The Results Are In: The Biggest Cause of Workplace Communication Breakdown

RL03-12-15In February, we asked our readers what they believe is the biggest cause of workplace communication breakdown. With more than 800 people weighing in, 33.5% picked “Poor Leadership” as the top communication killer, followed by “Unclear goals/strategies” at 18.5% in second, while “Unmotivated/disengaged workers” came in third with 11.7% of the votes.

The rest of the results were as follows:

  • Lack of follow up – 10.2%
  • Poor company culture – 9.7%
  • Lack of planning – 5.8%
  • Inexperience/lack of education – 2.5%

Another 8.2% of respondents chose the “Other” option and submitted their own thoughts on the top causes of workplace communication breakdown, including:

  • Gossip
  • Assumptions and misunderstanding
  • Lack of trust
  • Ego
  • Excessive workloads

Communication is Key
One of the most powerful tools all great leaders seem to possess is the ability to communicate with the people they lead. From explaining the intricacies of the next big project to building support and excitement about achieving company goals, a leader who is well versed in effective communication techniques may be the most important driver of success.

Check out these other Refresh Leadership articles for more insight into the importance of great communication skills and how to build them.

How have your communication skills affected your ability as a leader? What are some techniques you’ve found to build better communication skills? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. How to handle communication breakdown in the workplace - Conference Genie - April 26, 2016

    […] doesn’t share any updates and, as a result, creates a culture of secrecy. It’s a big mistake.  Refresh Leadership showed 33.5% of people thought ‘poor leadership’ was the biggest cause of communication […]

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