Search Results for: communications

Avoiding the minefield of WhatsApp communications

Avoiding the minefield of WhatsApp communications

Whether to keep colleagues updated or to share a new idea, WhatsApp groups are increasingly becoming a go-to communication tool in the workplace.  There are benefits to having such informal communication channels – they can be less hierarchical and improve cohesion within the team, as well as being a fast and easy way to communicate and share images. On the flip side, the lack of formality means that there are risks associated with them.   More →

Firms ignoring employee anxieties about workplace communications

Firms ignoring employee anxieties about workplace communications

UK companies are failing to support employees suffering with work-related performance anxiety, the business world’s equivalent to stage fright, despite it being a regular occurrence for many workers, according to new research. RADA Business, the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art which provides communication skills training for corporate individuals, has published the report Beating Workplace Performance Anxiety, which surveyed 1000 workplaces. The report found that, on average, workers report feeling anxious at least once a week (five times per month). Despite this, few workplaces act effectively to counter incidents of workplace communications anxiety. Only 13 percent of people surveyed said that anxieties round communicating in the workplace are picked up and resolved by the management team.

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Men and women experience workplace communications anxiety very differently

Men and women experience workplace communications anxiety very differently

There is a disparity between the causes of communications anxiety between men and women, claims new research conducted by RADA in business. Male employees are 45 percent more likely than women to feel anxious when socialising with their work colleagues, while women are most scared of giving a presentation. Team building events were also found to be more challenging for men, with almost a fifth (19 percent) reporting feelings of communications anxiety. Work social events followed, with 17 percent reporting the same feelings. In contrast, the report found that female employees experience greater levels of anxiety when giving presentations in front of a group, to colleagues, or to management. The evidence suggests that while men require more help with skills around spontaneous communication, for women it is about standing their ground and getting their voice heard when stepping into the spotlight – often in situations that may have a significant impact on their career path. Notably, the research shows that women are also 39 percent more likely to experience workplace anxiety than men when in a job interview, and 37 percent more likely when negotiating a pay rise.

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Over half of younger managers prefer using digital communications to deal with staff

Over half of younger managers prefer using digital communications to deal with staff

Over half of younger managers prefer using digital communications to deal with staffOnline messaging is the most common way for millennial bosses to communicate with their direct reports, with over half (55 percent) preferring to use this digital method, followed by email at 28 percent, a new survey claims. Only 14 percent said their favoured way to communicate is in person, and 3 percent said via phone. As millennials (born 1981-1996) increasingly moving into management positions, the new Korn Ferry survey also found that when interviewing for management positions, millennials say that making an impact on organisational culture is most important to them, with salary being the least important. The survey also found that compared with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, knowing what is coming next is critical for millennial bosses. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) said a clear advancement path (e.g. next two positions) is more important for millennial bosses, with 49 percent saying it is much more important.

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Anxiety over communications skills performance affects majority of senior leaders

Anxiety over communications skills performance affects majority of senior leaders

Anxiety over communications skills affect majority of senior leaders

Employees in senior positions are more prone to experiencing workplace performance anxiety than any other role, despite their extra experience and authority, claims new research. The report by conducted by RADA in Business, the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art found that the highest rates of anxiety for directors are around communicating, affecting 94 percent of those surveyed. 39 percent of senior directors cite networking with new business prospects and pitching as the situations where they feel the most unsure about their performance. Furthermore, almost a third (31 percent) say they are nervous of their ideas being shot down or being talked over, while a similar number (31 percent) say they are fearful of people thinking less of them. The next most-affected group was those in junior positions, with 92 percent reporting the effects of anxiety around communicating. With most people expressing the pressure to make an impact – whether being interviewed for a new job, moving into a more senior role, or presenting to colleagues or customers – as the main situations that bring on anxious feelings the most.

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Too much information is leading to a communications overload for many employees

Too much information is leading to a communications overload for many employees

Too much information is leading to a communications overload for employees

Employees are experiencing ‘communications overload’ as a result of their organisation’s attempts to keep them continually informed, a new survey claims. According to research by Clarizen, 81 percent of employers say despite taking steps to improve communication among employees, they still lack a way to keep projects on track and provide management oversight. This is because efforts to improve collaboration among employees by opening new lines of communication can have the opposite effect. Instead, employees suffer from the modern workplace malady known as ‘communication overload,’ a productivity-killing infirmity characterised by too many meaningless meetings and an excessive number of emails, notifications and alerts that are devoid of importance, context or urgency. A common challenge reported by a majority of respondents is that employees, departments and teams are spread across several sites, or team members work from home. 70 percent say they need to go beyond creating additional lines of communication, and facilitate better collaboration among employees so they can work together to meet objectives, coordinate activities and monitor progress.

