What To Do When Your Company Has Terrible Internal Communications
Top Tips for Companies with Communication Problems
Most business leaders understand how important communication is for success, but few are able to truly power effective and efficient communication across the organization.
Low employee engagement, employee retention and customer satisfaction scores are a telltale sign of communication failures in the workplace. If you are ready to improve internal communication at your business, these tips are a great place to start.
1. Make internal communication a 2-way process
Companies with communication problems may find that internal communication exists only as a one-way street. Instead, companies should focus on creating open lines of communication between executives, management, and employees.
Provide avenues for employees to express ideas and concerns as well as share feedback with management. If you can cultivate a company culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their input, and that input is valued and headed by management, you can go a long way. It is often the case that frontline employees who have the most contact with the customer are the ones with the most valuable insight into how to improve the business—there’s even a TV show about it.
2. Send targeted, relevant messages
When employees receive an overflow of information that doesn’t apply to them, they start to tune everything out. To be effective when disseminating information, news, and alerts to the workforce, it is critical to send information only to relevant employees and tailor the message so it’s meaningful to them.
3. Leverage all modes of communication
There are many ways to communicate with your workforce beyond email and intranet. Take advantage of other modes, such as in-person meetings, video conferences, conference calls, broadcasts, instant messaging and videos, to effectively engage employees with your message. Be strategic and think through which mode of communication will be the most effective for the type of information you have to share.
4. Empower deskless workers with effective team communication
At many companies, a segment of the workforce is what we call “deskless”. They don’t complete their work on a computer in an office, instead, they work in the field serving customers, maintaining substation equipment, installing fiber optics, checking in hotel guests, and so on.
While they don’t use email, they still need to communicate and collaborate with colleagues in the field. Equipping these workers with secure real-time communication technology hasn’t been a priority in the past and this oversight has lead to problems like high turnover, low customer satisfaction, and challenges recruiting younger generations. By providing these workers with a mobile-first communication app, they have access to the people, knowledge, and information needed to be successful on the job.
5. Repeat important information and updates
Don’t assume that updates only need to be shared once. Research on the Forgetting Curve shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50% of what they heard. And by the end of the week, they’ve forgotten about 90%.
Whenever you need to communicate something important like a new policy or an urgent safety hazard, you’ll want to reiterate that message across different platforms. For example, you could have managers inform their teams directly, as well as send a broadcast alert.
6. Make it easy for employees to find information
Employees are often frustrated by how difficult it is to find documents and information while on the job. This is especially true for field service teams, who cite the difficulty of finding information as the second most disliked thing about their jobs.
To improve this you can:
- Ensure there is a logical structure in how files are stored in your content management system
- Provide employees with a managed Content Hub where important alerts and files can be viewed on any device
- Create direct lines of communication between employees and experts who can provide information and answer questions in real time
7. Align employees on company goals
Companies with highly effective communication practices make it a point to communicate the “big picture” to employees and help them understand how their actions influence bottom line results.
Ensure all employees know what the business’s key goals and objectives are and recognize employees who have gone above and beyond to help the business reach those goals.
8. Be transparent
Companies with communication problems may find that employees don’t trust what leaders have to say. Cultivating a positive culture around internal communication requires leaders to be honest and transparent with the workforce. Prioritize transparent communication from the top down in order to fix a broken communication system.
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