There is no environment which contains more than one person that is exempt from conflict. However, if you’ve ever suffered the effects of a toxic workplace, it’s easy to understand that too much conflict can be a serious problem. A major cause of workplace conflict is a lack of communication. Poor communication within a workplace not only causes rivalries and conflicts, but it can also impact production, resulting in high employee turnover, and cost your company a lot of money. In fact, a survey of 400 companies reported the average income loss resulting from poor communication is over $60 million per year.
Why Poor Communication Costs Businesses in Every Way
You may be wondering how any company can lose such a large amount of money for such a simple reason. The answer is simple. Communication affects every aspect of running a successful business. Coworkers must have effective communication to collaborate. Managers need to communicate instructions clearly to receive the proper results. Additionally, a useful communication system must be created for customers to understand the need for a product or service. The breakdown of those necessary communication systems results in unmet expectations, low morale, high employee turnover, and dissatisfied clients.
Obviously, business owners have no desire to lose millions of dollars a year, and no one enjoys spending 40 to 50 hours a week in a toxic work environment. So, why do companies continue to suffer from the same communication problems year after year? It would seem that workers simply aren’t interested in useful communication. However, statistics prove otherwise. Both employees and executives understand the importance of communication with 86% agreeing that lack of collaboration or poor communication leads to workplace failures.
With so many people in agreement about the results of poor communication, it’s surprising that the problem isn’t resolving itself. However, many businesses lack the training to promote healthy effective communication.
6 Tips to Solve Workplace Communication Problems
There is no easy one-step fix for effective communication within the workplace. Natural communication occurs in many forms with each person favoring their own preferences. This same type of easy communication is required within the workplace. Try these tips to solve some of the most common communication problems in the workplace.
1. Be Transparent
Clear communication is necessary for every part of a company. When managers openly communicate their expectations and offer feedback on progress, employees can better meet expectations. Managers who practice this transparency also encourage employees to collaborate and ask questions that lead to higher success rates.
2. Take Immediate Action to Resolve Conflict
All too often, conflicts within the workplace are a result of a misunderstanding related to poor communication. Resolving these conflicts immediately eliminates the time to allow the conflict to grow into a long-term problem. Conflict resolution skills help employees build vital collaboration skills.
3. Build Listening Skills
True listening requires more than remaining quiet while another person talks. The term “in one ear and out the other” applies to all forms of communication. When you don’t take the time to actually think about what is being proposed, you’re not listening effectively. Making a commitment to be open to opinions that are different than your own will allow you to avoid conflicts and collaborate on new ideas.
4. Use Multiple Forms of Communication
Don’t limit office communication to email and regular meetings. Today’s technology offers different ways for employees to share ideas and communicate within the workplace. Workplace communication apps offer new ways for employees, managers, and even customers to communicate. These apps can be used to form teams, share information, and collaborate on projects. This ability to share information evolves into a better understanding of sales information.
5. Show Respect
Every person has different opinions and factors that influence their culture and each of these people deserve respect. Respectful communication is always easier to receive and respond to. The ability to show respect requires getting to know the know and understand the people around you. Communicating in the style that makes employees most comfortable is the key to providing clear direction.
6. Utilize an Open Door Policy
Transparency between upper management and employees is an important component of a stress-free workplace. An open door policy doesn’t require doors to actually be left open, it only means there’s an option to speak openly at any time. When employees are comfortable with the option to approach supervisors and managers with questions, concerns, and ideas expectations are easily achieved.
Benefits of Effective Communication
The best techniques to solve communication problems within the workplace actually utilize prevention. Positive open communication between all people within a business solves many of the problems that plague unsuccessful companies. Instead of toxic workplace stress and millions of dollars lost each year, the practice of effective communication leads to increased productivity and employee satisfaction. Achieving quality communication can offer these benefits for your business:
• Increased productivity – When expectations are outlined clearly, employees have the power to meet them effectively. Multiple options for collaboration also work to increase productivity.
• Customer satisfaction – When coworkers and management communicate efficiently, customers receive a satisfactory experience of a job well done. Lack of communication often results in a blame game that leaves clients without satisfactory service.
• A professional image – Lack of communication, gossip, and passing the blame results in a company without professionalism. This negative culture can send quality employees and potential customers searching elsewhere to get their needs met. A company with effective communication skills portrays a pleasant professional image.
• Increased morale – Employees with personal relationships report a more positive work experience. This increased morale creates engagement and a positive connection to the company and its outcome. Workplace engagement supports relationships and mirrors a quality image for the entire business.
Practice respectful open communication techniques within your business for increased morale and improved relationships between employees. Then reap the benefits of this practice with the increased success that automatically follows. Add HeyBuddy to your communication techniques for a new way to share information and communicate seamlessly throughout the workplace. Visit our blog for more great tips for creating a successful workplace.