If you think that dealing with workplace communication problems is just some kind of a fluffy, “HR-stuff”, your business is probably losing money right now.
In addition to affecting employee relationships, causing stress, conflicts, reducing morale and engagement, miscommunication and misunderstandings between your employees, or (even worse) between employees and management are proven to cause businesses productivity drops, mistakes, higher turnover, customers churn — hence profit loss and high expenses.
- Companies lose as much as $62.4 million on average every single year because of communication issues in the workplace, a survey found.
- The Willis Tower Watson report found that companies who have effective communication practices actually generate 47% higher total returns to shareholders, compared to companies with workplace communication problems.
- Also, employees are 20 to 25% more productive in businesses with effective internal communication strategies, compared to companies where employees are not connected whatsoever.
- Companies that communicate effectively are 50% more likely to experience low turnover, according to a study performed by Watson Wyatt.
- 97% of employees believe communication has an impact on tasks performed every day.
Effective communication builds a foundation for having a loyal, engaged team that is working together for a common, clear, measurable goal. So if you want to streamline your business operations, keep everyone on the same page and avoid the performance drops — striving for better employee communication is a must in 2020.
In this blog, we highlight 5 tips 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.
In fact, 85% of employees use more than one device to communicate at work, and 44% want wider adoption of internal workplace communication tools.
81% of millennials go even further, naming up-to-date technology more important to an ideal working environment than perks or amenities.
Email and Slack might be the best solutions if your employees sit behind a desk most of the day. However, if you have desk-less and mobile employees that might not have a work email or time to check it — then you need an employee app that’s mobile-friendly, and engages them instantly, wherever they might be. With a mobile-first employee communication app like Connecteam, that was designed around non-desk employees, you can reinvent communication and engagement in your organization thanks to Connecteam’s complete set of communication tools, for example:
- Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: to create organizational surveys and live-polls to gather employee feedback for HR and management.
- Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates: to be able to effectively communicate with an individual employee, a custom group, or the entire team. Advanced features include pre-scheduled updates, social engagement support for likes, comments, etc., and automated follow-up capabilities.
- Employee Recognition and Acknowledgment: to recognize star employees, acknowledge success, and celebrate milestones collectively.
- Employee Directory: to have all your team’s contact information always available and easily searchable.
- In-App Chat: to make internal communication instant, simple, and fun with files, GIFs, image sharing, audio notes, and more.
Another amazing thing about Connecteam is that anyone can start with zero investments using the free for life plan, and then upgrade to a premium account which starts at just $29/month for up to 200 users, whenever you’re ready to grow. So as far as workplace communication mobile solutions go, Connecteam is a no-brainer.
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.
Also, make sure the whole team is updated on the goals you are trying to achieve, understand them clearly, and know what is expected from them. Instead of trying to explain the goals and train every new employee from scratch, think of creating a centralized company source of information, to make sure everyone is getting the same consistent and updated inputs.
3. Don’t Mix Work and Personal Communication
Some employees tend to mix personal lives with 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. Using generic chats like Whatsapp or other social networks for workplace communication leaves no separation between work and personal and may lead to conflicts, reduced focus, mistakes, even embarrassment.
Keep it professional and leave the irrelevant and inappropriate interactions outside of the workplace communication, by using dedicated work chats and business-oriented channels. Additionally, keeping professional discussions in a separate, manageable channel is a good way to avoid unwanted data leaks and contact sharing.
4. 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. Gaining feedback from your employees is a key driver for employee engagement, productivity, morale, and retention. Ensure that all employees can share their voice with management and that you’re not just exposed to ideas from your “inner circle”.
5. Follow Up & 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.
In today’s intense rhythm of life and work, with all the information overload, it’s so easy to forget things. By following up and checking in with your employees regularly, you remind them about the task, and also reassuring their job is important and the team is relying on them, which helps to build trust and team culture.
By following through with your team and not letting go, until the best possible result is achieved, you’re building discipline, leadership workplace culture, and boosting your employees’ motivation to do their best.
To Wrap Up
So, as you see, overcoming communication problems will make your employees happier, more productive, and loyal, but more importantly, it will help your company to avoid a lot of mistakes and unnecessary extra costs, affecting the business as a whole.
The key to long-term success rests on effective communication in the workplace and using employee communication apps or other technological solutions can make this communication process much more agile and effective. With digital software, you can always be where your employees are — on their own mobile devices.
When you have a handy and effective channel to communicate with your employees, you can create transparent communication flows and build an efficient employee management workflow, so everyone can get feedback, and provide it for others.