The Disadvantages of Communication in an Organization

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Effective communication is often seen as the lifeblood of a successful organization. When employees at all levels are communicating well with each other and with their consumers, the business has more chances of success. While communication plays a pivotal role in the accomplishments of a business, when it is done ineffectively it can negatively impact the organization.

Sorting Through the Volume of Content

In today’s technology-dependent business environment, it’s common to use collaborative team organizational software and apps to manage projects and implement plans. While these kinds of tools are great for increasing the channels of communication, they can also bog users down with the sheer volume of content. It can be incredibly time-consuming to wade through all of the messages, updates and notes each day regarding all of the projects in motion, which can decrease employee efficiency. Important messages can get lost in the pool of information or certain messages can be forgotten due to the volume of extraneous content.

Waiting for a Response

Not all communication is instantaneous. Sometimes in a business environment when you’re dealing with colleagues or clients in different time zones or locations, you may need to wait several hours or even days for a response. Regardless of whether the communication was via email or voicemail, often important milestones can be delayed due to a lack of real-time communication. While it’s courteous to provide a response as soon as possible, it’s not always the case when dealing with multiple moving parts in a business environment. Time is money, as the saying goes, and waiting for the desired response can cost the organization sales and revenue if the deadline is urgent.

Dealing with Incorrect Information

Factual information is imperative to the success of a business. Whether it’s providing revenue numbers to shareholders or product success metrics to consumers, it’s important to get the facts straight. Sometimes communication can be a disadvantage to an organization when it is incorrect. Whether those mistakes are accidental or intended, the damage to an organization’s reputation can be severe. Truth-in-advertising laws require businesses to communicate with only factual information with their customers. Not doing so can result in large fines and poor publicity. In order to communicate effectively, the information needs to be accurate.

Navigating the Barriers to Communication

Sometimes there are just too many barriers within an organization for the communication to be effective. The barriers can come in many different forms such as the clarity of the message, the length of the message, the way it is delivered, the way it is interpreted and the feedback that is provided to the sender. If there are multiple barriers to communication, the message will not come across as intended, which will be disadvantageous to the organization.

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About the Author

Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.