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On Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 9:24 PM Alice Walker <[email protected]> wrote:

Topic: Lack of Communication (Ch 11)

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5 sections for us to divide up not including title page

Each person get 1 section each, except for one person gets 2 sections cuz some sections are shorter than others

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Executive summary 1 pg – minhui chen

Statement of problem 1-2 pg siqi wang

Actual causes of problem 3-4 pg – Frankie

Solution implementation 3-4 – Lauren

Conclusion 1 pg – minhui chen

(Executive summary)

In any conversation, a misunderstanding of the words or conversation of one party or the other has the potential to create conflict. Lack of or ineffective communication in the workplace is a frustrating experience that can lead to poor performance, low morale, poor teamwork and eventually reduced profits. It limits the ability of an organization to optimize performance and has a direct effect on consumer interaction (McQuerrey, 2011). In a typical organization, there are three main types of communication namely; company to employees, employees to company and employees to employees. Each form has its problems and possible solutions.

The causes of poor communication at the workplace vary depending on the type of organization type of communication as well as the constitution of the workforce. However, some common causes include poor leadership, cultural diversity, unclear objectives, demoralized employees and a conflicting chain of command (Vdovin, 2017). Members of the staff look up to their seniors for directions and instructions. If those assigned managerial roles are poor leaders, they will be unable to answer questions and clarify points to their subordinates, leaving the latter confused. Cultural diversity, while it might be a good element, presents the challenge of poor communication as different people relay messages in different ways.

There are some steps which, when taken, have the potential to fix the expensive and common problem of organizational miscommunication. To begin with, multiple and proper communication channels and protocols should be established to avoid insubordination. Secondly, the organization should maintain consistency in their style of communication. The organization should also ask for feedback and respond to it. It should also emphasize on internal knowledge of policies and procedures to avoid the need for a lot of questions and clarification (Professional Growth Systems, 2018).

Effective communication improves productivity, engagement and employee satisfaction. The workforce will be more motivated and loyal and consequently work to defend the organization’s future. The only limitation that may arise would be the potentially high cost of implementing new communication protocols.

(statement of problem)

Organizational behaviors contribute to the performance of a firm where individuals exhibit the culture that shapes internal operations. The management team has the responsibility of developing structures that can enhance positive interaction. The move is meant to improve the performance of an organization through effective communication channels that are designed to provide timely feedback. Numerous firms are faced with the challenge of conveying information from one end to the other due to poor structures. This group focuses on addressing an issue that affects most organizations in the process of enhancing their operations. As much as different factors might be considered within a firm, communication remains the crucial determinant of any engagement due to the sensitivity of the message contained in a given discussion. Various stakeholders require effective communication practices that can be employed to ensure relevant products are released in the market depending on the consumption trends identified through the research process. According to Ghobadi and Mathiassen (2016), it is difficult to achieve the anticipated outcomes without embracing proper communication practices within a company because customers will not realize their desires hence shift to competitive firms that are ready to meet their needs.

For this case, the lack of communication has been a significant challenge since important messages are not delivered to different stakeholders. Decision-making is a critical exercise that requires vital information from an organization for individuals to make informed choices and prevent conflicts associated with poor communication. Stakeholders are not informed of the progress made by the organization thus limiting the process of collaborative engagement because people lack the background knowledge to support their arguments in different forums. The performance of the firm is an indication that pertinent issues are not being handled using appropriate measures whereby effective communication practices are missing in the system. Employee motivation is also pegged on how effective the management team communicates within the company’s structures. However, this has been a challenge thus contributing to the difficulties registered by employees who feel undermined despite their efforts to boost the performance of the firm.

Failure to address this problem will facilitate massive damages hence ruining the future of the company because clients prefer firms that are keen on sharing information using the correct channels. There is a critical need for a solution to be developed by the relevant authorities with the aim of restoring the organization’s performance where objectives can be met. When employees reduce their productivity, the firm experiences operational challenges because clients are not served as per the expectations hence giving competitors an opportunity to thrive. Hollenbeck and Jamieson (2015) noted that lack of communication implies poor management of customers who require regular updates on the progress of an institution because they guide in the process of making informed decisions.

Once the issue of poor communication is solved, stakeholders will be engaged in active participation where tasks are collaboratively accomplished. With such transformations, it is possible to realize an increase in revenue collection hence transforming the image of an organization. Satisfied employees work towards meeting their targets thus improving the efficiency of the company that will attract more clients on board. Employees enjoy working within an environment where the managers are keen to understand diversity and attend to different cases involving various stakeholders (Mishra, Boynton, & Mishra, 2014). Solving the communication problem will enhance the level of interaction and reduce conflicts associated with the lack of communication within an organization. Highlighting the issue will help the management team in developing necessary strategies to curb the menace.

