workplace communicationThe classic advice on communication is that it’s a two way street. In the workplace, that street is more like a spaghetti junction. With so much going on, there are many ways that workplace communication can break down. The first step in repairing it is identifying the problem. Are any of these issues affecting your company? It could be a sign that you have an issue with workplace communication.

  • Conflicting Goals and Objectives: When assignments are ambiguous, managers are failing to explain tasks properly, or employees aren’t communicating with each other, goals can end up moving in two different directions. This leads to a lack of shared purpose and a situation where the overall objectives of the company will not be met. Ensure mission statements and goals are clear, direct, and communicated with everyone.
  • Poor Time Management: Conflicting schedules, poor planning, work overload, late projects and missed deadlines, arriving late to meetings, delayed responses, and no respect for due dates. These are all signs that lack of communication is negatively impacting time management in your company. People are not able to properly manage their calendars and deadlines are missed.
  • Teamwork Doesn’t Exist: When departments or individuals are building silos, you’ll quickly find your company suffering from left-hand, right-hand blindness and a lack of teamwork. People who need to collaborate in order to do their jobs stop communicating, and you run the risk of employees developing “us against them” attitudes. When teams suffer from poor chemistry and people aren’t willing or able to work together, tasks will not be completed and your business can quickly fall apart.
  • Low Morale and Lack of Enthusiasm: When communication fails, employees will do the bare minimum necessary to get by. Levels of innovation drop when there is no exchange of ideas and people quickly lose enthusiasm for their jobs when the successes aren’t regularly communicated. Which leads to low morale and little commitment to the success of the company.
  • Negative Attitudes: A lack of workplace communication leads to negative attitudes and unwillingness to listen. People who can’t communicate with each other become difficult and unwilling to cooperate or compromise. Negative attitudes will not only have an affect on the overall atmosphere within the company; they will also result in decreased productivity levels and poor customer service.
  • Measurable Financial Loss: If communication fails during a project it can result in failure of the project altogether. This can have serious consequences, ranging from actual financial loss, customers lost due to low levels of customer service, and increased levels of turnover. Customers and employees will leave your company when communication breaks down and they feel like they aren’t being heard.

If you recognise these issues within your organisation, read our article, Hey HR, Don’t Forget About Workplace Communication, for advice on getting your workplace communication back on the right road.

Are you interested in changing the flow of communication in your company as part of your performance management process? Download our white paper Great Management Guidelines to learn about maximizing feedback and boosting your organisational performance.