All companies experience problems, some being larger than others. Companies that are developing suffer from growing pains. ‘Adult’ companies get stuck in old habits which stand in the way of progress.
Internal problems within a company occur everywhere but, even so, that’s okay, as long as it is handled properly.
What are the most common problems within companies and how do you prevent them?
Many problems arise due to poor communication. The larger the company, the greater the challenge to keep communication clear. How is communication between individuals, teams, and departments within your organization?
Below we will discuss the most common problems. Perhaps you recognize them?
Recognizing common problems within companies
It all starts with recognizing the problems within the company before you can change anything about it. Especially when a communication problem is the cause of the problem, it can escalate quickly and cause unpleasant situations.
Common problems within companies are:
- Conflict avoidance
- Not addressing each other for behavior
These problems usually arise from poor communication. Too much is focused on the content. The quality of a product or service is considered. But there is generally nothing wrong with that. Most employees are perfectly capable of delivering a high-quality product or of successfully completing a project. They are good at their job.
The problems often arise with how people work. Do colleagues exchange work experiences? Are bad experiences or mistakes put under the table so as not to admit that something goes wrong? Is work easily moved to another desk?
Do colleagues sometimes address each other when something (threatens) to go wrong? Or let the irritations run high.
How nice would it be if colleagues gave each other tips to work better or smarter?!
Problems within companies often arise higher up
Especially in large companies, a new policy, assignment or new working method must pass through many layers before it reaches the workplace. Enough time to blur the actual message.
Management and supervisors often find it difficult to actually pick up new assignments or working methods from the workplace.
Due to a lack of clear communication, internal problems are given the opportunity to grow. Conflicts arise because it is not clear what is expected of the employees. Work is shifted from one to the other, which causes unnecessary stress.
The outcome is a bad product or service, with bad service. Customers drop out.
Preventing conflicts within companies
Both management and employees will have to learn to communicate clearly with each other. Becoming aware of this behavior, and the influence of this behavior on others prevents many conflicts within the company.
If colleagues dare to address each other in a good, assertive way in the event of undesirable behavior, a lot of irritation will be prevented. Bullying in the workplace is also less likely. Everyone counts the same.
By setting clear limits, employees will experience less stress. This will create a healthier working atmosphere. The sickness absence will decrease.
Positive feedback between colleagues helps a project to a higher level.
Through clear, positive communication a lot will change in the workplace, employees will experience:
- More pleasure in their work
- Better understanding between colleagues
- Better feeling in their own skin
- More awareness of their behavior and that of others
- Less bullying in the workplace
Prevent the Risks of Conflicts in the Workplace
When working actively to prevent conflicts in the workplace, there is more room for productivity. Employees become aware of what their reaction can cause to colleagues, and how they can turn something negative into something positive. This gives confidence in good collegial cooperation.
A good working atmosphere also reduces stress. And that is important to prevent burnout complaints. Because employees who take better care of themselves can also take better care of others. And will make a greater contribution within the organization.
Addressing bullying behavior within the companies
Bullying is still a major problem within many companies. Yet often little is done about it. Bullying behavior is not always easy for managers to recognize.
Bullying behavior in the workplace is increasing. From simple mockery, gossip, threats to social isolation, physical violence, sexual harassment, and racism. Bullies often abuse colleagues who are uncertain about their job. Working oneself up over the back of another, it is sometimes hard going.
It is hard to stop bullying altogether. Bullying occurs where people work together in a group. But if working is made unpleasant, or even impossible, it is important that you as a company do something about it.
Consequences of Bullying Behavior Within a Company
Bullying behavior has major consequences. Of course especially for the victim, after a few days, the victim may suffer from vague symptoms such as headache, stomach and intestinal complaints, tension, and sleeping problems. The employee is more likely to report sick.
But bullying behavior also has a negative effect on a company. The entire culture within a team changes due to bullying behavior. It is not only the victim who is affected by this behavior, but witnesses are also greatly affected by it. Work pleasure suffers. They would like to do something about it but often feel powerless. The focus is on the situation instead of the project that needs to be worked on.
The fear of becoming a victim also gives extra stress, which leads to higher absenteeism. In teams that are bullied, we often see a large staff turnover.
The consequences for a company do not lie. There are considerable financial consequences for bullying behavior within companies: loss of production, high absenteeism and large staff turnover.
Aggression and intimidation problems within the organization
Aggression and intimidation can occur within the organization, by colleagues or managers. But customers, students, and patients can also face aggression and intimidation.