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Remote workers endure poor communications and working practices

Remote workers endure poor communications and working practices 0

Poor communciation within remote teamsPoor communication and working practices among remote teams is widespread, a new report by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) claims. Organisations are failing to capitalise on the potential for remote working to improve performance and efficiency with 88 percent of remote workers struggling with inconsistent working practices and miscommunication, while 83 percent feel overwhelmed by emails. Although 84 percent of remote workers report improvements to their work-life balance, a lack of team identity can cause isolation and loneliness. The study with over 1,000 remote workers highlighted a range of potential benefits for organisations with a remote or geographically-dispersed workforce, including increased business reach, improved productivity, cost and time savings, and access to a more diverse set of skills and experience.

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Office workers report difficulties with remote communications technology

Office workers report difficulties with remote communications technologyJust as the adoption of digital communications technology is making the one-person per desk workstation model look outmoded, the design and layout of the typical conference room is no longer suitable for remote communications. That is one of the findings of a new survey by Steelcase which found that despite, or rather because of advances in technology, office workers are having difficulties when trying to communicate with work colleagues based elsewhere. The problem, which Steelcase has coined presence disparity can lead to an overall collaboration experience which is best described as unpleasant and taxing, with participants feeling strained physically, cognitively and emotionally. This isn’t helped by the fact that conference rooms, the most used spaces for videoconferencing, usually feature long rectangular tables designed for face to face meetings, not those to camera.

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Mobile apps will dominate workplace communications within next three years

The news this week that Microsoft is to purchase Nokia’s mobile phone business for £4.6bn is a reminder of how rapidly app-based communications tools have transformed mobile phones and computer devices. Within the workplace, fragmentation and lack of standardisation of the technologies have resulted in organisations often using multiple tools, including that of employees’ own consumer smartphones and tablets. According to analysts Gartner most collaboration applications will be equally available on desktops, mobile phones, tablets and browsers by 2016. Over the next three to five years it predicts, every business will be using mobile collaboration tools – boosted by BYOD, personal cloud file sharing and the increasing availability of mobile applications. More →

Communications gap hampering employee engagement and productivity

 Communication gap hampering employee engagement and productivity

A stream of surveys published over the past few weeks have indicated a deep rooted sense of unease and lack of job security amongst UK workers. Now yet another poll reveals that far from being keen to discuss career progression opportunities, many employees are reluctant to bring up personal development and career progression with their bosses because they think it will put them at a disadvantage at work. According to the new research from Badenoch & Clark, this growing communications gap between employees and managers could lead to lack of engagement and lower productivity within the workforce. Meanwhile too many employers are investing in the wrong kinds of personal development for their staff. More →

Growth in unified communications and BYOD but concerns remain

padlock-unlocked-1280x1024A new report from research firm Ovum anticipates rapidly growing  interest in the use of managed unified communications (UC) applications over the next two years. The survey, conducted with Dimension Data, found that over a third of large enterprises will be procuring managed UC services by 2015. The report also suggests that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)  policies are supported by 60 per cent of American businesses, with a growing number of firms looking to integrate their BYOD policies with their new approach to unified communications. One technology they won’t be looking to integrate is The Cloud which only a fifth claimed they would use for UC applications.

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Firms continue to underestimate employee turnover threat, study claims

Firms continue to underestimate employee turnover threat, study claims

employee turnoverA new study from communications agency Zeno Group claims that businesses continue to underestimate the chances of an increase in employee turnover as a result of changing attitudes towards work. According to the survey, while companies often focus on addressing their disengaged or disgruntled groups, the study finds that 58 percent of satisfied employees in the UK now report being open to new opportunities, with many actively searching. In addition, those surveyed report their employers do not recognize this reality, with just 20 percent of respondents saying their employers think many workers are looking for new roles elsewhere. More →

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