As an entrepreneur, you already know the importance of communication in your organization. It directly affects employee productivity, customer satisfaction, and the success of your business.
However, even today, it is easy for organizations to develop communication gaps. Gaps often occur when there is a miscommunication or the receiver misinterprets the speaker’s message. As the gap grows, the possibility of miscommunication between team members also increases.
Miscommunication and misunderstandings often escalate into conflicts and delays, leading to missed deadlines and higher levels of stress. That is why bridging communication gaps is imperative.
Modern technologies can help close these gaps. For example, session initiation protocol or Canada SIP Trunk you can simplify your phone systems. Also use tools like digital calendars and email platforms to make sure everyone is on the same page. On the other hand, even with good technology, business communication is based on several variables, such as the skills and attitudes of employees. You should consider these variables before looking for ways to close communication gaps.
You can develop a culture of trust and collaboration by bridging these gaps. Now the question is, how can such loopholes be dispelled? Here is a guide to help you.
Identify communication bottlenecks
Before you start taking action, it is imperative to discover the bottlenecks that cause miscommunication. Here are some of the most common communication barriers, including:
- language barriers
- cultural barriers
- Physical barriers
- interpersonal barriers
- local barriers
Language barriers can include jargon that some people, perhaps those on other teams, may not be familiar with, and complex words with simpler counterparts.
Cultural barriers can be differences in cultural norms, which affect the way a team member speaks. This is especially true if you have a global team.
Physical barriers can include locked doors, poor workplace designs such as cubicle walls, and geographic distance.
Interpersonal barriers can be the result of employees feeling like they don’t belong in the company. This feeling can be caused by a lack of recognition for your work or low self-esteem due to your job position on the corporate ladder.
Local barriers can be rumors and cross-functional problems.
But by identifying these communication bottlenecks, it’s easier to address the root cause of the problem and then find solutions to clear expectations.
Adopt daily stand-up meetings
Daily standups are regular 15-minute meetings. They are typically carried out by the chief executive officer (CEO) if they only have a few team members. But for large corporations, department leaders run this type of meeting. Their purpose is to keep everyone on the same page, reduce communication gaps, and prevent employees from working in silos.
This is the usual format of a stand up meeting. One person speaks at a time, starting with the youngest member of the team and ending with the oldest person present. This ensures that everyone has a chance to contribute without being intimidated by the team’s superiors. If a team member isn’t on track, this type of meeting can draw them back. That way, they won’t waste time duplicating efforts that aren’t part of their projects.
Get rid of one-way communication
One-way communication is when companies don’t allow workers to share feedback and raise concerns. For example, business leaders send monthly newsletters to their employees via email. This reduces opportunities for participation as employees cannot start and join conversations.
A simple way to reduce one-way communication is to take the bottom-up approach. This involves upper management soliciting feedback from your workforce to determine their thoughts on the newsletters.
Instead of sending the letters by email, why not send them on a chat platform, where all employees can discuss their views and suggestions in real time? This encourages active engagement from your workforce, fostering a better company culture.
Digitization allows organizations to go beyond geographical borders and reach their employees. Here is a list of communication tools used by many modern businesses.
Video conferencing tools allow you to interact with employees from different countries. As long as the team member has an Internet connection, she can join meetings remotely.
Instant messaging software helps keep everyone informed about what’s happening in real time. This reduces unnecessary lengthy meetings, emailing, or long-distance phone calls.
Cloud technology facilitates the remote exchange of business information. This makes it possible for your workforce to access data without carrying storage devices with them.
Most importantly, authorized personnel can modify the documents and members of your team can review the version history. These are most commonly used in modern workplaces and help companies lower communication barriers.
Communication is not just about informing the workforce about positive news. Employees have the right to know bad news that may affect the company or their jobs, such as financial insecurity.
Open and transparent communication is about objective and honest transmission of updates, problems, etc. of the company It helps you correct organizational problems while keeping your staff informed, where they can also provide feedback or suggestions. It makes your employees feel indispensable and therefore valued. And you avoid the spread of rumors and the risk of misinformation that can destroy the integrity of your company.
Avoid information overload
Information overload causes gaps in communication. For example, you’re sending your team members tons of reference materials in a short period of time.
Most of the information can cause confusion and frustration as they cannot keep up with the influx of information.
Before cascading complex information, give them enough time to systematically process the information, raise concerns, and provide ideas or suggestions. This method reflects your character, particularly your ability to empathize, which is relationship building.
But when information can be simplified, get to the main points by identifying the top three priorities of your message:
- the main action
- The Crucial Supporting Details
- When dealing with a problem, possible solutions
You can also schedule related tasks together to avoid unnecessary repetition. This ensures that everyone agrees on their roles in solving the problem.
The success of a workforce lies in effective communication. But if communication gaps exist in your organization and you can’t find ways to resolve them, they can affect team productivity. On the other hand, discovering these gaps allows you to take action before they cause project delays and other problems.
Communication gaps can also be closed through automation, which can automate repetitive tasks and enable real-time communication. That way, you can speed up processes and reduce misunderstandings.