Today, we face significant challenges in communicating in our workplaces, particularly through the use of technology. For example, a business’s top leadership may be made up of representatives from different departments, making it difficult to effectively convey information. It’s also hard to ensure that top leadership represents the views of its workforce. The result is disharmony, and communication issues can arise. In this article, we discuss some of the most common issues in technology-based communication, as well as how we can avoid these challenges.
A common barrier to effective communication is message inconsistency. Inconsistent messaging results in inaccurate information or complete confusion. Hence, companies need to convey the truth to their various audiences. While communication on intranets and email is faceless, difficult messages need to be relayed to the people directly. For example, a recent study revealed that a large proportion of employees feel confused and dissatisfied with the way their boss communicates with them.
Lack of clarity
A lack of clarity in communication creates many problems. The result is conflict, confusion, assumptions, and disengagement. Actions taken in this fog of incomprehension will require more resources and time, or may even fail altogether. In such a scenario, the message conveyed may be misleading, or time and effort are wasted. Even small businesses have sophisticated communication tools, including internal messaging systems and social media.
Lack of informational context
The lack of informational context in communication has a wide-ranging impact on the success of a business. When it comes to ensuring brand trust, the absence of informational context can affect the perception of a product or service. A recent case in point is an ad designed for the Yellow Pages that portrayed a Korean dish like rice and noodles. After the ad was removed, the company apologized and halted its marketing campaign.
Pitfalls of technology-based communication
While technology has facilitated the communication between employees, it also comes with its own set of downsides. Employees often get less time to interact with each other. Using a machine during workdays can prevent shy employees from learning to socialize with others. Additionally, organizations have to pay for training employees using new communication systems. Some employees may not pick up on the new system as quickly as others. For these reasons, it is important to have clear communication guidelines in place.
Importance of face-to-face communication
Aside from verbal cues, face-to-face communication is a powerful way to convey information quickly and get all the information you need in one conversation. Even when people are not speaking at the same time, nonverbal communication can illustrate what is being said just as effectively. Make sure your body language matches the message you’re trying to convey. Maintain direct eye contact and use your hands and arms to emphasize important points and illustrate the meaning of your message.