8 Ways to Overcome Communication Problems in The Workplace

HR Management
Rea Regan August 12, 2020 10 min read

Quick Guide

    Productivity, working relationships, and morale will struggle to work efficiently if you have communication problems in the workplace. And if the communication problems aren’t addressed, profit loss, higher turnover, mistakes, and a negative public image are commonplace. Recognize and address communication problems in the workplace before the situation gets out of control.

    Avoid misunderstandings or something slipping through the cracks when you tackle workplace communication challenges immediately. How can you effectively do this? Well, ensure you have the right methods in place for all data and messages sent, measure all the data, and know who received the message and who didn’t. Streamlining communication and keeping everyone on the same page will help you avoid communication problems in the workplace.

    On average, employees are actually 20 to 25% more productive in businesses that have an existing and effective internal communication strategy, compared to companies where employees are not connected whatsoever. Furthermore, a Watson Wyatt study reported that companies who communicate effectively are 50% more likely to experience low turnover. Effective communication builds a foundation for success from the company to employee happiness.

    Poor communication costs businesses breakdown by Connecteam

    If we focus on just business performance and profitability when it comes to the cost of poor internal communication, the numbers are pretty high. The image above really helps drive this home…especially that first point. On average, companies lose $62.4 million every single year because of communication issues in the workplace, a survey found.

    Now, a Willis Tower Watson report found that companies who have effective communication practices actually generate 47% higher total returns to shareholders then if you compare them to companies with workplace communication problems. 

    If you’re interested in creating a communication strategy from scratch, then download our free eBook on how to build an effective internal communication strategy.

    With effective and good communication in the workplace, you create a positive atmosphere with more understanding on both sides of the aisle. As you take action against communication problems in the workplace, success follows. However, success doesn’t happen overnight so make communication a daily task and you will reap numerous benefits in the long run. 

    In this blog, we highlight 8 ways to overcome communication problems in the workplace.

    1. Use The Right Communication Tools

    The first step to overcoming communication problems in the workplace is by making sure you have the appropriate infrastructure in place for healthy communication. Such as the basic communication tools like group chat, employee directory, suggestion box, surveys, social messages, and more.

    You have to have the right software to support all channels. For instance, email and Skype are the best solutions if your employees sit behind a desk most of the day.

    Connecteam's all-in-one employee app is a must for multigenerational employees

    However, if you have deskless and mobile employees, then you need an employee app that engages them instantly, like Connecteam. Reinvent communication and engagement in your organization with Connecteam’s complete set of communication tools, including:

    • Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: ensure every employee’s voice is heard and make decisions based on organizational surveys and live-polls, launch a suggestion box to gather feedback, and send structured channels to query or approach HR and senior management.
    • Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates:  communicate with an individual, a group, or the entire organization, Connecteam makes it easy to distribute visual, rich, and engaging content and to measure its reach and impact in a click. Advanced features include pre-scheduled updates, social engagement support for likes, comments, etc. and automated follow-up capabilities.
    • Employee Recognition and Acknowledgment: recognize star employees, share employee ‘spotlights’, and allow team members to nominate peers for awards. Celebrate with your team by sharing birthday wishes, anniversaries, personal milestones, and organizational achievements. Let your team take part by engaging with every recognition and appreciation celebration, and improve the sense of belonging.

    All-In-One Communication App

    Reach every employee with engaging and measurable communication. Engage your team like never before, reflect your company’s culture, and solidify your employer branding with Connecteam’s employee communication and engagement app.

    Book a demo

    2. Focus On Consistency

    The delivery method for communicating with all employees should be the best for effectively and efficiently conveying the meaning of the message. Create a structure for each process – who reports to who? Who uses which tool? What kind of data is needed in the report?

    It’s super easy to miss regular check-ins when work becomes busy but these consistent check-ins are the best way to maintain workplace communication. It becomes an easy way for employees to stay on track with projects and tasks and you can share feedback on their work as they go along. Employees will only become frustrated if they finish a project or task but their manager had something else in mind. Preventing this is easier when you’re consistent and are available for questions from the get-go.

    3. Don’t Mix Work and Personal Communication

    Some employees tend to mix personal lives into the workplace communications. Personal communications detract from the professionalism in the office, which sometimes leads to gossip in the workplace, leading to decreased morale or even accusations of harassment. Don’t use Whatsapp for organizational communication as there is absolutely no separation between work and personal!

    Read more here about the dangers of using Whatsapp for workplace communication.

    4. Listen, It’s The Golden Rule

    Listening skills are crucial to effectively communicating and understanding what is being shared. Employees and managers who cannot listen will miss key information or won’t know what is happening. 

