Communication gap in organisation

Communication gap in organisation

Anyone who has ever travelled in a railway, subway or metro knows the general warning “Please mind the gap”. With the context of trains, this gap is the bridge between getting off safely and losing a foot or belongings.
Similarly, in an organisation, the ‘gap’ can prove to be a crucial thing between effective functioning and haywire execution. Communication that is ineffective leads to a gap at the workplace and can cause serious problems down the line, if ignored.
By definition, a communication gap occurs when the intended message by the speaker is misinterpreted or not understood by the recipient. Such a lack can occur between employees, or between employer and employees.
By looking at the different causes of miscommunication between different stakeholders of an organisation, we can figure out an easy solution to the problem and avoid disaster.

Causes of communication gap ::-

There could be many causes of communication gaps.

Age Gap - An organisation is made up of members with a wide range of ages. With a variation in experience and cultural aspect of their respective generations, it is easy to have a stand-off amongst the employees. Especially between the senior veterans and the energetic juniors. The perception, memory, and effectiveness of communication greatly depends upon age.

Mistrust - A big factor contributing to miscommunication is mistrust. It could be between the employees or between management and employees. But doubts or mistrust can lead to important messages being left out of the conversation. The instructions or messages could easily be termed unreliable on grounds of said bias.

Passive listening - Most of the problem occurs when we fail to listen. Generally in day to day interactions, we listen to reply, that is, we have an answer ready for every statement spoken. When listening to the reports it’s easy to get distracted and miss out on details.

Language and cultural barriers - Any organisation has a diverse group of people employed at every level. In such a case, there can be barriers of language and culture causing the gap. Attitudes, body language, terminologies, etc., differ from culture to culture. So it’s easy to misinterpret the speaker.

Information imbalance - The imbalance in the amount of I formation shared is a crucial cause of the gap. Too little information means the effective process lacks all the details required. Too much information could cause the recipient to answer selective messages or miss out on details.

Message complexity - Using extremely complex language or formatting to deliver messages and instructions might prove ineffective. Similarly using too complex or formal jargons can fail to deliver the accurate message



Overcoming Communication gap ::-

Once we realise the causes of miscommunication it is easy to overcome the problem.

Active Listening - Members of the organisation, especially in the higher levels, need to actively listen and take into consideration the concerns, ideas, and feedback from the employees. Each team member’s input must be taken into account while discussing an issue. Despite the age, gender or cultural disparity.

Short and effective messages - To avoid information overload or message complexity, practice keeping the message short and crisp and all the necessary points are clear.

Transparency - To avoid the doubts, fear and mistrust, having an open door policy is a good solution. Be available to the other employees and employ a transparency practice. Make sure the employees are not sitting on the side-lines.

Backups - Technical issues like power outage, hard disk failure, water disasters all are common in the communication process. Keeping multiple backups of the messages or details can help avoid these mishaps.

Adopt various communication methods - Some employees are comfortable with face-to-face communication while some prefer formal notices in the form of reports or emails. Adopting various methods to communicate can be effective in reaching all the employees.

Feedback - Avoid assuming that all the employees have received and understood the instructions instead use feedback to make sure the correct message has come across.

Communication gaps can prove fatal to the reputation and working of the organisation. But it’s not rocket science and can be overcome easily once the cause has been identified.






References:-

Michele Markey. 2018. ‘Six Steps To Bridge The Communication Gap Among Multigenerational Workers’, Forbes Human Resource Council Post, December 20, accessed from the official website

Communication gap at workplace: causes & solutions. <https://kitchen.co/blog/communication-gap-at-workplace-causes-solutions/>