Conquering Status Barriers in the Workplace

Status barriers are one of the common issues that take place in the workplace. So, what is it? A status barrier is a sophisticated form of communication in the workplace that prevents the exchange of thoughts and ideas due to status, language, and physical barriers.

What are the causes of status barriers in the workplace?
• Formal company policies and operational rules. Most organizations have established a set of rules that must be followed in using different mediums, modes, and messages of communication. Some employees avoid these rules by not sending any message at all. Furthermore, company policies have streamlined communications between employees and provided a detailed description of how employees should communicate with each other without changing their positions in the company. For instance, if company policy dictates that all forms of communication should be done in writing, a short and simple message should be written as well. This often results in delayed message transmission and decision-making in the organization.

• Status positions in the company. Organizations always divide their employees depending on the roles that they play in the organization. The superiors are placed on top of the hierarchy while regular employees are placed at the lower levels. This leads to making formal communications between the two levels. The use of formal communication can also be a barrier to achieving effective communication in the workplace.

• Organizational facilities: A lot of organizations boost their communications by using necessary facilities like the stationery, telephone, translator software, and the like. When these facilities are made adequately available to employees, communication becomes accurate and timely. If these facilities are absent, though, communication becomes ineffective.

• Complicated structure: Some organizations have a lot of management levels that have some impact on how effective message exchanges are done. Having several management levels means more delays in transmitting multiple messages. Moreover, before reaching the intended receiver of the message, the content of the message may get disrupted.

So, how does an organization conquer status barriers in the workplace?

1. Use simple language: Clear and straightforward words must be used while communicating. Avoid using jargon and ambiguous words as much as possible.
2. Get rid of perception differences: Organizations must make sure only to hire people who are right for the job. It is essential to just hire employees who have a good command of the spoken and written language as necessary. Proper training should also be carried out as needed.
3. Active listening: Careful and attentive listening is a must. Active listening means that you have understood the message that you have heard. To be sure that listeners understand the word of the speaker, questions must be asked by the speaker.
4. Avoid overloading of information: Managers should know how to keep their work prioritized. Avoid overloading yourself with all the work. Managers must make time with their subordinates and listen to what they have to say about the organization and their feedback and problems with them.
5. Keep noise levels to a minimum or remove them: A significant barrier of proper communication is noise. This should be rid of your workspace for effective communication to ensue. To do this, you have to determine the source of the noise and then get rid of it.