What does unclear communication cost you?


Ambiguous communication is an expensive affair with firms across the US and UK reported to lose an average of $37 billion annually.  Hidden costs include delays in deadlines, loss of profits, business failures, whilst a decrease in productivity, innovation and trust among your staff too often a by-product of confusing communication. 

Actual costs to your company include:

●  31% Lower trust

Individual employees who feel disconnected with no clear direction from management become disengaged employees.  And this causes a reduction in productivity and low performance, an increase in distrust between staff, ultimately discouraging the sharing of ideas and innovative thinking.

●  44% Lower productivity

Poor communication causes most project management failures and many deadlines

are missed due to communication misunderstandings. Employees feel they don’t have access to the right people, knowledge and resources that would help them to do their jobs properly, so lack the passion and motivation to perform well.

●  33% Increase in staff turnover

Replacement costs range from between 30 – 50% for an entry level employee and between 100 – 150% for a technical or supervisory level employee. Not only is this costly but it also impacts on the ability of the company to provide decent service to their customers. 

●  18% Less sales

Time spent seeking clarity affects the overall quality of work produced and reflects negatively on the credibility of the business.  When employees don’t have access to the right information, the frustration and low morale impacts the customer experience, leading to less sales.

Why it happens:

  • Information overload
  • Lack of context
  • Assumption of understanding
  • Misinterpretation of information
  • Use of jargon and technical language

How to fix it

Understand your audience

Understand who you are talking to, what is important to them, and make sure you explain the value of the message to them and the action you need them afterwards.

• Explain why you’re doing it

Explain the reason for the message, offer context and include any actions needed to be taken. 

• Remove jargon

Use plain, simple language to deliver clear messages so that there is no communication gap between the person delivering the message and the reader of the message. Don’t assume your audience has the same level of knowledge as you do about the topic.

• Be consistent across channels

Ensure that the same message is crafted for all, even though it might need to be explained differently to different audiences. 

• Use stories and imagery

Stories and imagery bring your message alive, and help your audience connect and visualise with the message.

How can we help?

We work with leaders and entrepreneurs to simplify key messaging like business strategies, change processes and customer value propositions clearly so everyone gets it! Interested? Email us at hello@weexplainstuff.com.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more we offer a 30 min discover call.

Based on the outcome, we problem-solve with you to create a way forward that empowers you and your staff.

Book the call and you’re one step closer to having your communication problem solved.

Get in touch with us any way you like.

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About Garth Jemmett

Garth Jemmett is the founder of We Explain Stuff. He helps business leaders escape complexity by making strategies, processes, products and services easy to understand.

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