10 Ways to Overcome Communication Problems in The Workplace

HR Management
Rea Regan September 22, 2021 11 min read

Does your company suffer from lack of efficient internal communication? If so, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 ways you can help solve communication issues in the workplace that you can implement today!

Quick Guide

    If you’re reading this blog based solely on the title, then chances are you need a quick solution to your communication problems. And you probably needed them yesterday. 

    It’s no secret that productivity, working relationships, and morale will take a hard hit 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. 

    It’s vital that you recognize and address communication problems in the workplace before the situation gets out of control.

    When you tackle workplace communication challenges immediately, you avoid misunderstandings or something slipping through the cracks. 

    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.

    Why Does Effective Communication In The Workplace Matter? 

    That’s a fair question, but we’ll let the statistics do the talking. 

    Poor communication costs businesses breakdown by Connecteam

    Effective communication builds a foundation for success for the company and boosts employee happiness.

    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 the other hand, a Willis Tower Watson report found that companies who have effective communication practices actually generate 47% higher total returns to shareholders than 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 efficient communication in the workplace, you create a positive atmosphere with more understanding and less misunderstandings or confusion. 

    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 10 ways to overcome communication problems in the workplace.

    The first step to overcome communication problems in the workplace is to make sure you have the appropriate infrastructure in place for healthy 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.  

    You must 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.

    However, if you have deskless and mobile employees, then you need an employee app that engages them instantly, like Connecteam.

    Standardize and promote positive communication and engagement standards in your organization with Connecteam in the following ways:

    • An Employee Directory: allows employees to easily search for whomever they need to speak to, creating a “virtual” open-door policy. 
    • Targeted 1:1 or Group Messaging: ensures everyone is in the loop and up to date on important information. 
    • Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: guarantee that every employee’s voice is heard. Gather real-time feedback and create reports based on employee feedback. 
    • Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates: managers and CEOs can send company announcements, newsletters, and updates directly through the app. Send updates to the entire company or a specific team or department. Increase employee engagement by enabling employees to like and comment on posts. Real-time oversight and automated notifications allow managers to keep track of who has seen or not seen the updates. 
    • 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. Further increase employee engagement by allowing employees to comment, like, and even share GIFs on every post. 
    • 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.
    • 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.

    With the right communication tools, you can easily streamline internal communication for more efficiency and effectiveness. 

    With an employee management app like Connecteam, companies can easily improve and overcome communication problems in the workplace, increase employee productivity, boost engagement, streamline daily operations, and so much more. 

    Having Communication Problems?

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    Focus On Consistency

    The delivery method for communicating with all employees should allow you to effectively and efficiently convey the meaning of the message. 

    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. You can also share feedback on their work as they go along. 

    • Once a week
    • A quick 5-minute daily 
    • Every two weeks on a Wednesday

    It doesn’t matter in the end, as long as you and the employee decide on the when and how often. AND stick to it!

    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.

    Don’t Mix Work and Personal Communication

    Some employees tend to mix their personal lives into 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. 

    There is a time and place for personal communication in the office and it’s necessary for employee engagement and comradery, but if this personal communication is disturbing or negatively impacting the work chat, then it’s inefficient and problematic. Personal communication in the workplace should be monitored and organized so it doesn’t become a distraction to other employees. 

    Don’t use Whatsapp for organizational communication as there is absolutely no separation between work and personal communication!

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

    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.

    mobile app for employee engagement

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

    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 so for higher salaries, whereas 75% left their company because of a bad relationship with their direct manager.

    Follow Through

    When you share information, be sure to follow through to ensure everyone is aligned. 

    For example, after a meeting you can meet to discuss how to reach sales goals and employees have certain tasks and goals to meet – you need to follow through and make sure 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.

    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. 

    By having one-on-one meetings you provide your employees with a safe and positive workplace environment where employees feel heard. 

    Forbes research shows that by having an open-door policy, you are able to gain “accessibility as a manager, to encourage an open flow of communication, to gain fast access to important or just happening situations or information and to maintain closer working relationships with employees”.

    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)

    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 more engaged  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.

    Set Communication Standards

    Another solution to communication problems is to make sure your company policies cover internal communication practices and standards. Make sure employees have 24/7 access to the company policies so that they may refer to it at any time. 

    By having a clear company communication policy in place you reduce the likelihood of inappropriate or distracting communication problems in the workplace. PR expert, Kim Harrison notes, “it’s important to set policies that facilitate meaningful and necessary communication needed for employee productivity and their confidence in the future. Having a good communication policy in place reduces conflicts and misunderstandings, and eases uncertainties”. 

    By setting clear and concise company policies in regards to internal communication, employees can easily understand what type of communication is appropriate and acceptable, and what is not. You may also want to include what sort of disciplinary action will be taken if employees disregard these policies. 

    Request Employee Feedback

    Requesting employee feedback on how they view the company’s internal communication can help managers understand how they can overcome communication problems in the workplace. 

    With an employee management app, like Connecteam, you can digitally send short pulse surveys to understand how your employees feel about workplace communication and what could be improved. Instead of spending tons of time creating and distributing surveys to all employees, with Connecteam, managers can quickly and effortlessly send digital surveys with a touch of a button. 

    Some questions you may want to cover in your communication survey include:

    1. Do you feel you have an open-door policy of communication with management?
    2. How can we improve our internal communication in the workplace?
    3. Do you feel informed when there are changes or updates from the company?
    4. Which sources/platforms of communication do you find the most effective?
    5. How satisfied are you with the level of communication within the company?

    These questions, when answered by employees, will give management a better understanding of what can be done to improve internal communication and how to solve communication issues. 

    Connecteam's employee engagement software

    The Final Word on How to Solve Communication Issues in the Workplace…

    We’ve discussed several ways on how to solve communication challenges. The most important is to use the right communication tools and technology to assist in overcoming these challenges. In addition, it’s not just about implementing tools or coming up with a killer communication strategy, it’s about staying consistent and really listening to your employees. 

    Moreover, make sure to follow through with your actions in response to feedback. And make one-on-one meetings a weekly or monthly priority. Lastly, make sure to show your star employees some recognition and appreciation. 

    With these tools and tips, you will easily be able to improve your company’s internal communication, increase employee engagement, boost employee morale, and drive employee productivity. 

    Introducing: The Modern Employee Communication App

    Reinvent communication & engagement in your organization with Connecteam’s communication tools.

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