Big organizations are prone to communications breakdowns not only due to having a large number of people or departments, different locations, and poor management but also because of diverse personality traits.
When different departments or teams in your organization fail to pass information properly to each other, they create a bottleneck.
Effective communication is crucial for any organization to succeed. In fact, research shows that poor communication costs organizations $37 billion in lost productivity.
Benefits of Effective Communication to Your Organization
While the losses are considerable, business leaders who have mastered the art of effective communication end up gaining 47% higher return than the industry average.
With good communication setup, your organization also gains the following benefits:
- Better services and products
- Improved trust and commitment
- Job satisfaction
- Increased employee retention rate
- Healthy workplace relationships
- Reduced injury rates
- Contribute to brand awareness
Effective Communication is Crucial to Your Business
The following methods will help you to remove the communication bottlenecks in your organization and ultimately lead to higher returns and have a considerable positive impact on your bottom line.
1. The Art of Providing Feedback
When you don’t give feedback or response to your employees, they end up forgetting the value of communication. Feedback helps you to evaluate the achievement of your employees as well as showing them how to relate to the management, teams, and their co-workers. Furthermore, it demonstrates how your employees react to tough situations and stress.
On the other hand, when you don’t give feedback, it may lead to demotivation, low self-esteem, and poor work attitude. It’s not so much about whether your feedback is positive or negative, as they are both important and necessary.
By giving positive feedback, you create a nurturing working environment, engaging community, and push for progressive development.
Negative feedback will point out what’s not working well, just make sure it’s constructive.
It’s not enough to say you’re not happy with the current situation, you have to provide a better alternative and guidance.
But what’s the best channel to provide feedback? Think about social media, where it’s so easy to give and receive comments. Likewise, your organization should have a simple communication platform where employees can send and receive feedback in the form of comments, reactions, and sharing.
And by doing so, your employees will adopt the culture of giving and receiving feedback naturally.
Therefore, you should provide a simple and easy communication platform such as social intranet software that allows employees to communicate easily and freely.
2. Manage Email Overload
Apart from phone calls, group messages, social media, text messages, and in-house meetings, employees can receive up to 120 emails per day. Communication overload can result in the loss of important information through ignorance, deletion, and forgetting. Furthermore, employees can become frustrated by numerous inboxes.
To prevent email overload, you should integrate all communication into the existing company channels. A well-streamlined communication channel helps to prevent confusion when sending group emails and adding other people to conversations.
For example, you can use CRM platforms, which help to manage employees’ communication with customers ensuring smooth processing of inquiries or tickets.
3. Introduce an “Open Door” Policy
One of the biggest communication barriers is between employees and management—mainly because they fear to talk with their bosses. You should provide a direct channel where your employees are free to tell anything to you. An open-door policy portrays that you are approachable and improves internal communication.
However, if you don’t have listening skills, you might not be able to facilitate effective communication.
And also remember to check up on your employees regularly despite having an “open door” policy.
For instance, just like in football, there is no possibility of a touchdown if the receiver has no idea where the quarterback will throw the ball. But if they communicate properly, they can coordinate successfully.
4. Share Internal and External News
Transparent news sharing helps the employees to trust the organization and fully identify with the brand. Therefore, you should be the first source of any organization related news. For instance, your employees can feel cheated if they learned about some important changes through social media.
Introduce an internal newsletter to share and communicate the organization’s news, whether small or life-changing information. A weekly newsletter works just fine to avoid email overload.
You are the best person to deliver your organization’s most important news, whether negative or positive. Therefore, ensure you give your employees honest and straightforward information on time.
However, it is also wise to understand that there is news meant for specific groups such as project, team, department, and so forth. Therefore, create closed and open groups to segregate news accordingly.
5. Orientation Strategies
Whether it’s for onboarding new employees or when introducing a new application or software, an organization should have a well-laid-out plan to train and orientate its employees. In a case where an employee does not understand how something works, they tend to shun away from using it altogether.
Make training videos and guidelines that teach employees how to use devices and software.
Proper onboarding and orientation strategies help to keep communication flowing as every employee feels comfortable using the organization’s communication channels. Don’t forget to deal with the technical side of issues as well. Communication might be jeopardized because of tech problems that might make usual communication channels unavailable. Slow computers are often the reason why apps like Skype misbehave, as the don’t have enough processing power to work well.
Identify what’s slowing down the computers at work and eliminate technological bottlenecks from your systems. Make sure your OS and all software are up to date, and that you have good malware protection too.
In addition, you might want to have a backup plan for crucial communication services that everyone is aware of. So if Skype is not working well, everyone will know they should switch to Slack until Skype becomes operational again.
6. Create a People-Oriented Community
One of the main causes of the communication bottleneck is lack of sense of belonging. Treat your employees as people and provide a comfortable environment. Furthermore, social events can help boost the employee’s attitude towards the organization. Therefore, you should celebrate achievements through initiatives such as employee of the month to motivate employees.
Additionally, recognize or celebrate the employees’ birthdays, anniversaries, and by doing so, you build a people-oriented community where everyone feels appreciated and valued. Lastly but not least, organize work retreats such as hiking trips, water sports events, mini-golf, which lets employees interact and relieve stress.
All these activities invoke interaction and remove the tension between management and employees, therefore, improving internal communication.
Effective Communication Increase Productivity
Communications bottlenecks are a setback to the growth of big organizations. But with the right knowledge, good planning, sufficient budget, and well laid out policies, you can remove communication bottlenecks.
Use the methods above to remove communication barriers in your organization and encourage a spirit of sharing information. Better communication flow will help your organization to improve productivity, improve retention rate, and overall brand success.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech.