Neglecting to address a widespread communication breakdown within your workforce can be costly. In fact, one study even found the average annual loss to be $62.4 million for organizations where communication practices were poor.
Poor communication disconnects colleagues from one another and distances them from your organization and its goals. As that chasm widens, engagement suffers — and high turnover is never too far behind. To help bring your workers back into the fold and reduce the risk of churn, follow these steps to get communication back on track.
signs you may have a communication problem:
You can't begin to fix communication issues until you know where they stem from. Check in with your team to understand their perspectives on the problem.
Talk to team leaders about where they see communication break down, look for areas of overlap between their reports.
Send an anonymous survey to get your workers' viewpoints on the state of communication on their teams.
Disseminate the survey on a semi-regular basis to prevent communication issues from escalating again.
Communication is a question of culture, so when leadership exemplifies the qualities of sound communication and teamwork, the effects can spread and take root across teams.
Own your mistakes. A workplace culture built on accountability will be able to communicate more freely.
Demonstrate transparency. Be open about the state of the business or current initiatives. When workers are included, it's easier to build trust — a key to open communication.
Promote feedback. Constructive criticism is necessary for growth, but when employees feel singled out, communication suffers. Aim to coach rather than correct — and, in turn, make yourself open to feedback, too.
Beyond the big-picture barriers to communication, like lack of openness or trust, problems can arise from operational issues, like choosing the right channel to send a message or knowing who to approach with a question.
Choose the right channels. Your survey results would be a good place to start for this insight. Between email, chat or in-person meetings, find what works best for your team.
Establish clarity. When you delegate duties, make sure everyone else on the team is aware of who's in charge of what. This helps to eliminate hesitancy around reaching out.
Lead training sessions. Depending on your workplace, this time could be spent on team-building exercises, a review of best practices or simply a reinforcement of your company's values and expectations around communication.
If you follow these steps, you should start seeing improvement around communication in your workplace. But if you'd like to take it further, or you just don't have time to manage it all on your own, consider working with a staffing partner. Staffing firms can:
send you talent that matches your workplace's communication and working style from the get-go to prevent issues from forming down the line
provide you with the latest workplace trends to help you see what's working well for other organizations when it comes to communication
develop tailored employee engagement strategies for your business to help you achieve greater satisfaction and productivity on your staff
Healthy communication between employees is critical to business success, so follow these steps to start correcting any issues you may be having on your teams. Or if you're looking for additional assistance and are interested in seeking out a staffing partner, contact us to start working together today.
Subscribe for articles that will help you become a staffing expert straight to your inbox.