Human organizations are built on communication. In business organizations, when communication is good, employees are engaged, activities are properly focused, and work is coordinated to achieve high-priority goals. The result is a streamlined organization where people are happy and productive, and results climb steadily upward.
In contrast, companies with bad communication — as some of us unfortunately know all too well — can become a living hell. Employees work at cross-purposes. Confusion reigns. Employees are not trusted and managers are not respected. Morale sinks and turnover soars. Improving sales, profits and customer retention become impossible tasks.
Given the extreme importance of communication in business, the infographic below, How to Talk the Talk: Workplace Communication Problems and Solutions, is worth reading no matter what your role in the company. The tips in this infographic can be put to good use immediately by a new hire on the first day, a seasoned C-level executive, and anyone in between.
The overall theme of the infographic is balance: Seek the middle ground rather than go to extremes. For instance, companies and individual employees founder when they rely on email for everything and never, under any circumstances, pick up the phone. (This is somewhat a generational issue, but that is another story.) Another area where balance is essential involves the mix of personal and business. When business communication is dominated by gossip and emotion, it’s hard to get any work done. On the other hand, a company comprised of heartless robots won’t perform any better.
Statistics in the infographic reveal that many companies communicate poorly and suffer the consequences. Why is this the case? It could be as simple as this: Company leaders who communicate well assume that everyone knows how to communicate, and leaders who communicate badly are not aware that serious communication problems exist in their organization.
But communication problems may not be purely the fault of leadership. It could be a matter of execution. When it comes to hiring, all companies say they want people with good communication skills. But how many companies can define in detail what “good communication” means? How many companies have screening procedures to identify job candidates who have the specific communication skills their organizations demand? How many companies have training and testing programs in place to cultivate communication skills among rank-and-file employees, managers and top executives? How many companies have systems and metrics in place to evaluate the effectiveness of their communication?
If your organization needs greater clarity and effectiveness in its internal communication, this infographic will help get the ball rolling.
Author Bio: Jim McCanney is Editor-in-Chief of Institute of Business Publications, a fast-growing publisher of business-to-business newsletters for professionals who need a finger on the pulse of their industries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and focuses on writing about worker safety.