How to overcome the main communication barriers in the workplace?

Fluid and transparent conversation is one of the keys to a successful organisation. However, messages are often confusing and lack efficiency, due to communication barriers in the workplace.

Do you want to find out if your company is wasting time, energy, efforts and financial resources on inefficient alternatives? You are in the right place! In this post we will explain everything about communication barriers and how to fix them. Check it out!

What is the concept of communication barriers in the workplace?

The barriers to an effective internal communication can be defined as a problem between the sender and receiver of the message, causing the dialogue to be distorted and unclear, which normally results in misunderstanding.

These problems can be classified in several types, such as cultural, technological, linguistic, psychological and emotional. Not listening is also one of the challenges of business communication, either due to lack of attention or due to chronic hearing problems.

What are the main causes and consequences?

The barrier to an efficient internal communication are classified into two types:

  • – Between message sender and receiver, which are caused by internal factors
  • – Others caused by external factors

Having said that, here follow the six main communication barriers present in the workplace.

Language barriers

Language is one of the main barriers to workplace communication, especially when companies have a diverse workforce, composed of employees from different countries and backgrounds, or companies that trade with overseas clients and suppliers.

To avoid these problems, some companies include language proficiency as prerequisite for some positions during their recruitment process.

Psychological barriers

Some people have speech disorders, such as stuttering, while others suffer from anxiety or depression. All these factors can influence negatively the communication flow in the organisation and they must be addressed through an empathetic and welcoming way in the organisation.

Physical barriers

These physical barriers can be caused by background noise, physical distance between the sender and receiver, between one branch and other or inappropriate equipment used to exchange information.

The use of platforms specialised in corporate communication solves all these issues.

Cultural barriers

Many companies expand their business operations to several countries around the world and they need to be prepared to address the issues that affect the internal communication caused by cultural differences.

It is important to embrace the cultural diversity, so employees from different nationalities and cultures can work together, maintaining a harmonious and healthy work environment.

Organizational barriers

Organizational barriers are caused by the organization structure, these are common challenges faced by commercial communication. The more hierarchical levels a company has, the more likely it is to suffer from communication problems.

Tasks management apps can be useful to solve these issues.

Behavioral barriers

There are many employees in an organisation, all of them with different mindset and behaviour styles. Some are very social and like to interact with others, while others are more shy and introverted.

Both postures can cause communication barriers in the workplace. Although unintentionally, people who are very communicative can frighten others, just as shy ones can detain important information from others.

The role of leaders, managers and HR professionals is to create and maintain a positive and healthy environment among the teams, so the different personalities do not interfere in the dialogue between team members and organisation.

How to overcome these communication barriers?

These are some practices that you can use to deal with these challenges.

Lead by example

Leaders are examples. When expressions such as “good morning”, “how are you?”, “thank you” are part of their vocabulary, the leaders are showing to co-workers that the company cares about them, that their well-being is important and the organisation is open to listen to them.

Promote awareness campaigns

Cultural diversity is a trend in the corporate environment. It is also very important to the company’s success. There is no tolerance for racism, homophobia, misogyny and other types of descrimination.

It is important to invest in internal marketing to promote a diverse culture and “zero tolerance for descrimination” environment, employees feel protected and encouraged to talk to each other.

Invest in technology and innovation

Technology is essential to facilitate and improve internal communication channels. There are several options available in the market of resources that enable the information exchange in a safe and fast way. These resources normally overcome physical, language, organizational and psychological barriers.

For many people, expressing themselves on the internet is much easier, innovation allows it to be done in a safe and professional way in the workplace.

What is the importance of investing in technological solutions?

Overcoming the barriers in corporate communication is fundamental to ensure smooth operational processes within the organisation.

Teams that communicate with each other, leaders that follow a transparent dialogue and companies that recognise the importance to keep their employees well informed are one step ahead of their competitors.

An effective internal communication is considered one of the factors that retain great talents in the companies, as it improves the organizational climate. In addition, connected teams deliver more consistent work and answers to clients, suppliers, partners. All these factors influence directly the competitive advantage of the company.

Technology is the main ally to meet this goal. Using resources that integrate the internal communication in one single place and unifying the access to information avoid that these communication barriers are formed.

imMail can help you overcome the barriers to effective communication.

imMail is a platform that allows private messages and group chat discussions, with unlimited number of participants. Managers can follow the conversation in real time and messages are stored safely.

imMail can be integrated into the company’s internal system, allowing a simplified exchange of information, becoming part of the routine of the departments. Thus, it avoids all the stress over late replies or missing documents requested by others, because everything is registered automatically in a simple app for message exchange.

Regardless of the type of communication barriers in the workplace, the managers are responsible for solving the problem efficiently. Technology, combined with an organizational culture that supports and encourages open and transparent dialogue is a great solution for an effective corporate communication.

Now that you know the importance of using technology to solve communication problems in your company, learn more about imMail other functionalities.