Aggression and intimidation occur when an employee is verbally or physically harassed, threatened or attacked. Wherever the threat comes from, the employer must take measures to stop this behavior.
Aggression and violence can be expressed in various ways.
– Verbal: abusing, discriminating, shouting or very aggressive discussion.
– Physical: by kicking, pushing, hitting and destroying property.
– Psychological: through blackmail, humiliation, and verbal or written threat.
In addition, sexual harassment is a common problem in the workplace. This too is a form of workload that does not contribute to good working culture and must be prevented.
Aggression and intimidation in the workplace
Controlling internal aggression and intimidation can be made more resilient by employees.
Acting assertively and setting clear boundaries helps an employee stand up for himself.
Internal aggression from colleagues and managers is often seen as bullying.
Although external aggression is more common, internal aggression has a greater impact on the company. Especially if it is the manager who misbehaves.
We see external aggression most often in health care. Think of ambulance staff, the hospitality industry and in education. No matter how annoying, this form of aggression is often better tolerated. The backup and sympathy of colleagues make up for a lot. You are not alone.
Tackling Aggression and Intimidation
Tackling aggression and intimidation is mandatory for employers. In the Working Conditions Act, this behavior is included under ‘psychosocial work tax’. It states that employers are obliged to pursue a policy that prevents or limits this labor tax as much as possible.
The risks within the company must be identified. Based on a plan of action, measures are taken to limit aggression and intimidation in the workplace as much as possible.
Employees are also protected against aggression in the Dutch Civil Code. The employer has a duty of care for the safety of his employees. If an employee is discriminated against, he or she can even submit a complaint to the Human Rights Council.
If there is physical violence, it may be necessary to report this, as physical violence falls under the Criminal Code Book.
Of course, you are not all waiting here. It is better not to let it get that far.
Smothering aggressive and intimidating behavior is the best solution.
Avoiding conflict within the organization
Many people do everything to avoid conflicts. This seems like a good feature because the ‘dear peace’ is preserved in this way. But conflict avoidance behavior can cause problems within the organization.
Issues that are not spoken remain on the table, they stand in the way of solutions. And subjects that remain too long become unavoidable. Everyone seems to have resigned themselves to it. But it still gnaws. It feeds new irritations.
Conflict-avoiding behavior ensures detachment between colleagues. That is not useful in a team, where close collaboration is essential.
Addressing Conflict-avoiding Behavior Within the Company
Where people work together, conflicts arise. Not everyone has the same opinion. If people do not agree with each other and no longer want to listen to each other, they will not come to a solution. Many people are afraid of this and do not enter into conflict in advance.
There are people who dive into the conflict, but most will show conflict-avoiding behavior. By learning to deal with conflicts in an effective way, small disagreements can be talked out in the workplace before major problems arise.
An assertive attitude helps employees deal with conflicts. When they learn how to deal with resistance and objections in a direct way, they will be more confident about a conflict situation. If the interests of both parties are properly promoted, a satisfactory solution will be found.
The conflict is out of the blue and will no longer cause problems in the future. Daring to talk to each other about behavior has a positive effect on the working atmosphere and keeps the air clear.
Communication Problem Within the Company
Many problems within companies can be traced back to communication problems. Managers also often find it difficult to communicate clearly to their employees.
Especially in large companies, there can be a big gap between the top and the shop floor. Problems in the workplace are generally signaled much too late. In addition, senior management is too far from practice.
Customer contact in the workplace provides important information. Employees can tailor the products and services they have developed to this so that more value is offered to the customer. Senior management often does not notice this and comes up with projects that do not fit the wishes of the customer. This is frustrating for employees because they know that they are not delivering what the customer wants.
Solving Communication Problems Within the Company
Collaboration is essential within a company. But in order to work well together, clear communication is important. Otherwise, you don’t know what to expect from each other. You would think employees working on a common goal should be able to communicate more smoothly. But still, things often go wrong. Because departments each have their own tasks and goals. And thereby maintain their own ‘agenda’.
Managing communication in the right direction is partly the role of the manager or supervisor. Lack of time often causes communication problems. It is wrongly assumed that telling once is enough. But correct timing of the moment, the way in which and the frequency of communication within a team prevents communication problems.
If the communication goes well, this creates a better atmosphere and higher performance within the team.
