There can be several causes for poor communication, such as the structure of the company or the abilities of the leadership. But there is no excuse for it to exist in the workplace. In order for a company to strive and excel, it needs focus, direction, a solid plan, a united team. And the glue that holds all of that together is communication.
The company I currently work for easily has the worst communication of any place I’ve been. People are hired, fired and quit without anyone knowing about it. One department manager was leaving voicemail messages for another department manager for a week before he learned that the other manager quit. Outraged he asks our HR manager why she didn’t let anyone know. She didn’t know. That’s right. The person in charge of HUMAN RELATIONS was not told that a manager quit for over a week!
While that is a rather extreme example, smaller communication lapses can hurt a company, especially when it comes to personal changes. When people are hired, there should be effort put into letting people throughout the company know. Have a brief meeting with all company team members. If the company is too large for that to be practical, send a companywide email, or have each department leader tell their team.
The same effort in communications needs to take place when someone leaves the company for any reason, or if there is a position change. Few things will point out there is no communication like people missing or in a different office.
Here’s another example from my day job. Recently there was a change in positions and two people basically switched roles and switched offices. Since two were switching offices, the General Manager thought it made sense to move three other people to different offices. I guess since the guy from the phone company was going to stop by to switch two lines; he might as well do some more.
This change took place on a Friday. There was no company announcement. In fact one of the managers didn’t even bother to tell his team about the move! Since I work in the area, I had to tell people for the next week that so and so moved to a different office. Including people looking for their own boss!
It seems some leaders just make the assumption that people already know. Sadly there are also some leader who just simply don’t care or even get a power trip because the know something the rest don’t.
Effective communication is simple and requires very little effort. Good leaders will make the effort to make sure it is done correctly.