(Actual Causes)

Communication is key to making any business and personal relationship become successful. In this case we will be focusing on communication in the workplace, or the lack there of and how it is caused. Before we discuss the causes of the problem we must understand the type of communication that occurs in a business. Within a company there are a couple different directions that people communicate to each other, downward, upward, lateral, and grapevine. First there is downward communication which is a person from management or a higher level in the company assigning goals, for example, to a lower level employee. Then there is upward communication which is the opposite of downward, an employee talking to management or their boss. This can be an employee providing feedback or progress report. Another type of communication is lateral, this can be defined as two coworkers talking to each other as equals. Lastly there is grapevine communication, which in short is gossip in the workplace, people making assumptions to questions they do not have answered and sharing those thoughts with coworkers. A lack of communication undermines employee confidence and elevates stress. If employees do not feel secure in their role, then they will not have the confidence they need to succeed (Eisenhauer, 2015).

Each of these different directions that people use to communicate can have one major result if not used properly, they will keep a business from operating to its full potential. Communication has become cheap. It costs nothing to send an email or a few Slack messages. Even when you send those messages, you can easily undo or edit the text. And because of that, people no longer feel their message has to include something momentous. It doesn’t have to be thorough and thought out. They don’t have to give someone all the necessary information at once (Tipirneni, 2018). With all the newer technology in the workforce it creates a buffer for everyone, allowing many interaction to become less personal and genuine with coworkers. This is definitely a cause for lack of communication in the business world, technology allows for edits and changes to something that should be thought out and planned.

Other aspects in a workplace that can cause a lack of communication is if there is no clear structure of a hierarchy per say. Without having a person that everyone recognizes as the boss, then it is just uncertain who should be sought after when seeking direction for the issue at hand. Poor workplace communication is especially likely to occur when the chain of command isn’t clear, and when workers aren’t entirely certain who is in charge of particular aspects of the operation (Gartenstein, 2018). With no chain of command people will end up working against each other. There will be no uniformity to the work that is being completed or to what the company is trying to accomplish as a whole. This will create not only a counter productive work environment, but it will also deter people from communicating to effectively. By not having a clear chain of command people will not know who to talk to if they are seeking direction from a managerial person or if they want to talk to a coworker for help with a problem. This will cause a lack of communication since most people will likely choose to say nothing at all in the situation.

Another common issue that leads to a lack of communication is the overall mentality of employees in a business. When your staff aren’t engaged, they are unlikely to put in the effort to communicate clearly (Gartenstein, 2018). Without having a positive and upbeat environment for people to work in they will tend to be more secluded and lack the general feeling of comfortability to communicate with their coworkers or superiors. This can lead to having a workplace that will not be operating the way one should be, communicating with one another and having a positive attitude while doing it. When people are less engaged in the work that they perform it will show in many other aspects of their work which will include the way they communicate with others in the workplace.

Cultural differences between coworkers can be a major cause for lack of communication within the workplace or even in personal relationships. When thinking of communication challenges between different cultures generally most people will assume it is a language barrier. However there are some hand signs for one culture that may mean something good can have a completely different meaning to another, which can even be something offensive. For example, Americans associate the phrase “crossing your fingers” with good luck, while the Vietnamese associate it with obscenity (Gartenstein, 2018). Without a clear understanding of the differences between coworkers and their cultures then there will be a division between them, creating a lack of communication. Diversity in the workplace is an asset to your company but it can lead to communication difficulties because of different cultural communication styles (Gartenstein, 2018). Cultural differences are not only evident with people from opposite sides of the world, it can be apparent with people who come from separate regions of a country. New Yorkers are known for being direct, while Southerners are famous for being polite (Gartenstein, 2018). Interactions like this can leave the two parties feeling disgruntled and it may even ruin the business they were trying to achieve.

(Solution implementation)

The problems that lack of communication presents to us are challenging, but by all means are not impossible to confront. With better understanding of how these problems are actually caused, were able to face the root of the problem. The best solution to any problem is to attack the source and therefore kill the start of the issue at hand so that it may not continue to grow or spread. In this case, solution implementations will be given in response to each detailed cause for the lack of communication in the workplace.

