Communication involves exchanging and transferring information between two or more people. This could be done through speaking, writing, non-verbal cues, and voice tones. In fact, research suggests that 93 percent of communication is unspoken. This means that communication isn’t just an act but an art.
Understanding that there is more to communication than just speaking, it is essential to study people to a large extent. To function with a group effectively, you must communicate effectively. Communication improves teamwork and makes collaboration easy while improving employee engagement, client relationships, and ultimately productivity.
Poor communication in the workplace is the absence of or little dissemination of information. This could be either from the management to the employees or among colleagues. Poor communication causes a lot of uncertainty.
In such an environment, employees don’t know what is expected of them, and the company’s vision isn’t imbibed. When there’s poor communication, employees don’t feel heard, which breeds distrust and disloyalty. There’d always be misinterpretations, missed opportunities, and conflict in such an unstable environment. Here are some of the factors responsible for ineffective communication in the workplace.
If anything is working in an organization, it is because the management got their acts right. The same goes for communication; good communication starts vertically and is then replicated horizontally. If business owners and managers aren’t setting the right precedence, it can’t be expected that those under them will or that a company’s hierarchy remains stable and efficient.
Incompetent leaders likely leave more to desire when it comes to communicating tasks and goals effectively. They don’t practice active listening and answering questions correctly, so they’re often indecisive and can struggle to inspire their teams.
Some managers allow their insecurities and vulnerability to show by blending with the crowd when they ought to speak up. A lack of subject matter expertise and preparedness will deprive them of the ability to communicate effectively. Once this is resolved, a good chunk of the problem will be gone.
If team leads or supervisors are struggling to meet expectations in terms of competency as managers, there are a number of effective approaches to consider. Training is always a promising solution, as investing in current employees and meeting their needs to improve in their roles is ultimately more beneficial for the organization long term.
Once any needed training is provided, company leadership should be reoriented to focus on the company’s mission and values, which provides a solid foundation for how they communicate and interact with the teams or individuals they are responsible for.
Even if a manager combines the oratory prowess of Barack Obama and Martin Luther Jr., if the staff is demoralized, there will be a problem. A demoralized employee has lost interest in their job and the company. They’re just passing the time and looking to jump ship. This occurs due to a lack of growth opportunities or an inability to see a future with the organization.
Employees who feel demoralized also feel undervalued and underappreciated. In some cases, they feel disrespected irrespective of the capacities and possibilities they bring to the team. This may be due to a poor compensation package or a lack of trust, and one way to correct low morale is by focusing on the work culture and environment.
When a workforce is demoralized, it’s recommended to first collect information and identify the causes of it before implementing any solutions or campaigns to increase morale. The concern may be particular to a specific area or part of the company, where efforts should be focused on bringing things back into balance. After the causes are determined, and employees have an opportunity to recommend what they need to remain productive and motivated, then and only then should solutions be carried out.
Lack of Feedback
Effective communication isn’t just about transferring but about exchanging information. It’s a two-way street. Feedback is a piece of information provided as a form of evaluation of one’s performance. Whether positive or negative, feedback is very crucial to the success of any enterprise.
Feedback is very helpful in providing valuable information to make crucial decisions in the future. For negative feedback, the key is to be constructive, aimed at improving rather than tearing down. For employees, in-person feedback improves understanding and avoids misinterpretation. In cases where it’s not possible, surveys, polls, and emails can be used to gather feedback.
This is where UCaaS comes in. So you might ask, what is a UCAAS? Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is an integrated platform that allows all your communication tools on one platform. This way, team members can save time spent across different platforms to do more productive tasks like focusing on sending and receiving feedback. Explore the features personally at https://www.ringcentral.com/ucaas.html.
For a business venture to succeed, everyone should be on the same page. Every team member should understand the task and objectives to be achieved. Goals and visions are powerful in business as they focus attention on achieving desirable results. Managers must ensure that staff knows what the aim of every project is.
The end game of a business venture is to be profitable, but this doesn’t happen by magic. It requires managers who are excellent communicators and employees who are ruthless executors. If the objective isn’t known at any point, employees might perform poorly.
The larger an organization is, the easier it is to lose focus or be misaligned. It’s important for company leadership to stay honed into what their constituents are dealing with, preferably on a departmental or even individual level. Each employee has a voice that should be heard that can provide valuable insight into internal inefficiencies or opportunities for improvement, some that can be implemented with minimal resources and have an immediate and resounding effect on an organization’s long-term health.
The Cognitive Bias Trap
One pitfall to look out for to be an effective communicator is a cognitive bias. It can lead to an under or overestimation that could hurt in the future. It would help if you avoided the subjective thought that you’re constantly understood. Always seek clarity at all times; never assume. Once you overcome all the stated points, you’re well on your way to effective communication.