Ineffective Intra-office Communication

Have you ever been in an office environment where the communication practices between and among employees isn’t stacking up?

Let’s for a second consider a hypothetical situation.

Sally Sue is a temporary employee doing computer work for a company let’s call them ACE Company. While this company is comprised of many nice people, there are some serious communicative breakdowns and less than ‘best practices’ being utilized in terms of organizational communication.

For example, Sally Sue receives information about a project from 3 different people. When Sally Sue acknowledges that someone else has talked to her about this project, the employees look baffled – shocked that someone had already done so.

Another example of the ineffective communication occurring at ACE Company is the introduction of the computer processes to all new temporary employees. A muddled mess of a guide is given to all new temp’s and they are expected to ask questions when they have them.

In addition, there are procedural changes which occur constantly – making the computer processes guide obsolete and outdated pretty much every day.

Finally – there is a gap of communication between temporary and full-time employees (which makes sense given the high turnover among temps within the computer processes role).

What are the results of ineffective organizational communication? Here’s a list of the top 5 things I could come up with:

1. Ineffective computer processes.

2. Inconsistencies among all new temporary employees doing the computer processes.

3. Division of power and power differences – not only in the local office but across the country.

4. Disgruntled employees – thus resulting in a high turnover.

5. A complete lack of team unity.

I would suggest – a basic computer processes guide which is clear, concise and has the capability to be easily changed without changing the computer processes entirely.

-more communication between and among full-time employees. Perhaps multiple meetings to iron out any wrinkles in the process.

-Include the opinions and suggestions from temporary employees dealing with the day-to-day nuances of the computer processes.

-One process for new temporary employees so all temp’s go through the same processes so when things change – all errors/changes can be easily identified and altered.

-Any you would add? There are tons of suggestions that could be made!

A communication scholar/consultant would have a field day with ACE Company and the power differences between temporary and full-time employees and the lack of communication between and among full-time employees. A lot would need to change for these problems to be resolved.

Do you have any communication problems within your office which make work difficult or inefficient/ineffective? Are there any suggestions you would make?

It’s crazy how a little communication can make things so much better for all parties (full-time and temporary alike) involved!

Thanks for reading and happy hump day!


2 Responses to “Ineffective Intra-office Communication”
  1. Amy Bryson says:

    Interesting post. Your suggestions are great, especially a uniform orientation process for new temp workers. I took a PA course at NCSU on Human Resources for Nonprofit and Public entities – although the best practices were pretty Utopian.

    No matter where you work or how many people work in your office, there is always miscommunication. My husband constantly complains about his coworkers and looking for another job, but I try to tell him ‘you will not escape crazy coworkers’. I also had a graduate classmate who quit her full-time position because of ‘office drama’ just to find out two years later that you can’t escape it.

    In addition to your wonderful suggestions, I would also recommend a ‘company retreat’. Nothing too expensive but create an opportunity that is social and friendly while also adding work seminars to go over company policy, information sharing and intraorganization communication. Like I said, pretty Utopian.

    Good luck Sally Sue!

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