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6 Pitfalls Of Poor Communication In The Workplace

6 Pitfalls Of Poor Communication In The Workplace

Poor workplace communication leads to missed deadlines, decreased productivity, high turnover, conflict escalation, customer dissatisfaction, and innovation stagnation.

Bad company culture

When leaders do not put into consideration the clear communication is very bad because the whole organization notices that he does not communicate. In a survey done by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that 91% of employees believe that when the bosses do not communicate well, the whole organization is likely to fail. Use for instance the communication from the CEO to the employee. He needs to communicates clearly so that the employee gets to know his roles in the organization.

Lack of Transparency:

For one to build a lot of trust the team or his employees, one needs to be transparent enough to them. According to a survey that was conducted by Gallup, 67% of employees are more confident that they do not know any strategy. Use for example a communication from the management, where it is supposed to inform the team on the new direction. If for instance the management fails to inform the employees about some of the changes like the marketing strategies, this might create fears in the employees because they know their future is likely to be compromised, the likely performance in the organization will go down.

Ineffective Feedback:

Feedback is an important element in the life of any individual because it helps people to improve on their areas of weakness. However in instances where there is poor communication, most of the feedback to the employees are not guaranteed. A survey which was carried out and discovered that 65% of the employees required more feedbacks. An employee at Dubai Knowledge Park said “My manager never gives me feedback and I’m not sure what I need to do to progress in the company” . Psychologically, people need other people to tell them where they are going wrong and appreciate something good that somebody has done. When there is no feedback people feel that their worth is irrelevant. They feel that what they do does not matter to the managers.

Poor Communication Leads to Silos and Departmental barriers:

Silos is created when you limit communication to a certain product or a team. When everything breaks down you are responsible for the collapse. According to a report that was done by the McKinsey, it was discovered that companies that communicate effectively are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers countries. Give an example of maybe the marketing and the sales team. When the marketing team is not communicating well with the sales team, maybe a deal was signed between the two teams, the sales team was to get back to the marketing team because the deal was not up to the standards, but since there were a communication break them, the deal was not completed resulting to low income in the organization.

Misalignment of Goals:

It is not easy to ignore the negatives of poor communication. Many a times poor communication leads employee’s urguing and some even suffer from burn out. According to the American Psychological Association, 25% of employees have missed works because of fearing they will overstretch. For example if an employee is mounted will work he is needed to complete in just one day. But failure of the manager to communicate his fears and the compliments they have to their employees, their employees will feel that they are overloaded with work and eventually be absent from work.

Unclear Goals and Lack of Training

In today’s fast-paced work environment, a clear set of goals and proper training are crucial for the success of any organization. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for businesses to operate with fuzzy objectives and without any training programs. These factors can lead to inefficiency, disorganization, low employees’ morale, and decreased productivity. The indicators that the goals are unclear are as follows:

  • Lack of direction: employees do not know what they are to do.
  • Conflicting priorities: different departments or teams pursue contradicting aims because no one has spelled the otherwise.
  • Missed deadlines: without a particular mission, an assignment may be neglected and put off to a later time.
  • Poor morale: employees feel unengaged and may even be going out of their way to feel less chattable.

Downsides to Inadequate Training

Poor performance: without the proper instructions, it is less likely to imagine that an employee will succeed in accomplishing her or his task error-free.

  • High turnover: employees will not pay off if they see that they neither are not prepared to work nor supported in achieving some kind of success.
  • Eat hopes: hiring and retaining employees require substantial investment in time, money, and effort. For them to leave because they are not sure on how to succeed in this company is a waste of resources.
  • Stagnation: no improvement of personal and leadership skills in employees will also translate to a lack of their professional development and company’s growth overall.

Solutions to the Problem

Development of a clear set of goals: management is to develop such goals with the team that will operate in accordance with the objectives set as the means to achieve the company’s mission .

