Common Causes of Miscommunication in the Workplace
The bigger the company, the more likely miscommunication will occur. This is because while a manager may think that he or she is clear about the internal communication strategy the company employs, staff members will be unable to full understand and implement it if the message is not relayed properly.
Also, employees will always have different ideas and viewpoints, as well as work personalities and habits. These things can also prove to make communication in the workplace even more challenging.
Miscommunication in the workplace can certainly stir a lot of tension and conflict amongst staff members and managers, and can lead to them being dissatisfied with their jobs and less productive. And while miscommunication can’t always be prevented, it’s always best to know its common causes so that all those involved are better equipped at avoiding them.
Here are some of the more common causes of miscommunication in the workplace:
1. Poor communication between business owners, managers and employees.
If there is no internal communication plan in place, the less likely business owners and managers are able to communicate and interact with employees effectively. With no strategy to follow, there is a higher tendency for communication because each party does not know what to expect of the other.
Communication drives any kind of business. In order to ensure that everyone in the organization are working towards a goal or vision, leaders and managers should be very explicit about their expectations. At the same time, employees are able to give them an insight into what works and what doesn’t work in the given system.
2. Making assumptions.
The problem with making assumptions is that one party supposes what the other party is thinking without actually confirming if the thought is correct. Assumptions lead to miscommunication, and the only way to solve this issue is by allowing members of the organization to give their thoughts, ideas and concerns without the fear of being fired or being reprimanded hovering over them.
As long as communication is done respectfully, everyone in the business should be allowed a voice in order to ensure that things run much more smoothly. Not only will this be a way of improving communication, it will further foster trust and transparency within the organization.
3. Lack of accountability.
When people don’t own up to their shortcomings and mistakes, and instead blame others, miscommunication and conflict occur. Miscommunication and issues also occur when one employee gets another co-worker to do all his work for him but takes credit for it.
Lack of accountability not only puts a dent in the productivity of employees, but also on the internal communications of a company that seeks to promote camaraderie.
4. Misunderstanding the mission and vision of the company.
Miscommunication occurs when staff members aren’t focused on the mission and vision of the business. Both leaders and employees have to work towards specific goals in order for a company to truly be able to claim success.
The problem with quite a number of organizations is that while leaders and managers know and understand the vision of the business, staff members aren’t informed about it. Employees should be educated about what the company envisions for itself 5, 10 and even 15 years down the line. This in turn, allows staff members to work towards that goal instead of routinely going about their work blindly.
5. Failing to be consistent.
When companies are inconsistent with their messaging, employees get confused. This confusion won’t only lead to a lack of productivity, but will also lead to a lack of fluidity in work process and communications.