3 Main Issues With One Way Communication

One way communication needs to be updated and will not work today. In today’s digital economy, where trust and transparency are essential, one way communication is a deal breaker. With the advancement of technology, businesses have also adapted to this new digital era and are now operating on a two-way communication model. However, some business owners continue to operate on a one way communication model. 

We will cover some of the main issues and consequences of one way communication, but first, we need to define what one way communication is and what types of it are there.

In this article, we will talk about:

What is one way communication?

One way communication is a type of communication where a person or a group of people are receiving information but are not able or expected to transmit the information back to the sender.

It may still be considered one of the faster communication methods by some, but that is starting to change recently with the implementation of new two-way communication channels. This leads us to explain what two-way communication means.

Examples of one way communication in the workplace

Sending a company newsletter to all the employees through email.

In this scenario, not only can you not get information on whether your employees read the message, but you are in a position where you cannot collect employee feedback. Sending a newsletter without the intention of receiving feedback from the receiver is an example of one-way communication.

Company newsletter

Listening to policy statements from your executives

In this situation, the receivers are often not considered to give their opinion or feedback. To avoid the one-way communication problem, you could use a tool for anonymous feedback to see sincere feedback on your statement.

What is two-way communication?

Two-way communication is where the information is shared back and forth between the sender and receiver. The main characteristic of two-way comms is that it invites and offers feedback.

Why is workplace communication important?

Did you know that research by Salesforce that included not only employees but corporate executives and educators also shows that 86% of them believe ineffective communication is the underlying reason for workplace failures?

This infographic will teach you about communication’s role in workplace failures.

Problems with one-way communication
Workplace communication effect in the workplace

Lack of transparency and trust with one-way communication

One of the main issues with one directional communication is that it creates a lack of transparency and trust.

One-way communication example

Suppose a company is implementing a new performance review system. The HR department has developed a new process for evaluating employee performance, but they have not communicated the details of the new system to the employees.

When it comes time for the performance reviews to take place, employees are surprised to learn that the criteria for evaluation have changed. They feel like they were not given enough information and did not have a chance to provide feedback on the new system. They also feel like they were not given the opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification on the new system.

The lack of transparency and one-way communication in this scenario has led to a breakdown in trust between the employees and the company’s leadership. The employees feel they are not being treated fairly and that the company is not interested in their input or feedback. This can lead to decreased motivation, lower job satisfaction, and increased turnover.

In contrast, if the company had communicated the details of the new performance review system in advance and solicited employee feedback, they would have been more likely to feel included and valued. This would have helped to build trust and ensure a smoother transition to the new system.

The point of being transparent

When there is a lack of trust and transparency, employees might feel uncomfortable engaging with their manager. One-way comms also create an information vacuum, resulting in employees becoming lost, disengaged, and anxious at their workplace. 

Another area for improvement with communication is that it can create employee resistance. Employees starting to work for your business may discover that their experience differs from their expectations when applying for the job, which leads to employee attrition. Another consequence of this could be lower engagement rates, resulting in less revenue for your company.

Inconsistent communication

One way communication flow creates inconsistency in the flow of information. The problem is that you need to know whether the company is on the same page with its employees. As a result, you can’t be sure if your employees are getting the correct information at the right time.

Another example!

Suppose there is a company that is going through a restructuring process. The CEO has decided to make some major changes to the organization, and they have communicated these changes through one-way mediums. The problem occurs when employees do not understand the statement from the CEO and take away different types of messages. Still, there is no real-time feedback to correct the situation.

As a result, the employees are left in the dark about what is happening. They start making assumptions and speculating about what is happening but cannot confirm these speculations. They feel like they are being kept in the dark and start to lose trust in the company’s leadership.

The problem is not just for employees but also managers since they need to know if the information they sent was understood properly or even understood at all.

Lack of collaboration and teamwork

One way comms flow makes it difficult for businesses to collaborate and work together. If there is no collaboration opportunity, teams cannot work together to achieve their business objectives effectively. 

This can be harmful because teams will not be able to accomplish the goals set forth by the business, and as a result, the company will ultimately not reach its maximum potential. 

To avoid this issue in your company, one way to encourage teamwork and improve chemistry and morale with your employees is by implementing an employee engagement tool like Jenz. These tools allow for increased employee engagementbetter company culture, and digital two-way communication. Another benefit of these tools is that they are affordable, convenient, and easy to use.



When a company has a conversation with its employees, there needs to be more transparency and trust. For example, if a company sends out messages without input from its employees, it will not know if the message is getting through, and the employees will be left to their own devices to figure out what the message means. A company must have a two-way conversation with its staff so that both parties can clearly understand the message and act in unison.

But we know it is hard to change your type of conversation and channels of transmission suddenly. That is why you should complement your existing channels with practical tools to intuitively eliminate negatives from one-way communication.

Find out how an employee engagement tool could help with your communication issues and how to implement this tool efficiently!