Probably one of the most irritating issues inside any workplace, a breakdown of communication spells serious problems. Technology has changed how we communicate at work- and not always for the best:
Trap 1. The Text Message
Text messages are great for reminding your partner to get milk on the way home, but are NEVER a substitute for face to face or phone contact in the workplace. If you are running late or sick- CALL IN. The other party deserves the courtesy of actually speaking to you. Perhaps a meeting needs to be changed or there are tasks to reallocate, either way, a quick call will sort issues quickly and effectively. Besides, just because you sent a text message doesn’t mean the recipient actually received it.
Trap 2. The Angry Email
You are seething…steam can be seen coming from your ears. You have had it, the same argument with the boss/ employee and enough is enough! With vengeance in your finger-tips, you pound out an email that will tell it like it is, once and for all. BUT… before you hit send. STOP. Read your email. Is that really what you want to say? Will the effect be the one you are hoping to achieve? Possibly not. Best to save as a draft and review when you feel calmer, or share with a trusted colleague. Calmly outlining your position in a logical way will get a much better result, every-time.
Trap 3. The Company-Wide Memo
At some stage, you may have received one of these -the generic “heads will roll” memo. Fair enough that management needs to ensure compliance with procedure and policies, but a “policy update/reminder” reinforcing positive behaviours will achieve the intended outcome without the risking unsettling your productive and loyal employees. Often it will be the good employee who tenders his / her resignation.
Trap 4. The Communication Void
One thing is absolutely certain- in the absence of direct communication in the workplace, rumours spread faster than a bushfire. Good management will ensure regular communication throughout the company- sharing both the good and sometimes, the bad news. Either way, keeping your staff informed is the surest way of stopping rumours from starting and undermining workplace confidence.
Which of these communication traps have you experienced?