What Are the Causes of Communication Breakdown in Business?

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Communication breakdown in a business can lead to frustration, loss of productivity and strained employee relations. Failing to address a problem in communication with employees can cause the situation to deteriorate even further. Some causes of a break in communication are easy to spot, like cultural and personality differences, but others may require a closer look at the overall work situation to identify.

Difference in Perceptions

  • The way employees and others involved in the business see themselves and each other can lead to communication problems. A group of workers who feel less valued than employees in another department may have problems dealing with those employees. A worker and supervisor or co-workers who have conflicting views of the business can encounter difficulty when trying to work together as a team, disrupting all or part of the daily business functions as a result.

Distractions

  • Distractions in the workplace, such as loud traffic, radios and even bad lighting, can hamper communication by harming focus. A lack of attention to surroundings and details can make communication between workers fall apart, as requests and needs are easily forgotten or lost in the shuffle.

Complex Organizational Structure

  • While some organizations manage to communicate effectively with a large-scale hierarchy in place, numerous layers of management can lead to disastrous results. Messages from lower-ranking employees may not get to the level of management that has the authority to deal with the issues if the communication between the managers is poor.

Stress

  • A stressful or emotional work environment can make interaction between workers strained. Whether an employee is having a difficult time personally or the business itself is the problem, such as an understaffed location, a high level of emotion and pressure may lead to arguments or lack of communication between employees.

Lack of Plan

  • A business without a clear plan for events or extraordinary circumstances may experience a problem with employee communication when something unexpected occurs, as the employees may not know how to react.

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