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Getting Your Wires Crossed? 9 Signs That Your Organization Isn't Communicating Effectively With Its Employees

Getting Your Wires Crossed? 9 Signs That Your Organization Isn't Communicating Effectively With Its Employees
Summary: Are employees unproductive and missing deadlines? Here are 8 signs that ineffective employee communication might be to blame.

Does Your Company Practice Effective Employee Communication?

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of internal miscommunication isn't uncommon in companies. The issue is that getting the wires crossed can impact virtually every aspect of your organization. If you're not clear with your workforce on company matters, policies, general expectations, and goals, it will directly impact your company's productivity and profit margins. Employee engagement is strongly connected with effective communication, as well. In this article, we'll highlight 8 signs that your employee communication falls short and tips to open the lines back up.

8 Hints That Your Employee Communication Isn't Working

1. Low Employee Engagement

Without knowing company goals and expectations, employees don't know what they're working for or why. They feel unmotivated to complete tasks or don't give it their all. They rarely get feedback, so they continue working unsuccessfully or are criticized, which makes matters even worse by hurting their confidence. So, if you notice that your employees are falling behind on their work or don't participate in meetings and other activities, it may be a sign that you need to be more straightforward with your communication. You can start involving them more in company matters and being clearer about what you expect from them and vice versa.

2. Different Priorities

Modern workplaces ace multitasking. Many teams can take up multiple projects at once, so they need to prioritize things. However, ineffective employee communication can throw a wrench into the works. If you can't effectively share your priorities, team members might focus on different tasks that don't serve a common goal. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to achieving the objectives and how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

3. Missed Deadlines

It's somewhat common for individual employees to miss deadlines, and it may derive from poor time management skills. However, if entire teams are unable to stick to their due dates, poor communication might be to blame. Do they know about project milestones? Is there an issue with certain team members holding up progress because others are waiting for their deliverables? You can solve this by using project management software so that everyone is aware of deadlines and can keep track of their individual tasks.

4. Overwork

A strong sign of poor employee communication is an overworked staff. When your employees do their own work without clear goals and concepts, they might not know when to stop or what to change. That can lead to double work being done or going overboard on certain tasks instead of striking a balance. People will also step into others' roles or responsibilities because they don't know where the lines are drawn. One of the best ways to avoid this is by being fully transparent about what their job entails and how they contribute to the company, as well as how much time they should set aside for each task.

5. Workplace Conflicts

Have you noticed workplace drama taking place recently? Determine whether you're effectively communicating your company's culture and policies. Employees who aren't on board with your vision or values often seem to overstep boundaries, knowing that there won't be any consequences. However, if you are straightforward about policies and cultural values and stress what's not tolerated in the workplace, people will follow. Ineffective communication from the leadership leads to ineffective communication between employees. Consider implementing a compliance training program to clarify company policies and safety protocols. You can also provide interpersonal skills courses to prevent workplace conflicts.

6. Unsatisfied Customers

Poor communication and decreased productivity will result in customer complaints. When your projects and general work is below average, it's only natural that your customers will take notice. The root cause might be that your internal communication issues are now affecting your employees' performance. Keep in mind that communication goes both ways. So, get feedback from your team to identify areas where the organization can improve. This not only helps you shore up your business strategy but empowers staff members because they know they have a voice.

7. Employee Turnover

Organizations can't expect their employees to stay in a confusing work environment where conflicts abound and leadership isn't straightforward with them. If you're losing too many people, it doesn't necessarily mean that they all have better job offers. Improve your communication practices and try to be there to listen to their concerns and problems. You need to be available for them at all times if you want to avoid a mass corporate exodus.

8. Uninspiring Management

It all starts from above. Are your managers doing their best to retain their team members? Are they clear about their expectations? If not, then you need to fix how you communicate with them, given that they're often the bridge between owners/CEOs and employees. If you can't advise them and lead them effectively, you can't expect them to do the same with their teams.


One of the biggest problems a company can have is ineffective employee communication. It doesn't matter how hard you're trying to lead your organization toward success; nothing will work unless you are upfront with your employees and give them the opportunity to offer their input. It's necessary for your people to be on board with the company's goals, values, policies, and expectations. Fortunately, modern technology can help you streamline employee communication and improve team collaboration.

You can also check out this list of Top Content Providers For Team-Building Training to find an outsourcing partner to help you build stronger ties among your remote workforce and bridge communication gaps.