At the most basic level, communication is the transfer of information between two or more individuals. Effective communication entails a two-way dialogue instead of a one-way directive. Communication is integral to all relationships, especially at work. Without proper communication, work cannot take place productively.
Communication at Work
Studies show that 46% of employees routinely receive unclear instructions at work. In fact, 36% say it happened several times in a day! On the other hand, companies with effective communication processes report lower employee turnover than industry standards.
Barriers to Communication
The structure of an organisation can promote or hinder communication. Factors such as hierarchy and long chains of command lead to distorted messages, half-baked knowledge, doubt, gossip and fear.
Semantic and Cultural Barriers
Differences in use of language and grammar can cause confusion amidst individuals. Moreover, people from different cultures may be unfamiliar with communication patterns which can then lead to problems.
Communication is likely to break down when people have mental barriers or stereotypes. Distractions, poor listening skills and limited attention spans can also interfere with communication at work.
If the physical environment at work is not conducive to a dialogue, it is likely that communication will be ineffective. For instance, noisy workplaces might not allow for seamless communication.
Why Communication Matters
Impact for the Individual
When communication at work is streamlined and structured, employees experience higher morale and job satisfaction. It can also improve leadership- and team work-related behaviours in employees.
Impact for the Organisation
When communication at work is made a strategic priority, employees are likely to be more productive. Moreover, effective communication can also improve an organisation's reputation and boost cost savings.
InnerHour for Effective Communication
With our Employee Happiness Programme, the employer can use strategic interventions to promote standardised, more effective, and more empowering communication.
InnerHour's ongoing evaluation framework assesses communication and related factors within the organisation. We map out how these factors are linked to overall emotional wellness, and offer segregated analyses to the employer.
Targeted Action Plans
Communication is an area that would require as much work from the employer as from us. Together, we can strategise to not only decide what offerings to provide to employees, but also what changes to implement in organisational structure and processes.
Our trained therapists deliver skill-building workshops and webinars for managers and other groups of employees. Popular topics include emotional intelligence, assertiveness, and giving feedback.
The InnerHour app offers skill-building activities and personalised tools to help employees work on themselves, improve communication patterns, and address challenges they are facing at work or in life.
Employees struggling with emotional challenges that are in turn affecting communication and other behaviour at work can access professional support from a qualified InnerHour therapist.
Kapur, Radhika. (2018). Barriers to Effective Communication.