Most employee surveys reveal workplace communication as the single biggest issue in their workplace. It doesn’t seem to matter how much a company tries to communicate with all its staff, with so many layers (particularly in large corporations) between high level managers and the workers it is bound to become disjointed.
This in turn makes employees feel left out and then of course when asked they will mention communication as an issue.
It can be a tough problem to solve.
What effect does poor communication have on employees?
- Productivity is decreased – If staff are not being communicated to, and/or are not communicating with eachother it is impossible to expect the best levels of productivity. Instructions will need to be repeated, goals of the company will not be understood, etc…
- Morale becomes low – When staff don’t understand things properly and the environment is not conducive to asking questions, self esteem can falter. This is one of the primary causes of low morale in the workplace.
- Expensive mistakes can happen – We all played chinese whispers as kids, however if this is happening in the workplace the results can be catastrophic. Clearly written communication, that everyone has access to, is essential if a company is wanting to avoid potentially expensive mistakes caused through misunderstandings.
How to improve communication in the workplace?
- Provide a well written company handbook that clearly outlines the company’s basic requirements, expectations and answers an employee needs to know. Include in this handbook ways that a staff member can communicate with management for further clarification/information.
- Encourage open communication – have some kind of regular means of communication that informs staff of what is going on! Sounds simple, yet this is often not implemented in many workplaces. This can be a weekly newsletter that invites feedback and questions, a quick department meeting or something along these lines.
- Team building exercises – ensure that regular team building exercises are scheduled to help staff communicate with their fellow team members and managers.
We don’t have all the answers to the issues surrounding poor workplace communication, however raising the fact that it is a problem and offering ways to help improve it is what we can do to help.
We are also open to hearing from both employers and employees as to what they are doing to either improve or build upon existing communication channels, and hope to engage with you soon.
Your Team at Jobhunters
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