With new technology in the way of personal and genuine interactions between employees, it is more important now than ever to refer back to the basics. It would be smart for an organization to reiterate the importance for its workers to practice communicating face-to-face and to always think about what they want to communicate before expressing their thoughts. Additionally, employees should always proofread what they wish to send via email or chat as if they were to recite it in person for a thoroughly written message. This also gives them the opportunity to catch themselves if any set of words or phrase may come across as incorrect, inappropriate, or unpleasant. We may often wish we could take back anything that is electronically sent, though we know it’s there to stay. Taking these sorts of precautions could greatly decrease the possibility of that happening.

An unestablished chain of command is also a cause that contributes to the lack of communication. Furthermore, it stands as a possible cause to numerous other issues that may bring a company to it’s turmoil. In order to solve this issue, multiple and proper communication channels and protocols should be established to avoid insubordination (Professional Growth Systems, 2018). An organization should make it very clear to it’s employees from the get-go who is in charge and how each department/team is set up. A formal introduction of the chain of command to its subordinates is a great way to show each individuals strong roles in the company. With a clear sense of direction, communication between subordinates and insubordinates will synchronize and uniformity will follow.

An overall negative mentality within the organization is a dangerous cause of the lack of communication. If employees of an organization are disengaged, the direct solution to the issue would be to implement a strategy that would engage employees. Creating a positive environment could make a great impact on those who are uncomfortable in their workplace or tend to feel secluded. An excellent way to attack this approach is to have regularly scheduled team meetings. In addition, an organization might even want to include morning huddles that consist of smaller groups of people and take up a shorter amount of time. Morning huddles are typically used for daily updates and to inform their employees of any new criteria or protocol they need to be aware of. An overall review of the company’s performance may also be given in order to boost morale or encourage employees to strive for better. Team meetings are typically conducted less often, but take up a bit more time. In these team meetings it’s important for companies to spend more time to focus on existing or arising issues at hand. This also gives each individual employee an opportunity to voice their opinion or concerns in a healthy environment. These meetings should be conducted and monitored by workers in higher position so that the conversation is controlled. Most importantly, any voiced complaints or concerns will be heard and should be taken up by management in order to solve the issue at hand. Feedback is a very important component to team meetings as it leaves much less of a chance for any employee to feel secluded or feel that their negative thoughts would not be recognized (Professional Growth Systems, 2018).

Cultural differences may be one of the most, if not, the most difficult causes of a lack of communication in the workplace. There is so many different forms of diversification in the world that it’s become increasingly difficult for many people to take notice or to be aware of these differences in the workplace. Some differences, as mentioned before, are as obvious as the difference in language. But other cultural differences are subtle and may not even cross our minds as something to be aware of. Despite this fact, it is very important that organizations resolve this issue by informing their employees to be aware of their styles and habits of communication. Although some may find their ways of communication to be perfectly appropriate for a given situation, employees must understand that precautionary measures of thinking twice is a mandatory habit to practice in the workplace. For further solution implementation, an organization might want to teach their employees how to work within a diverse workgroup. Oftentimes a business will simply have their employees watch mandatory videos or modules on issues within the workplace that include cultural differences. These modules are indeed helpful, but also pose themselves to be time consuming corporate protocol that solely exist for the sake of a company’s legal protection. It would be of greater impact if an organization were to hold more intimate teaching sessions for their employees to learn about cultural differences in the workplace. Employees should be involved in a face-to-face session that engages them in the topic. Organizations could present live examples of how an issue could arise from a cultural difference; this way employees would have the opportunity of interacting with one another and learning from one another what cultural differences exist among coworkers in their own workplace.


McQuerrey, L. (2011, May 29). How Does a Lack of Communication Cause Conflict in the Workplace? Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/lack-communication-cause-conflict-workplace-10470.html

Professional Growth Systems. (2018, August 29). Poor Organizational Communication and What to Do About It. Retrieved from http://www.professionalgrowthsystems.com/org-culture/organizational-communication/

Vdovin, A. (2017). The Causes of Poor Communication in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.alert-software.com/blog/the-causes-of-poor-communication-in-the-workplace

Gartenstein, D. (June, 29 2018). What are the Causes for Poor Workplace Communication


Tipirneni, P. (May, 19 2018). This is what causes poor communication in the workplace.


Eisenhauer, T (November, 8 2015). Why lack of communication has become the number one reason people quit. https://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/11/08/why-lack-of-communication-has-become-the-number-one-reason-people-quit

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