You probably know by now that communication is key to the performance of any organisation. But do you know just how much it will cost if you get it wrong?
If you have 100 employees or fewer, poor communication could be costing you around $420,000.
Bump that up to 100,000 employees and you’re looking at $62.4 million.
So how can you facilitate smooth communication and ensure that you’re not needlessly flushing money down the drain?
Let’s start by addressing these 5 common communication barriers we see when working with organisations of all shapes and sizes.
Lack of communication
It shouldn’t only be the people at the top of an organisation who know what’s going on. Every employee should feel like they have some sort of stake in the game.
According to a report by Trade Press Services, as many as 85% of employees claim they are most motivated when regularly updated about company news and information.
Clear, regular updates for employees is a great way to keep people feeling involved and that they know what’s going on. This gives people confidence that they’re on the right track, and that what they’re doing matters.
Too much noise
On the opposite side of the spectrum, organisations that communicate too much with employees can overwhelm them with irrelevant information, meaning that the crucial stuff gets buried and ignored.
In fact, according to a 2019 study, over 60% of employees ignore emails at work because they deem them to be unimportant.
To make sure you can strike the right balance, make sure you’re only sending messages that are necessary and relevant. You can do an audit with your team or different people across your organisation to establish a communication flow that works best for the majority.
Ask: do people think you communicate too little? Too much? Is there anything they would like to hear more about in particular, or aspects of your projects or processes that are not clear?
Is your organisational structure complex and rigid? This may mean important messages and communication get lost in the mix.
Here’s a quick litmus test to see if your organisation is in need of a change:
- Do employees need to schedule a time with your assistant to have a chat?
- Are the higher-ups the only people who have information on upcoming projects or key processes?
- Are there different information silos? Do departments only communicate internally?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to all three, it may be time to review your organisational structure and see where you can make some improvements.
With the increase in remote work in the last couple of years, this has become an increasingly common barrier for organisations.
Information should be easy to find and accessible to workers. The average employee spends 20% of their time actually looking for the information they need to do their job – and this problem is certainly worse for your remote team members. Centralised databases and streamlined communication channels are a must.
Different communication styles
Your organisation is made up of a bunch of individuals with very different communication styles. To make sure that your employees are able to engage in a meaningful and productive way, it’s absolutely essential that you train them to adapt their communication style to their audience.
Want to improve the way people communicate in your organisation? Our Communicating with EQ course is designed with these common barriers in mind and teaches participants how to communicate clearly and effectively.