  • Communication: make sure that both the employer and the employee can provide feedback regarding her or his progress.
  • Investment in training: allocate resources to the development of the appropriate set of training in consideration of hard and soft skills.
  • Continuous improvement: make sure that your employees are engaged in continuous training.
  • Feedback and evaluation: make sure to know how the employee is doing.

Disengaged Employees

Workplace communication can be considered an effective tool if it promotes cooperation, teamwork, and employees’ engagement. However, at times, there can be numerous communication traps, resulting in distract, disinterest, and even disengagement. Below, several workplace traps will be described, and each of these will be accompanied by an example reflecting? particular situation.

Lack of clarity in expectations

Unclear instructions? : instructions that are not clear can be confusing for employees who do not really understand what they have to do or what is expected from them.

Ambiguous goals? : If an employee is unclear about particular goals, he might stop working or do useless work instead.

Example: A manager gives an order to execute a project but does not provide precise objectives or aim the company is trying to achieve. Other employees certainly do not now how to proceed with the project and make stupid and useless reports, but the specific answer or conclusion.

Poor feedback mechanisms

Infrequent feedback? : If an employee is never told how he is doing, then he will no longer even try because he will lose any interest in something.

Lack of constructive criticism? : if a manager always criticizes but does not tell an employee how to be better, encouraging him to do nothing as no matter what it does, it will always be wrong.

Example: An employee doesn’t not explicit order but he fulfills them himself. He then further reports directly to the director that he has done the job, and the director never says a word. The employee might feel unvalued after such work.

Communication barriers

Language differences? : in some multinational companies, employees may not be professional in the only language that important, English for example. The absence of a shared language can be considered to be a language trap.

Hierarchical barriers? : any employee might be afraid to say something or express the opinion, although their opinion is, from time to time, an invaluable addition.

Example: in a meeting, the head speaks and other employees listen for the whole time. During the subject changing, employees can realize that the meeting is no longer interesting.

Ineffective meetings

Lack of agenda? : employees must come to the meeting ready and prepared to make a decision. On the other hand, any meeting without an agenda is a useless talk.

Dominant voices? : it is possible that near some talkative employee, all other employees will remain silent, unable to add anything because everything is either said or recorded.

The Impact of Management Style on Workplace Communication

A management style is one of the essential elements that influence the role of communication between leaders and members of an organization. While some management styles may enable efficient communication and collaboration between the team members, others act as barriers. The differences between leadership styles may determine the success and the productivity of an organization, affecting the morale of employees. This paper explores several management styles where some may have a favourable impact on communication, while others are not efficient.

Authoritarian style

Communication form: From a position of power, an authoritarian leader communicates with employees using a directive approach when giving orders and expecting his/her team to comply with his/her instructions.

Feedback: Team members do not feel the freedom to provide the leader with feedback because of the fear or lack of shared information.

Example: An authoritarian manager does not think of holding meetings; instead, he/she gives ceremonies his/her orders. In return, the workers may not have an opportunity to provide their ideas about how best to perform the required task while further collaborating on it.

Democratic style

Communication form: A democratic leader allows the team members to participate actively in the decision-making process, thus, fostering teamwork spirit through communication.

Feedback: The leader fosters open-line communication between individuals of his/her team, as they feel respected and give their input comfortably. An example of this approach is when a leader asks each team member to share ideas during brainstorming or contributing to a common decision.

Laissez-faire style

Communication form: The leader maintains a loose approach to communication and control while encouraging workers to take full accountability for their own responsibilities

Feedback: The team members may receive no particular instructions when they are left on their own, which may result in promoting their mistakes rather than improving both their responsibilities and communication with their leader. They may fail to understand the leader’s expectations from them or overlook some critical tasks.

Transformational style

Communication form: Transformational leader not only communicate easily with his/her team but also helds regular meetings with all members of his/her organization, called a town hall meeting, to share their vision, ways of success, and seek feedback from employees . Notably, the approaches described above will fit to different members of the same team. For this purpose, an organization should be careful when shaping its type.

