Clear, effective and regular communication is critical for an organization to thrive. Learn how your organization can identify gaps in communication and successfully address them.
Leadership to Employee Communication
Effective communication begins from the top down. It is very important that leadership in an organization communicates often and thoughtfully. A lack of communication, or only communicating changes that could be perceived as negative, can build mistrust within an organization. Also, not having clearly defined organizational goals and objectives can cause some to feel lost and out of place.
In order to gain and retain trust and engagement, leadership should communicate regularly about what is happening within the organization. This level of transparency can make employees feel valued and increase overall employee engagement.
Management to Employee Communication
Communication issues between managers and their employees can create significant barriers in the workplace. A common problem that can arise is when expectations are not clearly defined. With a lack of defined goals, some may not meet their manager’s expectations. Some employees also have a fear of speaking up with suggestions, which can stunt the growth of new ideas within the organization.
There are ways to close the communication gap between managers and employees. Managers can work with their people to find a style that best suits them. This could include regular check-ins, or reviews of work to make sure the employee is meeting the manager’s expectations.
Managers can also enact an “open door” communication policy, where feedback and new ideas are welcomed and can be shared. If someone is hesitant to reach out with new ideas, this policy could increase their comfort level.
Employee to Employee Communication
Communicating between employees is just as critical. Sometimes, this is the area with the biggest challenges. If the wrong channel is used to communicate something critical (for example, using instant messenger when an email or call would make more sense), the message can get lost.
Another issue that can arise with employee-to-employee communication is a lack of communication between departments. If two departments or teams are very siloed, they may have their own lingo and ways of operating. This doesn’t always translate well when working together.
There are ways to address these issues. Workshops and team-building exercises can open the door to more fluid communication. Training on communicating and emotional intelligence can also be very helpful. Regular staff meetings are a great way to bridge the gap between teams, as well.
Steps to Bridging the Gap
Communication is an important factor in the success of an organization. There are steps you can take to help your organization succeed.
- Identify the gaps in communication, formulate solutions and follow up to see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Adjust course, if necessary, and stay consistent with regular and transparent communication!
- Encourage feedback and be ready to listen.
Need help bridging the communication gap in your organization? Ask us how we can help.