All companies or businesses have processes and systems in place to help everyone work efficiently, seamlessly and effectively.
Now, executing these processes and implementing these systems need 1 key component:
Communication between leadership and management staff. Communication among the employees involved. Communication between clients and executives.
We all want an ideal workplace where everyone can express their opinions freely, voice their concerns without any fear of being reprimanded, share their feedback and suggestions without being intimidated by senior staff, ask questions and get answers, etc…
But sometimes, problems may arise. Misunderstandings, arguments, missed deadlines, unclear directions, and others that you and I know can be a result of poor communication.
How important is it really to address communication gaps in the workplace?
- In his book, 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, Leigh Branham mentioned that exit surveys show that most employees leave because they have not received enough coaching or feedback.
- A study by the International Data Corporation shows that Fortune 500 companies lose roughly $31.5 billion a year due to employees failing to share knowledge or expertise.
- According to a survey from Clear Company, “86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.”
Imagine the implications of these stats to the performance and growth of businesses.
How much revenue do they stand to lose?
How high are their turnovers likely to be?
Here are some negative situations that are results of ineffective communication:
- Missed project deadlines.
- Duplicate work.
- Dissatisfied customers.
- Unfulfilled projects.
- Low productivity
- Performance goals are not met
- Subpar quality of work
- Misaligned goals
- Internal conflicts
This list may not be exactly the same as what you have in mind or personally experienced but these are the common ones.
The question is, how do we deal with these communication problems?
- Leverage technology. Use project management softwares like Asana and Trello to ensure all team members involved are aware of the project’s progress, timelines, tasks, updates and other details concerning the project. You can also use messaging platforms like Slack and Google Hangouts for Q&As or to communicate information that requires immediate answers.
- Use your team members’ individual strengths to your advantage. Assign team captains to lead certain areas of a project, placing them based on their expertise or experience. Delegate tasks to members who can get the job done efficiently. And most importantly, be clear on everyone’s roles and responsibilities right from the get-go.
- Invest in training. Different situations may require different communication methods or styles. A leader must know when to use specific channels of communication and use it effectively. Team members and team leaders alike can also benefit from a skills training on how to improve communication within the company and between clients and employees.