Poor Communication Skills in the Workplace is Costly

Poor Communication costs you, both professionally and personally. One source estimates employee misunderstandings cost organizations $37 billion per year.  “Misunderstandings” are defined as: actions or errors of omission by employees who were misinformed (or misunderstood) company policies, business processes, job functions or a combination of all three.  Additionally, communication barriers resulting in productivity losses had a cumulative cost of $26,041 per year per worker.  Leaders must make a conscious decision to improve.

Eighty five percent of our success in life is attributable to our communication skills.  No matter how ambitious, how committed, or how educated a person is, they have a low probability of success without developing the skills to interact with others in an effective way.

Leaders may not intentionally ignore their team, but not making a concerted effort to be heard and understood is the same as making a decision to be mediocre or fail outright. Research shows that only one in three organizations will take any action to close the communication gap.  Ignoring the problem will result damage to your brand, your reputation, your revenues as well as your customer experience, not to mention employee morale.

Clarify Communication infographic (600 x 293)     Data source:  Cortex.com, Infographic: Twoodo

Ways to Improve

  • Tackle the issue head on
    • Commit to being better.  Allocate time, energy and resources to improvement.
  • Tailor your message to your audience
    • Know the audience and adapt your message accordingly.  Be cognizant of their age, gender, level of education, language and culture.
  • Pay attention to body language
    • Put your phone down and make eye contact. Don’t cross your arms and don’t forget that you are constantly communicating, even when you haven’t said a word.  Fifty five percent of communication is non-verbal, 37% is tone of voice.  If you smile more, your tone of voice changes.
  • Listen, ask questions and repeat the other person
    • Do what you say and say what you mean.  Ask for feedback, say thank you and take action on what you hear.  Be empathetic.
  • Tell a story
    • Stories wake up our brain and engage the listener.  While stories are not statistically verified, they stick in our heads and hearts and typically go deep.  They can change or reinforce our behavior and our perspective.  They help us to connect to others and to the future we choose.
  • Be persistent
    • Continually improve.  Try different techniques to find what works best. Communication is a skill that must be practiced in order to get better at it.

Effective communication helps your team work together better and enables them to trust each other and their leaders.  When the team feels like they are being heard they will feel valued, morale will improve and productivity will soar.

Some questions to consider:
  • What are the biggest communication barriers in your organization?
  • How are you actively improving your communication skills and those of your team?
  • Are you truly listening to the members of your team?

If your organization needs help improving your communication skills, contact our expert guides at 800-786-4332 or email DHadley@AppliedVisionWorks.com.  It only takes 30 minutes to get started!

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