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How Does Organizational Communication Impact Productivity?

So much can become lost in translation. Different personalities create diversity in learning and listening styles.

People communicate the way they were taught, and as individuals grow into adulthood the way people explain themselves and the way they listen to others becomes even more solidified. This makes it difficult for people to take on new communication skills, but statistics show that being flexible and open to new ways of communicating are essential.

According to a survey of 4,000 employees by HR Magazine, almost half were unsure of what was being asked of them by managers who gave them a task to do.

What was even more troubling is that 36 percent felt this uncertainty between one and three times in the workday. This reveals that managers think they are saying one thing while workers feel they mean something entirely different. This can have detrimental effects on company productivity. An employee can get halfway through a project and find out they misheard the directions. This impacts time and money spent for the worker to finish the project. Communication contributes to the overall bottom line, so leaders should recognize its connection to productivity, and create strategies to improve lapses in communication.


Challenges to Organizational Communication

The key to creating an environment of effective communication is building a comprehensive organizational communication plan. Business leaders and employees who participate in creating this plan need to prepare for communication challenges that come into play in modern workplaces.

  • Taking Size into AccountThe size of an organization can create a barrier to communicating effectively. If there are hundreds of employees with multiple departments and sub-departments under those, getting out various formal messaging from upper management to every employee level can be daunting.
    Check how helps solve the problem of interdepartmental communication.
  • How Can You Ensure Accountability?Managers and leaders can mix up messaging all of the time, but how can anyone keep track of where the lapse in communication happened? If there is not a culture in place that acknowledges that mistakes are inevitable and uses them as situations for people to learn from, then accountability will be difficult to implement.
  • Creating A Plan That Is Relevant to EveryoneDifferent roles and functions within a department require various solutions to communication problems that may arise.
    How can a plan be relevant to units who have virtual teams, managers who favor weekly meetings, and teams who are on autopilot and do not see the need to meet frequently?

Is there a uniform approach that everyone should adhere to or is there no one right way for everyone? If policies are changed to favor one style over another, what is the backlash? Should that even be the right approach in the first place?