Poor Communication a Top Work Complaint

Winnipeg Free Press, April 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Poor Communication a Top Work Complaint


you ever have felt that no one hears or sees you at work, you're not alone. Poor communication within organizations could easily be the No. 1 complaint that is heard time and time again. You would think that knowing this is a key issue plaguing many organizations that someone would do something about it! Admittedly it can be tough to address something as important as communication when it is difficult to prove the organization's return on investment. That is, if you invest time and even money into resolving the organization's internal communication needs, what is the payback for the organization?

Effective internal communication plans can easily translate into solving one of our basic human needs, and that is the need for a sense of belonging. Quite frankly I would suggest it could solve other necessities that Abraham Maslow identified in his hierarchy of needs. For example, poor communication surrounding changes to one's working conditions might lead a person to be uncertain about his or her ability to meet their basic physiological needs due to potential job loss. As we know, the theory is that a person can't move up the hierarchy to reach self-actualization (to realize one's full potential) if they can't even pay the mortgage or put food on the table.

Organizations would be wise to listen to those employee-engagement surveys telling them that internal communication needs to be improved. Organizations that have this mastered are showing their employees that they matter. They are showing through their words and actions that their people matter, and people need to know that they matter.

Here are 12 important things that you can do, whether you are the employer, colleague, friend, spouse or someone who wants to show that they care:

Begin and end your sentences with 'YOU'. You amaze me. I understand you. I hear you. You are awesome.

Acknowledge everyone. Start your morning by saying hello to everyone or acknowledging them in some fashion. Don't work in the same location? Why not send a Good Morning email, instant message or even a tweet.

Listen with interest. Listen with your ears and your heart. People notice the difference and it matters.

Ask "mattering" questions. How can I make your day? What can I do to help you be successful? What do you need from me?

Be present. How many times have you been speaking with someone and you can tell their body may be there but their brain is not present. One of the greatest gifts you can give is being present in body and mind.

Encourage and reassure confidence. …

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