much information when delivering a message. As a result, instead of only providing an individual with the relevant knowledge, we include unnecessary additions that cloud an individual’s ability to take in what is important.
It is common for people to have been caught out by a question and feel the need to deliver an answer without fully knowing it or thinking it through. This is dangerous as it can lead to misinformation being spread and reflects badly on you when uncovered.
Gossiping is a symptom of a feeling of a lack of transparency amongst employees. It can create a toxic culture of misinformation and affect morale and create a distraction for workers.
Ways to improve.
Earlier this week, we published a blog on how to improve workplace communication, which can be read here. We introduce the seven pillars of communication that work as a reference point for evaluating your workplace’s communication effectiveness. We also offer specific steps that you can make to improve.
Change your organisational health for the better by improving the way you communicate and notice the positive effect it makes.
by Will Davis