How to Increase the Effectiveness of Communication Within Your Culture

The Communication Crisis

It’s ironic that in an age when communication methods have increased dramatically, 80% of the U.S. workforce reports feeling stressed due to ineffective company communication. In fact, “poor communication and feedback” continually makes the list of the top five organizational problems. When we delve deeper, we often find two extremes: People either go out of their way to avoid confrontation or they jump at the chance to criticize others. The other overriding issue is that employees feel left in the dark because they’re not being kept informed about what is happening within the organization.

Communication Builds a Positive Culture

Furthermore, when employees are asked how organizations can improve their culture, “communicate regularly” or “improve communication” are commonly cited. This makes sense when you consider that open, two-way communication creates trust, which in turn, improves employee satisfaction and engagement. From the highest level – keeping employees informed about key decisions and updates – to one-on-one conversations between managers and employees or among colleagues, effective communication is necessary for an organization to succeed.

Benefits of effective communication in the workplace include:

  • Boosting moral among employees
  • Encouraging the exchange of ideas
  • Improved teamwork
  • Increased productivity
  • More trust
  • Increased knowledge of business practices and less confusion
  • Increased loyalty and commitment to the company (less turnover)
  • More employee engagement
  • Improved interactions which lead to solutions rather than conflict
  • Improved customer satisfaction

While that’s an enviable list of benefits, creating effective communication can be challenging – especially during a global pandemic.

Communication During COVID

Improving communication within your organization is made even more difficult when you’re dealing with the “crisis of the day.” Does this sound familiar? Staff members working remotely are inundated with hundreds of internal emails, as well as emails from vendors. And while some of those vendors may be beneficial, your staff has no time to research options or reach out for the help they need. Meanwhile, administrators are stuck in a perpetual Zoom call and losing the value of “in person” interaction. Communication has become fractured due to the lack of time and “emergency mode,” where employees just keep their heads down and work, instead of sharing ideas or asking questions when they aren’t sure of something. In short, it’s overwhelming.

Healthcare organizations of every size and scope are currently facing unprecedented challenges, and while leaders may be thinking that now is not the time to make improvements, now is actually the best time! As the vaccines roll out to the general population, things will eventually return to normal (or at least some semblance of normal), but unless improvements are made in the interim it’s unlikely that organizations will be positioned for success.

But How?

Good communication needs to come from the top down. Leaders need to create cultures that promote active listening and sharing, with a foundation of trust. If employees are afraid to speak up, two-way communication cannot exist. A Harvard Business Review study showed that half of all employees are frightened of voicing their opinions for fear of repercussions. Another study indicated that more than two thirds of managers are uncomfortable speaking with their subordinates. Is it any wonder organizations are struggling with communication?

While improving communication within your organization can be done on your own, it’s a time-consuming task. Leaders often have good intentions to implement changes, but those plans get lost in the critical day-to-day work. Enter Dunbar Organizational Health.

We offer a Virtual Training Platform, which is an interactive, online training and communication platform that has been carefully developed and perfected for over 17 years. It allows your organization to efficiently build a cohesive team of leadership through improved communication and cultural alignment. Our courses are proven to improve communication, increase employee engagement, create higher performance teams and greater customer experience.

Hospital CEO Linda Simmons, FACHE had this to say: “They came in, looked at where we were, looked at the culture we had in place and what we needed to get done. To me, it was a great experience because it was a partnership.”

“The program was so beneficial for me and my group, not only professionally, but to me personally. The entire program starts with taking a close look within. I had to be laser-focused on how and why I communicate the way I do – what triggers certain reactions and how might I be perceived by others,” noted Lorrie Shanz, Director of Operations, Indiana USI Insurance Services. “I now have a greater appreciation for the impact of communication…I would recommend this program as the tools provided set the foundation for creating a dynamic and trusting culture through understanding yourself and others’ styles, needs and triggers so that communication can be healthy and productive even through conflict.”

In short, our virtual training programs can help you build effective communication into the foundation of your culture. And, because our Virtual Training Platform allows your team to train on their schedule, it’s the least disruptive training tool on the market today.