While communication should be a priority for any organization, there are particular issues and challenges both managers and staff members need to overcome in order to make sure that lines of communication remain open and effective.
Tools such as newsletters, corporate desktop wallpaper software, and others can be used to improve communication in the workplace, but it is vital to pinpoint overall communication problems in order to resolve issues that are an impediment to good internal communications.
Communication issues in the workplace
Here are some of the top communication problems being faced by people in the workplace today:
1. Ego and attitude
Often, teamwork is deterred due to one member’s attitude and ego. One worker may want to take over discussions and prevent other members from speaking their minds. Another might refuse to lose an argument and accept that another person might be right. Many times, these people will refuse to accept that they are part of the problem. Egos and attitudes within the team can then lead to resentment, misunderstandings and friction.
The role of the manager is, therefore, important in making sure that the team focuses on the work and issues at hand. Teamwork and true collaboration will only occur if resolutions reflect the needs of everyone in the group.
2. Passive listening
Passive listening is simply hearing what the other person has to say without truly understanding it or empathizing. Often, you will see someone talking, replying and interrupting other people instead of truly listening to what others have to say. When people fail to listen, they are unable to truly comprehend the message which is being relayed. This then leads to misunderstandings and friction which could then deter the workforce from being creative and productive.
Before beginning a chat or interaction, make sure to stress the importance of active listening. Tell your staff members how inattention and passive listening can prevent them from learning about the different points of view and ideas that are present in the workplace. Role model and set a good example by being an active listener yourself.
3. Cultural differences
Today’s workplace has become more diverse, especially if your organization deals with international clients or has employees abroad. Although there is diversity in the workplace, people still tend to be more persuaded by people from their same culture or backgrounds, therefore, managers face the challenges of communicating with everyone as one cohesive team, while managing the dynamics involved in cliques and groups.
Try to mix people of different backgrounds together. Break up small groups and try to have diverse people collaborate on brainstorming activities and projects. Also, communication tools such as corporate desktop wallpaper software, newsletters and email can potentially decrease the impact of cultural differences. This is because communication is written and is free from accents and impulsive biases, and is therefore more thought out.
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4. Poorly written communication
You may opt for different communication tools to get your point across such as corporate desktop wallpaper software, newsletters, and memos; however, if your materials are poorly written, your messages might cause confusion and frustration amongst your staff members. Make sure to always proofread your copy before sending it. You may also opt to ask a colleague to look through your work to help pinpoint any mistakes or typos.
5. Lack of interest or motivation
When people are not interested in what is being discussed, or they lack the motivation to work hard, they are more likely to disregard or ignore your messages. While this means that you certainly need to take a look at your internal communications, using tools such as corporate desktop wallpaper software, the intranet, and others can help you reach your staff members so that they feel more motivated and engaged in their work and in the organization.
The above tips will help your employees to build healthy and productive working relationships both with each other, other teams in the organization, and with management. By improving internal communication by adopting best practice techniques and using a variety of internal communication channels, you can watch them excel as they work for a company that values them, listens to them and respects them.
This article was originally posted in 2017 and has been updated in 2020.