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Good Communication and Common Sense in Workplace

Communication in your workplace can make or break your business. The common sense of purpose needs to be clearly communicated to everyone in the organisation and also need to ensure that each employee understands how their contributions help the organisation achieve the common sense of purpose. At the same time, it’s important that you keep an open mind and listen to what your team has to say. Below are some of the many benefits of effective communication in organisation. Improves morale: In my personal experience words of appreciation from a manager has a greater impact on confidence level than an impersonal email.

I tend to have regular team meetings, 1:1’s where we get to share concerns and discuss progress on objectives. Any blockers that get highlighted get actively dealt with, which ultimately helps with meeting deadlines. Successfully completing a project, and receiving positive feedback, has a great impact on the individual’s confidence and is a real motivational boost. Keeping the communication line open makes employees feel valued and included in the decision-making which also leads to increased productivity.

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Good working relationships: Using more than one method to communicate helps to enforce the common sense of purpose. When employees are engaged and aligned to the overall common sense of purpose, it creates a sense of transparency allowing employees to feel empowered to act because they understand how their work impacts other efforts and how it contributes to the team’s goals. In my team we often have various projects on go at the same time and the same goes for the other teams, know what the overall company priorities helps support other teams to achieve their goals and vice versa.

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It also reduces rumours and ensures smooth running of the organisation.Conflict is reduced: Most conflict is the result of misunderstood communication. Communicating the issues or problems to co-workers and colleagues, helps to prevents such problems from aggravating. We often work together with 3rd parties where some elements of our work have been out sourced. This often causes quite a few conflicts.

Getting everyone on the same page and working through the problems together solves the conflicts without being escalated. Conflict escalation can result in broken communication, false assumptions and negative commitments, all of which can further complicate the initial conflict.Increases productivity: When you use the correct tools for giving instructions, means you can explain the brief and objectives for the project properly and clarify any sticking points before an employee can start the project. If everyone’s on the same page before you start, there are less miscommunication-related missteps along the way. ReAssure are trying to adopt agile methodologies where teams are stood up for specific projects and the main emphasis is on daily standups. Meeting often and understanding any blockers well in advance and having key members available in the meetings proves to be invaluable. In addition to the daily stand ups, I meet up with my team on a weekly basis where I share what was discussed in my management meetings including strategy and current projects. Meeting regularly keeps the lines of communication open and makes it a far more efficient way of communicating than to just sending a multitude of emails.

All this not only saves valuable time but results in meeting deadlines, which in the end has a positive impact on productivity.Disadvantages of Poor CommunicationEqually, poor communication of the common sense of purpose can have a damaging effect on the whole organisation. With no clear direction from management, it leaves employees feeling disconnected and having a negative impact on their morale, overall innovation and performance. Teams start to work in silos which often lead to unsatisfactory performance. Below are some examples of how poor communication affects the organisation.Low employee morale: This is quite a serious side effect of poor communication. When I joined ReAssure the team were so dis-engaged that not only was productivity at its lowest, but also we were at risk of losing some great talent. My team no longer cared about the company. I struggled to motivate anyone to volunteer for work that had to be done out of hours. They were just concerned in getting the bear minimum done and no extra effort or enthusiasm was on display. If we had a live incident, no one took ownership of it, which lead to other issues like delays in resolving the incident within agreed SLA’s.

All I could see was problems at a rise and no team collaboration. Increased employee turnover: When business relationships are wounded and there is no repair, trust goes out the window, making it difficult to work together to meet deadlines. An example of this is my predecessor. Due to the unclear common sense of purpose my predecessor was in a constant clash with a new team that was brought in to use newer technologies to automate existing manual repetitive work. My predecessor looked at it as a threat to the team’s current workloads and assumed that the new team will eventually take over making everyone else redundant in the team. This misunderstanding went so far that in the end he ended up leaving and further lead to another two members leaving. When employees are unhappy and feel that their work is not valued within the organisation, they usually tend to leave. Employee replacement costs can be as high as three times the person’s annual salary. Companies that communicate effectively are more likely to report lower employee turnover levels than companies that are the least effective communicators.Increased absenteeism and stress: When one is not happy with how things are going, it is not unusual to experience staff complaining about stress and mental health issues.

Poor communication can create a feeling that everything on your to-do list is urgent, causing you and others to hurry, feel tense, overworked and creates an atmosphere that is so dull to work in. This is exactly how my team felt, and with a new manager in place there was also insecurity regarding their jobs which introduced a sense of fear that caused tension, which is counterproductive to efficiency. There were so many issues with the team, including under performance, challenging some individuals was very difficult, as they often used the word ‘stressed’ and no doubt absenteeism was at a high. Lack of direction: Without clearly communicated expectations and priorities, it is impossible to know where to start and how to complete a project efficiently. At ReAssure we have a hierarchical structure and not all teams were working towards the same goals, thus we seemed to have conflicting priorities. As a result when my team needed input and support from other teams it meant that they were not available and vice versa. This just added to the frustration as neither team was able to meet their deadlines. This also has a negative impact on the relationships amongst all teams and thus creating an unhealthy workplace.

When people miss deadlines, it leads to poor performances with not much being accomplished. This vicious cycle also prevents teams and businesses from reaching their true potential. Costly mistakes: Verbal communication is a two-way street; when one party talks, the other needs to listen. The receiver may receive the message in their own perception and thus misunderstand the intent of the message.  They may decide to focus on their response or not listen at all to the spoken message. When this occurs, the effectiveness of verbal communication becomes weaker. An example of this is when I was leading on one of my recent projects which required migrating servers from one data center to another. The work had a 4 day implementation window and we were on day 3 and we got to a point where my team had completed their activities and would only be required should we need to roll back to the old data center. So at that point I asked the team to stand down. Out of the 6 team members, 3 decided to check out of their hotels and drive back home and they did not live locally.

The next day we got to a point where we ‘may’ need to roll back, so I called each of my team members to reassemble and I just couldn’t understand why the others decided to check out fully knowing the project was not quite finished and there was always a chance of roll back. Lucky we did not need to roll back in the end but if we had to then that was one costly mistake. On reflection we could have avoided the situation by combining the feedback element of communication. SummaryThrough effective communication you are able to ensure that the common sense of purpose is established amongst every employee throughout the organisation. There are a various methods and mediums to choose from, always try and put yourself in the shoes of the other to identify what methods and mediums of communication to use. Not forgetting that feedback and listening also plays a huge role in communicating the common sense of purpose. For whichever method or medium of communication you choose use the 7C’s of communication as a checklist. Complete, Concise, Consideration, Clarity, Concrete, Courtesy, and Correct.

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Good Communication and Common Sense in Workplace. (2020, Sep 12). Retrieved from

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