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POPin Blog

Communication Problems At Work: What Is The Real Issue

Feeling like the company culture seems more stressed than usual? Does it seem like tension continues to rise between you and your employees? If you’re experiencing communication problems at work, it’s often the sign of a much deeper problem. Learning how to work through these issues can help you improve your workplace- and help you improve your team productivity. Let’s get into it!

Lack of Feedback

Do you know how your colleagues perceive you? Do you know your strengths or weaknesses? If not, you may be facing one of the most common communication problems at work. Lack of feedback can result in employees “scrambling” around and guessing what they need to do on a regular basis. They may be insecure or uncertain to speak up and ask for what they want. Get feedback! Whether it’s through anonymous methods or individual employee reviews, generate honest answers about what is- and what isn’t- working.

Personal Communication Issues

Some colleagues will just never get along. However, effective communication requires mutual respect between two parties. When employees allow personal problems to interfere with work performance, problems ensue. Ignoring this communication issue does not make the dynamic improve on its own. Instead, appropriate mediating may be required. Sit down with both colleagues. Establish appropriate ground rules. Discuss strategies for improving communication and settling disagreements in a productive manner.

Language and Cultural Issues

There are numerous advantages to having a diverse workplace, but the same differences can also create problems. Language and cultural barriers can occur. With that said, it’s important to promote a culturally sensitive work environment. You may want to provide training on cultural competence. Encourage team-building activities. These can help improve workplace cohesion and reduce tension from such barriers.

New Employees

When hiring new employees, it’s important to make sure they feel safe and welcome in the workplace. They also need an extensive introduction regarding the work culture and appropriate ways to communicate. If you don’t do this, your new employees will struggle or “guess” how they are supposed to communicate. This can create issues and miscommunication problems between you and them (something you absolutely want to avoid).

Communication Preferences

Chances are, you know the following scene. Your boss schedules a meeting when an email would be efficient. Your coworker hangs out in your office asking you a question when a phone call would work equally well. While nuisances in the workplace happen, it’s important to have a clear standard for appropriate communication. When are meetings appropriate? When should an employee send an email or phone call? When do problems warrant direct face-to-face discussion? Hash out these concerns with you and your employees, and you will enjoy the benefits of improved communication within your workplace.

Reducing Communication Problems at Work

All companies have their issues, but, fortunately, communication is an area you can continuously work on. Be mindful of your own biases. Work collaboratively with your team. Be patient with the process. Ready for more solutions for your workplace? Launch a POPin session today, and let’s get your organization headed in the direction you want!