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Every organization faces both unique and not-so-unique challenges on a daily basis. Overcoming many of these challenges—especially in areas like Management, Human Resources, and Learning and Development—rely on understanding: understanding the way people work, understanding how leaders communicate, and understanding how teams perform.

Our goal is to pinpoint what are the issues businesses are facing in the human capital development realm and how we can bring insight and solutions to these challenges. To gauge an insight, Emergenetics surveyed over 150 professional from all career levels and industries. By participating in this research survey, we gained to the brightest minds in learning and development and talent management and truly got a finger on the pulse of organizations.

The first question on our survey was, “What challenges do your teams regularly face?”

The results were pretty fascinating, because the challenges we asked about, which were gathered from industry research, highlighted the need for clarity and communication in the workplace over meeting deadlines and completing objectives (the two lowest responses).

Given what is constantly being said from top executives, the ability for people development to impact the bottom line may need to start on a more fundamental level.

While 28% of respondents mentioned meeting deadlines as an issue and 29% mentioned the ability to realize group objectives, the percentage in communication deficiencies was double the amount and by far the top challenge for teams.

The challenge of the lack of communication in the workplace in impacting team performance was acknowledged by 59% of the participants.

This statistic indicates the need to keep training both executives and teams about the basics of communication in the workplace— understanding how people work and learning to relate to each other. Facilitating interpersonal team dynamics and cognitively diverse teams is the lifeblood of the organization.

Does this mean meeting deadlines and objectives isn’t important? Of course not, but it should make you think about what challenges your own organization faces. Teams may not have as difficult of a challenge with these more straightforward (and perhaps under-emphasized) issues, as rather, with a more fundamental issue like communication.

In line with this trend, the next highest responses were:

  • Clarity of purpose and direction in team building (49%)
  • Trust between team members (42%)

The root of all three of these top challenges is the same – a lack of strong team dynamics due to communication deficiency. The combination of these factors obviously can have extremely disruptive effects on a team and even larger, on an organization. Various researchers have long proclaimed the importance of communication in the workplace, citing quicker organizational adaptation to changing market conditions and increased innovation, among other benefits —from HR Magazine, a survey from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) placed effective communication as the top factor in creating high employee job satisfaction.

We understand the importance of communication, trust, and team dynamic. These factors create a greater ability to connect people to their work and to each other in meaningful ways—and that comes from a deep understanding of individual thinking and behavioral preferences. By understanding the way people are wired, organizations can address these key challenges in order for team members to build trust and work toward their goals with full knowledge of the strengths, challenges, and personalities of those they work with.

We hope this survey is an eye-opener for leaders, teams, and organizations. Our findings are all about personal interactions between teams and the ability for strong communication in the workplace to drive tangible and better results.

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