By Pamela J. Watkins

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw

As a follow-up to my blog on Exit Interviews, I thought it fitting to share one common denominator that runs through the large majority of exit interviews I have conducted during my career.
Lack of communication. When I probe a little deeper, I have heard all manner of communication challenges including what I will call the “sensitive seven.” One or more of these seven concerns come up in most exit interviews I have conducted over my years in HR. Employees feel there is:

  1. Lack of information and or feedback from their supervisor or manager.
  2. Poor communications between departments, employees, and others they work with.
  3. No real understanding of the overall organization vision or mission.
  4. Confusion caused from messages given in employee and staff meetings.
  5. Inaccurate information being sent and received.
  6. Misperception over what is said and what is intended.
  7. Untimely messages. (information received too early or too late)

And this list goes on. How, I ponder, is the simple process of conveying information so challenging and complicated? A few questions that I feel should be considered by every organization are as follows:

  • Are your employees receiving accurate information?
  • Are your employees receiving the information they want and need to do their job?
  • How are employees receiving information and with what frequency?
  • Are messages consistent across the organization?
  • How do Managers ensure the correct message was received and understood?

Effective workplace communications drive employee understanding. Communication is critical to build trust and employee engagement, both of which positively impact an employee’s work, tenure, and overall job satisfaction.

Does your organization have a formal communication plan? Are you making use of tools such as employee newsletters, email bulletins, coffee talks, toolbox talks for safety and regularly scheduled staff and employee meetings? Can you add an intranet news page, department dashboards and visual displays to enhance and clarify communications?

For more information on Communication Plans for your business, contact Gibbons Business Solutions at