If you answered “communication” – you’re right!

A 2014 study from About.com found that the top three reasons people quit a job are communication related. The issues, accounting for 62% of responses, were 1. Lack of direction from management. 2. Poor overall communication. 3. There is constant change that is not well communicated.

This is consistent with some of the reasons we think that you are losing employees, and we also think this lack of communication is a reason employees quit no matter where they are in the hierarchy of the organization.

Lack of direction from management can be a problem that affects both hourly workers and vice presidents. Communication, and lack thereof,  starts with the CEO.

Not convinced under-communication is that big of a problem? Well you don’t have to take it from us.  The Next Web wrote an article laying out some of the consequences of not taking communication seriously:

1. It breeds uncertainty and doubt

Under-communication can cause employees to question their job and their responsibilities, their position within the company, and even their own value. If employees do not feel secure in their role, then they will not have the confidence they need to succeed. The best way to quash uncertainty and doubt is to keep an open flow of communication.

2. It turns into rumors, gossip, suspicion, and/or resentment

When people do not know what is going on, it is human nature to fill the blank spaces in our knowledge. Under-communication leaves a gaping hole that employees and managers alike will attempt to fill with speculation. And it typically goes something like this:

Why haven’t I received any positive feedback for three months? I must not be doing a good job.

Why is the executive team bringing business consultants into the office? They must be considering layoffs. 

The best way to keep speculation and suspicion at bay is to be honest and open.

3. It causes low productivity, deadlines missed, and tasks not accomplished

A lack of communication often means that employees do not have a firm grasp on what they are supposed to be doing. How can they get their work done if they are not sure of their assignments, or even the goal they are working towards?

Productivity requires a clear roadmap — a strong sense of what to do and by when, not to mention how and why.

4. It leads to poor customer service

Under-communication can wreak havoc on the productivity of individual employees, teams, and organizations. However, you know things are really bad when the issues seep out to your customers.

When an organization isn’t running smoothly, it doesn’t take long for that to affect customers. Maybe they don’t receive the product as promised or they have a complaint that keeps getting pushed from department to department without being addressed.

In any case, quality customer service requires a well-oiled, focused machine to deliver it. For one thing, better communication cuts down on mistakes or gaps in the first place. And when they do arise, clear communication helps them get solved in an efficient and effective manner.

5. It results in employee turnover

Employees that are unhappy tend to quit. It’s that simple. Employee retention rests on employee engagement and satisfaction. And employee engagement and satisfaction rests on their feeling that their work matters and is valued within the organization.

By leading to uncertainty and doubt, hampering productivity, and opening the door to rumors, poor communication makes it difficult for employees to feel invested and proud of their work.

Ways to improve communication

According to The Next Web, open and constant communication is key. Here are some of their tips:

  • Rather than telling people what to do, give them a clear line-of-sight
  • Never assume you know what your employees think—let them tell you. Invite them to take part in decision making.
  • Support employee-led programs.
  • Meaningful communication is a dialogue geared towards reaching common ground, so both sides need to be heard.
  • Ask your people to speak up and listen carefully to what they have to say, but don’t expect them to hand you a solution.

And a tip from Red e App: Have a highway for the communication. Before you can improve your companies communications, you need a way to communicate with your employees in the first place.

Your employees care, and want to be involved and engaged in their company. Give them a way to be heard and you will reap the rewards.

Read the full article from The Next Web, and email us at info@redeapp.com if you need a highway to communicate with your employees.