How to Boost Appropriate Communication

Providing Leadership Training: When training managers in an organization, it can develop their skills of effectively and efficiently communicating with their team members. It is also possible to teach them changing their style according to a situation.

Appropriate Management Style Assessment: To determine the type of management style to be used in an organization, the leader has to make an assessment of the members involved in a team and their preferences to interact in this style.

Lack of Preparation

Lack of preparation may become a serious obstacle in achieving success with regard to work and life. Whether a person needs to get ready for a certain meeting, a presentation, or a project, preparation is one of the elements that determine the quality of one’s work as well as helps to avoid any unnecessary stress or hardships.

Underestimation of Time Requirements

Lack of Time Allocation: Here, the time that had been defined by a person as the only one fit for the project or a task to be completed may be too short.

Waiting Till the Last Moment: Some people believe they can concentrate attention as much as it is needed at the last moment and complete everything in time. It is always stressful and hardly contributes to the quality of work.

E. g., one can think about the project that is estimated to take no more than two weeks. However, by the time a person finally starts to work on it, there will be a couple of days left until the final deadline, so that there will be no time to do anything or improve any part of the project if it is needed.

Inadequate Research and Preparation

Absence of Required Information: Insufficient research or preparation will result in the incomplete information for a person to make his work properly.

Failure to Anticipate: Without a proper preparation a person will be unable to see if anything not going as it should and predict various challenges and problems.

E. g., if the presentation does not feature absolutely amazing and relevant research, there will be questions from the floor that a person will not be able to answer based on reliable information. In general, preparation is always the key, unless a person believes they have an absolutely infallible answer for every question or problem that may arise.

Fail to Make Use of a Structured Approach

Ignorance of the Plan: One will always conduct their work faster and easier when working within a defined plan.

Inability to Prioritise: Without a credible plan, it is hard to make all the right decisions and avoid getting down on the task that has no instrumental value.

E. g., a whole team is eager to start working at a project that was not properly planned with no detailed and structured scheme. Many will get lost in the task, ‘not understanding what needs to be done’, and it will not allow them to move forward.

Overreliance on Jargon and Numbers

In the workplace, people often rely on jargon and numbers assuming that their colleagues will understand their meaning and thus obtain the necessary information. While technical language and the use of numerical data are highly important in many contexts, they make it impossible for many people to collaborate and work towards common goals.

Exclusionary Communication

Use of Technical Jargon: People might use excessive amounts of technical terms and other industry-specific vocabulary that not all team members are familiar with.

Barrier to Understanding: Team members might feel that they cannot offer any input as they do not understand the conversation occurring in front of them.

Example: If, during a marketing meeting, team members from sales and other parts of the company are told that the “CTR” and “CPA” are not as high as they should, they might feel that they cannot make a meaningful contribution.

Obscuring Meaning with Numbers

Lack of Context: Directly providing raw numerical data without any context seems meaningless to many people.

Potential Misinterpretation: The listeners might completely misunderstand key numbers or draw the wrong conclusions, confused about the information they are offered.

Example: Team members are provided with a financial report where they see the revenue numbers presented for each month of the year with no explanation.

Impact on Decision Making

Ineffective Communication: Misunderstanding the conversation due to its excessive reliance on jargon and data might lead to poor decisions.

Ignoring Available Options: Sales and other team members might fail to work productively and develop innovative solutions as they do not understand the problem.

Example: There are almost no strategic ideas during a strategy meeting in marketing, and the team seems to focus on the ways to reduce the costs.

Improving Communication

Use Plain Language: Ensure that the team members understand each idea you want to introduce to them and do not rely on jargon.

Provide Frequent Context: If you have to introduce some numbers, ensure that the audience can understand the context of your discussion.

Encourage Questions: Establish a culture where team members are not intimidated to ask questions.

Use Example: Avoid using the term “KPIs” in a marketing meeting when you can say “The goal of our team is to increase the number of our customers”.

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