A proper communication system between the employer and employee is one of the key factors that promotes better performance in the workplace. Issues such as stress, low productivity, poor customer service, unmet expectations, and other work-related problems are often a result of poor communication, and a breakdown in communication can disrupt a company’s workflow. Here are common reasons why poor communication prevents employees from achieving their potential.

ANXIETY IN THE OFFICE

Any workload will produce a normal amount of stress. However,  if employees do not have a clear channel of communication with their supervisors or administrators, it increases their stress levels, as they may not understand priorities or expectations. They are left feeling anxious, tense, and overworked. Similarly, a lack of friendly rapport among colleagues can make the work environment tense and decrease productivity.

UNACHIEVED GOALS

Completing project milestones or goals requires the combined efforts of all team members, but with poor communication, you can face missed deadlines, misplaced priorities, and disappointed superiors. It is impossible to adequately complete a project without clearly communicated expectations and benchmarks.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

When a team is defined by mistakes and missed deadlines, business relationships are wounded and the workplace starts to feel hostile, making it difficult for people to work. It starts to have an adverse effect on employees’ emotions and self-esteem, because they may not feel like they are contributing or valuable. There is no trust or team effort, which prevents businesses from reaching their full potential.

POOR CUSTOMER RELATIONS

Dissatisfied clients can also be a sign of poor communication. When expectations are not met, it frustrates management as well as clients. Clients rely on you to properly deliver quality services at the agreed-upon time. A failure to deliver as expected can cause customers to feel frustrated—some might even sue, and such lawsuits can damage your company’s image and financial health.

BAD EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS

Imagine arriving at work one morning, opening your email inbox, and finding an accusatory message from your employer, superior, or colleague. Instead of offering encouragement or simply asking for clarifying information, your colleague has sent a message laced with threats, sarcastic remarks, and cleverly hidden barbs. You might experience the sense of helplessness, fear, hurt, anger, or frustration that can come from an unhealthy workplace. Your relationship with your colleague might feel strained, and you would probably rather hide than approach the individual to propose a solution to the problems encountered. This can lead to a drop in overall performance and a lack of fulfillment in completing your daily tasks, which leads to low productivity.

The importance of good communication in avoiding these situations cannot be overemphasized. Bad communication can lead to errors, failure, and, sometimes, legal action. There are many benefits to effective communication, such as improving clarity, promoting teamwork, increasing loyalty, managing diversity, resolving conflicts, and many more.

A survey carried out by the Holmes Report showed that companies that have a good communication system have 47% higher returns to shareholders, increased productivity, and less employee turnover. Good communication in the workplace is more than holding efficient meetings and getting along with co-workers—it is reflected in a business’s productivity and employee engagement. Issues that lead to misunderstandings between employer and employee create massive losses, especially if the misunderstandings lead to poor decision-making and dissatisfied clients. Here are some trusted tips that can help your employees communicate more effectively than ever:

1. PROVIDE SUPPORTIVE FEEDBACK

Emotions can be tricky to handle, so it is important to pay attention to how you offer feedback on your employee’s performance. Your feedback should be constructive. The engagement of employees who receive positive feedback is close to three times higher than the engagement of employees who do not receive any recognition for their work.

2. FOSTER A PRODUCTIVE ENVIRONMENT

Employees should feel comfortable and able to focus on their office or cubicle. Keep things quiet and simple; unnecessary distractions can reduce employee performance. It’s up to management to make it easier for their employees to be able to complete projects and reach their full potential.

3. PROVIDE CLEAR GOALS

It is important for workers to fully understand in clear and precise terms what is expected of them. Instead of sending memos, try to engage in face-to-face conversations when possible. Let employees ask questions and get clarification on what needs to be done. As an employer, provide clear and transparent goals for individuals, departments, and company roles.

4. GO DIGITAL

Modern technology has made office communication and operation easier. Social intranets, chat rooms, discussion forums, and mobile applications can help employees share information and work together. Tools like Slack, Redbooth, Wrike, and TouchCast can help streamline communication channels and turn your entire company into one connected team.