Two weeks ago I posted here about the three main contexts of communication issues in small business workplaces.
If there is one complaint I hear more than any other in facilitating conversations around improving communication in small business work environments, it is this one.
This comes in various forms, such as:
- the business owner/leader failing to share their vision for the company’s future;
- the business owner/leader communicating about expectations for work hours around the upcoming holidays;
- the business owner/leader being clear about performance and behavior expectations in the workplace;
- Co-workers withholding information others need to do their jobs successfully, and doling out information in bits and pieces only elaborating and going deeper when asked multiple times or directly;
- Passive-aggressive communication in the form of agreeing to provide information and procrastinating or deliberately ‘forgetting.’
Some malicious and egregious while others are simply personality styles and innocent approaches.
At one of my clients a few years ago I heard complaints that frontline employees had learned of company initiatives from customers when they came in asking about a new program.
This made both the employee and the organization look bad in front of customers.
Too little information also comes in play among co-workers often who withhold information for “job security” and control issues believing that if others have to go through their role is secure.
When it’s malicious it is often due to a low-trust work environment where everyone goes into survival mode.
Other times the passive-aggressiveness is a way to hurt co-workers with whom one has a grudge, or is due to one’s own insecurities.
In terms of The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins this obviously falls under A Lack of Specificity.
It also has roots in A Lack of Directness & Candor as often the communication is non-direct, superficial and too generic, which also causes people to mind-read and make assumptions.
A lack of transparency in organizations fits into this category also.
Often the lack of transparency comes in terms of a company’s strategy, the reasons behind change initiatives, and individual and organizational performance metrics.
This readily leads to the rumor mill and gossip taking root and spreading.
What is your experience around “too little communication” as an issue in your organizations?
What suggestions do you have to open up communication to overcomes those challenges?
Please leave a comment below and help explore this workplace communication challenge.
For another resource to help you with communication in your workplace take a look Your Championship Small Business Podcast launching this week.
The first episode is with strategy and innovation expert Kaihan Krippendorff the author of the best seller, “OutTThink the Competition.”
Additionally, we’ll be starting Championship Small Business Facebook Discussion Group, which you will also be invited to join once it’s ready to go.
To sign up, go here: www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/Pages/JoinPodcast
‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!