What is a Communication Climate?

Communication forms the basis of every interaction that you have with other people. There are even non-verbal signs that count as communication and lead people to do, think or say things in a certain way.

The communication that takes place in a company/organization is of vital importance as it determines how well employees work and perform within the organization. When there is clear communication, employees know what is expected of them and perform according to these parameters. If the communication is unclear or slow, it may mean that employees will not know what is going on and that could affect their productivity directly. Bad communication often leads to poor performance.

The way in which communication takes place in a company/organization is what is known as the communication climate.

How it works

When an employee is expected to perform certain tasks, it should be clear what those tasks are and to what level of performance they should be completed. It is the manager’s responsibility to make sure that the employee understands and commits to these expectations. The manager should therefore communicate clearly – through the contract, memoranda, personal discussions, e-mail etc. – what the employee should be doing and how the tasks should be performed.

When this managerial task is performed well, the employee will have a good productivity level which will reflect well on not only the manager, but also on the company as a whole. If this communication is slow, unclear or confusing, the employee will be unable to perform to standard as there are no clear parameters within which to perform. Even though the employee can take the initiative, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is what the manager or the company/organization had in mind.

There are several companies that now offer courses for managers to help them communicate effectively and help to improve the performance of their employees. They will learn to ask questions like ‘What is supposed to happen here?’, ‘How well should this be done?’ and ‘Are my employees responding to the communication as I expect them to?’ These questions will give the manager s brief idea of what is going wrong – or right – with the communication in the company.


It isn’t always easy to identify the communication climate in a company/organization. There will always be the good communicators and the poor communicators. What you need to do is see how many managers communicate effectively and how many don’t and then draw an average. If on average there are more poor communicators, then you are looking at a company/organization that could be in trouble. Should the average be in favor of good communicators there is a good possibility that there isn’t a lot of improvement to be done.

Communication is unavoidable in a workplace and it can be very frustrating when it is done poorly. It is important to make sure that whatever you communicate is clear and understood.



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