Examples of Ineffective and Effective Workplace Communication
(Tell me YOUR experiences of workplace communication and have them published on this site)
When I look back on what work experiences I have loved as well as those I didn’t love as much, I find that whether I like a job or not has as much to do with the people that I am working with (and for) as it has to do with the actual work I’m doing. For me, whether a work environment is conducive to good communication or not can really make or break a job.
Build Trust Between Colleagues
An example of a particularly poor workplace environment that I experienced was one in which the manager and director discussed little with the rest of the office, preferring to make decisions and give instructions without the aid of actually conversing with their employees.
I remember being frustrated that I did not have the authorization to make even insignificant resolutions without first running it past someone “in charge,” and I believe the manager herself resented the constant onslaught of employees who were essentially asking for permission to perform basic job duties. Needless to say, the rate of employee turnover was high, and I, myself, moved on to greener pastures within a matter of months.
A few years after this particularly disastrous example of workplace communication (or lack thereof), I accepted a position that was far below my job qualifications with a company that I knew little about. Though the work was not something that I particularly relished, what I did appreciate was the confidence my supervisor placed in me that led me to expand my responsibilities while in my position.
At this company, I was working with a team that was working on a specific project that required us to perform certain tasks very methodically. My supervisor instructed us in the way that he wished the tasks performed and then left us to do those tasks without micromanaging us from the sidelines. When we ran into problems, we were given the authority to try to solve them on our own before getting him involved, which led to us developing some very creative solutions and helped him concentrate on more important duties.
Because of the trust he placed in us as well as the no-blame environment he fostered (we did occasionally create our own problems), the rest of the team and I developed a real loyalty to the organization and were able to add real creative value to the company.
Good Workplace Communication
Good workplace communication necessitates trust between employer and employee—administrators cannot look at their employees as children to be directed and employees cannot involve their supervisors in every decision or conflict that arises. When the various members of a company regard each other as colleagues and equals who can carry out their various responsibilities ably, effective communication is encouraged, employee satisfaction rises, and the organization as a whole benefits.
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