    Gaining feedback from your employees is a key driver for employee engagement, productivity, morale, and retention. However, 4 out of 10 employees are actively disengaged because they receive little to no feedback from managers. Additionally, around half of the employees don’t regularly speak their minds in the workplace.

    Ensure that all employees can share their voice with management and that you’re not just exposed to ideas from your “inner circle”. With Connecteam, you can create a suggestion box that’s always accessible for employees to share their ideas, opinions, and thoughts.

    Read more here about how you can utilize Connecteam to drive engagement and communication.

    5. Communication Is A Two-Way Street

    The manager should not be the one to do all the talking. Going off of our last point, it is vital to build and foster two-way relationships with your team. Engage in an active dialogue and do it on a regular basis, it is after all, the job of the manager to do so.

    It’s vital that you remember that most employees will leave their company if they have a poor relationship with their manager or managers. In fact, 12% of employees who quit their jobs only did for higher salaries whereas 75% left their company because of a bad relationship with their direct manager.

    6. Follow Through

    When you share information, be sure to follow through to ensure everyone is aligned. For instance, after a meeting to discuss how to reach sales goals and employees have certain tasks and goals to meet – you need to follow through that they’re on track. You need to avoid employee confusion and ensure employees have a clear sense of what they need to do from start to finish.

    7. One-On-One Meetings Are Vital

    Gallup reported that 70% of the discrepancies in employee engagement was solely caused by the actions or inactions of a manager. Therefore, one-on-one meetings can help to avoid workplace communication problems.

    In fact, one-on-one meetings help bring about a 30 percent reduction in voluntary turnover and also lead to a productivity increase in the past 12 months.

    How to inspire your team 29% more- Spend 6 hours weekly with them (Infographic)

    8. Recognition And Positivity

    Avoid communication issues in the workplace by recognizing employees who are doing a great job, it will easily help them to go the extra mile. Not to mention, it helps build trust between employees and managers.

    Additionally, recognition helps to improve workplace communication and studies show that when employees are recognized, they are engaged more by 60%.

    And just like recognition can be contagious, so can the positivity that comes with it. By driving positivity and recognition, you bring in better productivity from your team and lower their stress levels. Additionally, the happier your employees are, the more involved they are in their job role and helping the company to succeed.

    Use a Communication App to Boost Internal Communication

    Connecteam’s communication app is trusted by thousands of companies from various fields and sizes. With one central app, you and your team have direct access to team chat, one-on-one dialogue, real-time updates, in-app directory, feedback surveys, a virtual suggestion box, live polls, voice messages, sharing materials (video, GIFs, pictures, files, etc.), and more. Let’s break down how and what you can do with Connecteam’s communication app to reduce workplace communication problems.

    Connecteam's employee engagement software

    • News, Updates, and Announcements: distribute information with push notifications to every employee or some of them. It can contain any media and is fully trackable so you always know how far your message came across.
    • Wellness & Benefits: create robust wellness and benefits programs for your teams by providing information on existing programs and plans, in-app links to your wellness program, share announcements of new plans, and so on.
    • In-App Chat: make internal communication simple and fun with files, GIFs, image sharing, audio notes, and more. Easily create team chats per location, project, department, or just start a private conversation.
    • Surveys & Polls: utilize surveys or polls to conduct traditional surveys or create “micro surveys” and/or polls that offer simple quick surveys to get quick feedback with little effort from management.
    • Suggestion Box: use the virtual ‘Suggestion Box’ so employees can easily share ideas and thoughts, and once they post an idea it is automatically delivered to a predefined email address(es) and is logged in the platform.
    • Direct Channel to HR: if you have an ‘Open Door’ policy, you can create a direct channel box to allow employees to submit a query/thought which is sent as a PDF directly to the email of the designated person.
    • Employee Directory: having all your team’s contact information at hand is very useful so that this information is always available and searchable with ease.
    • Employee Referrals: recruiting top employees is a big investment for the company so Connecteam becomes a powerful tool for getting referrals for potential candidates from your already existing workforce.
    • Event Announcements: notify employees about upcoming events and let them pre-subscribe so you know who’s expected to attend, like for a happy hour or company lunch.
    • FAQ: create an FAQ section to address questions around vacation and sick leave, protocols, wellness and benefits, and more.

    Connecteam is the communication and collaboration app that moves work forward, creates an open and healthy culture, and keeps your team connected in the tap of a button.

    A Modern Communication App

    Reinvent communication & engagement in your organization with Connecteam’s complete set of communication tools, including live polls, work chat, a work directory, targeted surveys, group announcements, and more. Book a 20-minute demo with our experts to learn more before launching your app, and to explore up close what Connecteam has to offer.

    Book a demo
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