Both employees and managers believe that communication is key to their company's success. A solution exists for almost any communication problem. Employees and managers have to be willing to investigate and solve such problems. Side effects of poor communication include low morale, poor productivity, interpersonal conflicts and high turnover. An effective organization needs to analyze its communication process and determine if improvements need to be made.
Lack of Personal Contact
With the use of cell phones, computers and telephones, personal contact is at an all-time low. The same goes for managers. Managers with poor communication skills communicate through email or phone messages rather than by personal contact. There are instances when email and phone calls are appropriate for business communication; however, managers need to always discuss personal matters face to face. Personal interaction is the only way to determine the true meaning of an important matter as it is easy to misinterpret the tone of an email or phone message.
Lack of Clarity
Managers must communicate information about important matters to their employees clearly for employees to properly understand. This may require elaboration or clarification on these issues to ensure the employees understand the information as their employer intended. Different employees interpret information in different ways. Unless employees receive clarification, they may perform in a manner contradictory to how their supervisory wants them to perform. Employees must ask the right questions, and employers must answer the questions clearly.
Lack of Feedback
Annual performance evaluations are a must in any organization; however, feedback on a more regular basis is also important. Many times, employers provide feedback only once a year because they simply won’t take the time or don’t want the personal contact. With more frequent evaluations come opportunities to improve employees’ skills and provide constructive criticism.
Lack of Honesty
As most communication problems arise in organizations during difficult times, it is even more important to provide honest answers to employees’ questions. Honesty is always important; however, when employees sense a problem in their organization, they expect their employer to lay out the facts and provide them with as much information as reasonably possible. Lack of honesty only turns employees away from their employer, sometimes leading them to another organization they believe will be honest.
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