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Workplace Communication Problems

Mukta Gaikwad
Dealing with workplace communication problems can be tricky and can cause serious harm to the output of work, as well as the internal harmony of the workplace.
Globalization has resulted in multicultural workplaces across the globe. Diversity in a workplace increases adaptability amongst employees, different talents of various individuals become a great resource, which also results in a pool of unique contributions.
As a diverse culture comes together, it provides a spectrum of viewpoints to meet objectives and accomplish goals. However, multicultural workplaces come with a set of disadvantages too. Such an environment poses the greatest threat to workplace communication, which can hamper work, employee relationships and rapport with customers to a large extent.

Communication Problems

Language Barriers

Difference in nationalities leads to difference in languages spoken by the employees. Not all of your employees will be able to speak a common language of communication. This becomes a major barrier to communication at workplace.

Reluctance to Change

Myopic mindsets attributable to strong religious holds makes employee reluctant to change. This reduces collective adaptability amongst team members, adding to the workplace communication problems.

Improper Listening

One needs to be an active listener to establish smooth lines of communication with the employees. Improper listening, which is only limited to hearing can cause impediment to workplace communication.

Cultural Clashes

Difference in cultures makes a workplace volatile to unnecessary clashes.
Once again, it can make communication at a workplace very calculative and lead to further drawbacks in communication.

Remedial Measures

Talk to Your Employees

Communication problems at a workplace can be caused due a bossy team lead, dissatisfaction with work or negative work environment. As an employer, you must be observant of the changing work conditions and make an effort to talk to your employees about it.
Express your concerns and listen to their grievances. Find a way to convey your ideas, feelings, sentiments and thoughts to your employees. The more you talk to them, the easier it is to break the ice and establish a trustworthy channel of communication. This will put most of your employees at ease and make them feel valued.

Problem Solver

Hurdles to communication and lack of transparency can intensify problems at a workplace. This is especially true in case of multicultural workplaces.
To improve workplace communication, be an arbitrator for the parties at conflict. Steer clear from favoritism and see the troubles of your employees in an objective light.
Sometimes, conflicting sides need a mediator to solve issues. This will earn you respect and strengthen the relationships between fellow employees too.

Team Building Activities

Difference amongst employees can be solved with well planned team building activities. Team building games and training sessions bring a fresh perspective towards colleagues and improve productivity.
Team building activities imbibe a sense of mutual respect in employees. They are an excellent way to solve communication problems at a workplace.


An anonymous feedback can say more than what a face to face meeting can. Anonymity allows a person to express his views more clearly. Have a monthly feedback session to understand the undercurrents that might be instigating your workforce. This will help you assess the general sentiment of your employees, to address them in a just way.
Misunderstandings are the biggest reason why problems of communication occur at a workplace. These have to be dealt with at the earliest to ensure smooth work flow. Ignoring them or brushing them under the carpet will only escalate workplace problems.
To make workplaces less stressful and more productive, have an open mind that is observant about every change in the working environment. Sharing a trustworthy rapport with employees and valuing them, is the key to make the most of a diversity in a workplace.