Effects of Ineffective Workplace Communication
When developing communications strategy, organizations should always lean towards promoting and focusing on positive communication. However, there are times that positive communication may be hard to come by or may be difficult to implement. This makes it easy for companies to fall into default and ineffective communication simply because this is what they are used to.
Why should companies make sure to prioritize positive communication over communication that has proven to be ineffective? While positive communication may be more challenging, allowing ineffective communication will only deter the progress of a business and will more likely result in less productivity and a decrease in employee morale and engagement.
Ineffective and poor communication can result in several problematic issues, such as:
1. The creation of uncertainty.
Companies go into developing communications strategy in order to reduce uncertainties, stress and conflicts. However, poor and ineffective communication could lead to employees uncertain of their roles and value to the company. For example, if a manager fails to keep his staff members in the loop regarding new company policies, employees may tend to break rules without intending to or miss out on benefits that are due them. As a result, distrust, frustration and conflict between the involved parties may occur.
2. A conflict on the designation of resources.
Majority of companies will have limited resources, such as budgets, and even office equipment and supplies. If communication is poor and ineffective, resources may go to departments and individuals who don’t need them, leaving those who do need them without the things that they need. For example, the sales department might need a new photocopying machine because their previous one broke down. The equipment that they requested for goes to the HR department which already has more than enough machines. The sales department is then left without the equipment they need, which could result in decreased productivity and frustration. Therefore, when developing communications strategy, companies must make sure that lines of communication between different departments and management are open and constant.
3. Lack of collaboration and poor teamwork.
If communication in the workplace is poor and ineffective, staff members are less likely inclined to collaborate with each other. This then results in poor teamwork and potentially, even friction amongst employees. This would be extremely unfortunate as the core of any organization is the people who work there. Without camaraderie and strong working relationships, companies will have a difficult time going towards their objectives.
4. Gossiping and friction.
Poor and ineffective communication can result in gossiping and rumours, which then results in tension and friction in the workplace. Should management fail to address issues such as these, developing communications strategy would be a pointless exercise as harmonious working relationships are non-existent.
Gossiping and rumors builds animosity amongst team members and colleagues. And while gossiping may be seen by others as a past time, the truth of the matter is, it only makes matters worse. Bonds are broken, and are not easily repaired.
5. Miscommunication on deadlines and work processes.
Poor and ineffective communication can stifle and put a halt to work processes. When people don’t know what to do, they may end up doing things that were not required of them. For example, a person may think that he is in charge of finishing a particular graph, while all along, the said task was already given to someone else. This results in two outputs, confusion, frustration, and lost opportunity to further the progress of a particular project.
6. Decrease in morale and engagement.
When communication is ineffective, it can result in decrease in employee morale and engagement. After all, why would staff members want to commit to a company and to colleagues they can’t trust or rely on?