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communications - poor communication is costing money

Poor Employee Communication Skills Cost up to £25k a Year

Poor communication skills can cost your business up to £25,000 each per year, per employee.

According to a study of over 500 businesses conducted by Siemens.

The study looked at companies with up to 400 employees from eight major countries.

It finds that without proper communication skills training communications pain costs add up quickly.

“Communications pain” is the term used for barriers that affect communications in everyday business processes.

In this week’s blog, we take a closer look at this research to answer 2 questions.

  1. Why is poor communication costing money?
  2. What can a company do to mitigate this loss?

 Why a lack of communication skills is costing you money

pig communication skills training glasgow.

A recent personal experience can explain exactly why a lack of communication costs.

My wife and I are currently looking to move house.

So we have been contacting estate agents for viewings.

We decided to view two properties last week with separate companies.

At both of these appointments, we were stood up with no communication before, during or after the scheduled appointment.

This lack of communication resulted in both companies losing a new customer.

Each time we were stood up, my wife and I called the agent to find out where they were.

The first agent was unaware of the arranged viewing.

This meant that communication within the agency had failed altogether.

We were unable to contact the second agent on the number provided.

This was due to the viewing being outside of office hours.

The office phone number provided should have been redirected to the agents mobile.

However, it wasn’t and there was no answering machine.

So, disheartened and annoyed, my wife and I made our way back home.

Top 10 communication pain points

top ten - communication skills training glasgow.

We trust our employees to communicate effectively ensuring maximum output.

However, being an effective communicator takes a lot of skill and practice.

The research gathered by Siemens Enterprise Communications identifies the top ten communication pain points:

  1. Waiting for information,
  2. Unwanted communications,
  3. Inefficient coordination,
  4. Barriers to collaboration,
  5. Customer complaints,
  6. Planning to plan,
  7. Offsite work,
  8. Travel to ‘sync up’,
  9. Cost of working from home,
  10. Cost of business travel.

These, in turn, affect your business’s bottom line due to:

  • Reduced productivity,
  • increased operating costs,
  • unsatisfied customers,
  • impaired competitive advantage.

How inefficient communication is costing your business money

communication skills training glasgow two men shouting.

The above are examples of exactly how communication inefficiency can cost a business money.

Poor communication coupled with ineffective processes resulted in lost custom for the agencies.

Another example of cost resulting from poor communication is ‘time’.

Specifically, communication pains leading to wasted man-hours.

The average amount of time wasted due to the top 5 communication pains is outlined in the research study.

The study shows that:

  • An average of 3.7 hours a week is lost attempting to coordinate communications between team members,
  • An average of 3.5 hours a week is spent waiting for information to continue assigned tasks,
  • Three out of four respondents spend two or more hours per week dealing with unwanted communications,
  • On average 3.3 hours, a week are lost responding to complaints specifically because the customer was unable to reach their desired person in a timely manner,
  • Inaccessibility or other communication-tool based lack of full collaboration with colleagues takes up 3.3 hours per week.

The average cost to your company of communication impairment

Using the research points above, you can easily quantify the average cost of communications barriers.

Take the time spent on each pain point then multiply it by the average hourly rate of the employees in that department.

How to reduce costs incurred from inefficient communication

communication skills training glasgow. man writing costs.

To be effective in business, you have to communicate well.

To be a good manager, you have to communicate exceptionally well.

Just like any professional attribute communication skills have to be developed and honed on an on-going basis.

Regular communication skills training for key employees will reduce the costs of inefficient communication.

A greater understanding of how it works will allow your business to:

  1. Identify current communication barriers/pain points,
  2. Develop an action plan to address them,
  3. Ensure effective communication to minimize losses.

Study Overview – Uncovering the hidden cost of communications barriers and latency

siemensSlide07 - poor communications is costing you money

The study surveyed 500+ businesses from a range of industries.

Industries represented are finance, healthcare, communications, insurance, manufacturing, professional, W/R trade and real estate.

The below tables show you the size and location of these companies.


Table showing size of companies surveyed

Employee size Number of respondents % of total
1-20 93 18%
20-100 167 33%
100-300 139 27%
300-400 114 22%
Total 513 100%

Table showing location of companies surveyed

Location Number of respondents % of total
Brazil 67 13%
France 64 12%
Germany 63 12%
India 66 13%
Italy 63 12%
Russia 64 12%
United Kingdom 63 12%
United States 63 12%
Total 513 100%

The next steps to efficient communication

We provide our training blog as a resource to improve the communication skills of our readers.

There are over a hundred lessons from experts who travel the world training delegates.

All the lessons are accessible for free.

Alternatively, receive lessons direct to your inbox by inputting your email address when prompted at our training hub.

For specific questions related to communications training, complete this contact form to receive a free 15-minute training call with one of our experts.

Lastly, use the research study to guide you in working out the costs your company incurs due to its communication pain points.

Written by Carl Banks, Marketing Executive at Glasgow based media training company Pink Elephant Communications

Photo credits // Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash // //

14th February 2018 Featured in: Blog By:

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