Good communication ensures that the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of all employees are consistent with the activities that must be done. To prevent communication problems, it is advisable to gain regular insight into the quality of communication within the company.
Ask employees personally about how they experience communication. For example, have an anonymous questionnaire filled in and discuss the result during a work meeting, for the necessary interaction.
The biggest problem within companies
During meetings, the arguments and counterarguments fly over the table. Everyone thinks they are right and tries to convince the other. Listening is hardly done and asking questions is lagging behind.
Gradually the irritation rises, the emotions increase. People keep repeating themselves, others drop out. There is no solution.
This form of communication also continues during daily activities. Not very effective and very stressful, especially for the less assertive employees.
It appears that the biggest problem within companies is the communication problem.
Conflicts, misunderstandings, unnecessary mistakes, irritations, and reproaches cause decreasing job satisfaction. It is high time that you as an organization started doing something about better communication.
Both between management and the workplace, as well as among colleagues.
Do you always speak with the same people during a team meeting? Are stories regularly interrupted by colleagues who want to give their opinion about it? And do they continue to repeat themselves until the rest matter?
Often there are many people who say little. A few of the articulate colleagues determine the outcome of the discussion. This sometimes makes decisions seem to fall out of the blue.
The majority of the team does not agree but does not like to go into a discussion. “Yes” is said, but “no” is done.
10 Tips for Better Communication
Better mutual communication makes work much more fun. The bond between colleagues becomes stronger, which leads to more productivity. The results are more positive and projects are completed with more success.
Employees who are involved in the process through good communication are more motivated.
But how do you ensure better communication in the workplace? Here are 10 tips:
1. Let Colleagues Help Each Other
Working together also means helping each other. Colleagues must feel free to share knowledge with each other. After all, they work toward the same goal.
Helping a colleague who so requests will also be ready for the other sooner. Of course, it is important that there is a balance in this. It is of course not the intention that one colleague always does all the chores of the others. A burnout is lurking.
2. Keep the Communication Clear
Learning to convey a message concisely and concretely prevents a lot of irritation and uncertainty. Long stories quickly become confused and can be interpreted in various ways. Avoid noise and communicate the core of the message. The details will come later.
3. Teach Colleagues to Listen
Communication goes two ways. Not only convey a message but also listen to the other. A colleague may have important information, but research has shown that the conversation partner is often interrupted within 17 seconds.
With this, you not only miss important information, listening to a colleague strengthens the bond. People feel appreciated when interest is shown in them.
4. Give Feedback
Well delivered feedback is always constructive when delivered correctly. Talking behind someone’s back is of no use. Daring to speak directly to a colleague should not be a threshold. Colleagues that give feedback in a respectable manner add value to the company.
5. Give New Ideas a Chance
Old habits can be difficult to change. They’ve been doing something the same way for years. And as long as that goes well, why should it be different? By being open to new ideas, a world of possibilities opens up. Employees who are not afraid of new initiatives will be much more creative and productive.
6. Now or Later?
Nobody can do everything at once. There are tasks that are urgent and activities that can wait a while. By having colleagues make priority lists together, it becomes clear what is important and what needs to be tackled first.
This saves a lot of stress and even overtime. Because what doesn’t have to be finished right now doesn’t need attention. Work more efficiently and communicate clearly who does what helps you meet deadlines, in a more relaxed way.
7. Assertive Colleagues Prevent Noise
Clear and transparent communication prevents noise, assertive colleagues clearly indicate what they want and what the limits are. This creates clear tasks and responsibilities to be shared fairly.
8. Meet Briefly
Meeting all days costs a lot of money and provides little to nothing. You can talk for days about one subject without finding a good solution. Avoid irritation and ensure that everyone speaks by leading the meeting tightly. Only discuss the agenda items and set a maximum time here.
9. Stop Gossip and Harassment
Talking about each other’s backs is easy. But nobody can do anything about it. If there are any annoyances, go to the person in question and talk it out.
Emphasizing each other’s positive points and giving compliments gives a much nicer working atmosphere.
10. Challenges Are Fun!
Sometimes people are ashamed if they don’t understand something at once. Make it clear that your vulnerable position is a good attitude. Helping each other to overcome obstacles and to engage in challenging projects helps the entire team.
Do you also want the entire team with the noses heading in the same direction? Allow all employees the space to develop and function optimally? Let stress disappear from the workplace through effective and targeted stress prevention training.
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In addition to financial suffering, the human suffering is great. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before long, you find yourself in a negative vicious circle.
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