US companies are leaking money because of miscommunication. Breakdowns, bottlenecks, and misunderstandings are significant challenges in the hybrid- and remote-work era. A study by Grammarly conducted with The Harris Poll found that companies with 500 employees lose $6.25 million each year to resolving communication issues—and these costs only increase with additional head count.
Miscommunication is a preventable cost to businesses. As the amount of written and digital communication taking place in the workplace continues to increase, businesses must prioritize solutions to eliminate miscommunication at the source.
The enemy of productivity
Grammarly’s study found that knowledge workers spent almost twenty hours per week on written communication. Despite all this practice, 72% of business leaders acknowledged that their teams struggled to communicate effectively.
The move to hybrid and remote work has only exacerbated the problem. Four in five business leaders were concerned about how the shift in working models would continue to impact employees’ communication ability.
According to a 2022 Loom survey, 91% of workers reported having their digital messages misunderstood or misinterpreted at work. These misunderstandings lead to doubt and delays—47% of respondents said they overthink emails and messages they send. Employees spend time rereading messages to check how they’ll be received, spell-checking their language, or sending follow-up messages to clear up confusion.
In Grammarly’s report, almost half of the respondents said they struggled with sending timely responses (49%), understanding messages from others (26%), and identifying the proper tone to use (32%). These challenges lead to individual productivity losses. At scale, this problem adds up to thousands of hours lost and a significant bottom-line impact.
Grammarly’s study also showed that poor communication resulted in about 7.5 hours of wasted time each week per employee. Based on an average salary of approximately $67,000, that’s over $12,500 in lost productivity per employee each year. Multiply that across your organization, and you’ve got a pretty big line item hiding in plain sight.
Additional miscommunication risks for revenue
The negative impacts of miscommunication reach every part of your organization. Our report also found that almost nine in ten business leaders reported missed deadlines, increased timelines, and decreased customer satisfaction due to miscommunication.
Top impacts of miscommunication at work reported by business leaders.
- Increased costs
- Missed deadlines
- Eroded brand reputation
- Decreased productivity
When employee productivity decreases, progress stalls along with top-line revenue growth. Spinning wheels can gain traction with the right tools. Individuals need AI writing solutions that enable them to write with greater confidence. Grammarly Business fills that gap, accelerating productivity and increasing writing confidence for teams by offering in-line writing suggestions that tighten up writing for clarity and even ensure messages strike the right tone. In fact, 76% of users said it helped them get more work done.
For example, Frost & Sullivan, a global market-research and business-consulting firm, leverages Grammarly Business to ensure its reports meet the company’s high-quality standards. These reports directly translate to profitability. With Grammarly Business, Frost & Sullivan cut editing time by 66%, which allowed it to accelerate its efficiency and complete more than 500 revenue-generating projects in one year.
Miscommunication, morale, and the impact on the bottom line
Another benefit of improved communication is employee engagement, which can directly impact revenue. Harvard Business Review found that when employee satisfaction moved from the bottom quartile to the top quartile, revenue grew by more than 50%.
Grammarly’s study with The Harris Poll found that communication issues most often resulted in stress at work. As communication hurdles grow in frequency, workplace friction increases, which causes greater stress and lower employee engagement. Clear communication can help reduce workplace stress. In fact, 80% of users said Grammarly Business reduced their anxiety when they wrote to their peers.
Miscommunication between leaders and their direct reports also causes workplace stress. According to Gallup, an employee’s relationship with their manager is a primary factor of job satisfaction. Gallup also reported that US employee engagement sat at 33%. Grammarly’s study with The Harris Poll found that 62% of knowledge workers felt their direct managers communicated effectively, yet 82% of business leaders were confident in communicating with their direct reports. This gap illustrates a big opportunity for leaders to increase employee engagement through better communication.
How to rewrite your communication story
Bottlenecks and communication barriers are significant risks to businesses. It’s time for strategic action, and with easy-to-adopt solutions, employees can reclaim the 20% of their time being lost to miscommunication.
AI-powered tools like Grammarly Business augment human intelligence by providing real-time, in-line writing suggestions with unique features, such as brand tones and custom style guides. When employees gain access to these tools, they can communicate on-brand more confidently and speed up their workflows without sacrificing quality.
Tools are only as good as they are simple to implement and use. Revitalize your team’s productivity and confidence with intuitive and ubiquitous technology. You still have time this year to stave off unforeseen costs and set your teams up for success in 2023.