Internal Communication Mistakes (and how to avoid them)
Internal communication is the key to success! Organizations with effective communication are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. And companies with successful communication practices enjoy 47% higher total returns to shareholders.
Is your communication up to snuff? If any of the following internal communication mistakes seem all too familiar, it may just be time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Shrinking from social
Social media has snuck its way into the workplace. And we’re not so sure that’s a bad thing. When used correctly, social technologies can raise the productivity of a company’s knowledge workers by 25%. Now we know that there is some debate about this, and that many organizations see social as nothing more than a distraction. But according to BOC, ignoring the use of social technologies means missing out on a “big opportunity to easily reach a large portion of employees who are frequently on their mobile devices.” Don’t shrink away from utilizing social technologies within your organization. As long as you make sure you implement a system/process to monitor usage, it can be an invaluable asset for your company.
Do you currently have a system in place to measure your internal communication? If the answer is no, you are not the only one. Recent studies show that 60% of companies are not measuring internal communication. Without the valuable insight that feedback provides, it becomes difficult to know when there is a problem and what needs to be changed in order to fix it. Every and all organizations should have a system in place to measure the effectiveness of their internal communication. The most successful feedback systems include the use of analytics software, as well as gathering information from the employees themselves. The latter provide information that analytics cannot. And since employees are the ones encountering the issues, they may be able to come up with effective measures to overcome communication obstacles. They can provide valuable information about systems currently in place, and systems that would benefit the organization in the future.
Making it too complex
Simple is always better, especially when it comes to communication. Avoid weighing down messages with unnecessary information. Most people read only about 50% of an email, webpage, online article, etc before they move on to the next thing. If your message is too long, it will most likely be skimmed over, or even worse, skipped. Short and concise (and jargon free!) messages also help avoid misunderstandings. And brief messages are more likely to inspire action than longer, more complex communications, which take longer to process.
Moving too fast
We know the business world is a fast paced one. But it is important to slow things down and take the necessary time with each communication. Don’t just send out a message, push it out of your mind and then forget about it. Follow up on messages to make sure the appropriate parties received them, and there were no misunderstandings. Make sure to repeat critical messages a few times. It’s highly likely that your employee didn’t read it the first time. And if they did, it’s possible it didn’t stick the first time around. The bottom line here is to make sure to invest time to making your internal communication successful and give your messages the attention they need to be successful.
Using the wrong tools
One of the most common internal communication mistakes is utilizing the wrong tools. Organizations tend to stick to legacy systems, like paper memos, etc. But paper processes tend to take up a lot of time and can negatively impact productivity, especially if you have a large amount of remote workers who wouldn’t necessarily be able to easily access them. That being said, older generations of workers may prefer email and paper communications, and wouldn’t respond well to other mediums. At the same time, younger generations of workers may expect more digital means of communication like SMS messages, chat, or alerts. So how do you find the right tool that encompasses every type of employee communication preference? Intranets and digital platforms are a perfect solution. They allow for multiple communication and collaboration tools to exist and be accessible all from one place. (You can sign up for a free demo if our Emgage Intranet solution here.)
Avoid these internal communication mistakes within your organization, and you will be well on your way to having happier employees, improved productivity, increased profits and more effective collaboration.
Want to learn more about improving internal communication? Check out our white paper on the subject.