Unanswered questions are the corporate enemy number one
Yes, Mr leader-manager that would be your employees whom you leave hanging when you or your key leaders fail to communicate sufficiently. What do your team members need to know to do their job? Oh, you think this ought to be perfectly clear since everybody (hopefully) has a job description. Think again. Typically job descriptions only list the responsibilities, but typically do not list the authority that any given employee has. Also, neither job description, nor employee handbook cover pieces of information that I would label as tribal knowledge (e.g. what behavior is rewarded and which one is disciplined?). That may include seemingly inane details covered such as who orders ordering paper clips or coffee when they are out?
Uncertainty drives up distrust. With lack of trust time wasted and cost will go up. There is of course an antidote to this costly issue. For one you should allow time for regular one-on-one time with each of your direct reports. Make sure you make it their time not yours when you spend quality time with them. Make sure you have regular department meetings; this further fosters community building and thinking. On the agenda: One part of general information where you, the department and the company are headed and the other part could be about the status of this year’s goals and how it affects the team members. Last but not least think about having a weekly state of the company meeting. 15 minutes standing up and with everybody. This works well with up to 100 people assuming you have a public space big enough to fit the crowd. Topics can range from open book financial report, success / challenge report outs, sales/engineering/customer support report out, ……. insert your own ideas here.
No one has ever told me that I am over communicating. I am fairly certain that is the case with you as well. Your top number one job for top number one problem is to turn destructive water cooler talk into constructive water cooler talk.