If your company doesn’t address its list of internal communications barriers, it costs the organization significantly in terms of time, energy and money. According to one study that involved a survey of 400 companies, the average cost of bad communications is $62.4 million per year.
Whether the people in your company are holding meetings or sending emails, their ability to communicate provides direction and clarity for others. Good internal communications engage employees and support collaboration, but there are many challenges of business communication that get in the way.
Trying to make internal communications as effective as possible leads us to a bit of a paradox. Good internal communications should feel natural and engagement should be instinctive. However, a good internal communications system is the product of deliberate effort. Communication challenges need to be addressed, as they usually don’t take care of themselves. Below is a list of internal communication barriers that need to be addressed in order to make internal communications engaging and effective.
Keeping Employees Engaged
One of the most common internal communication problems within big corporations is that it only moves in one direction — from the top down. Two-way communication is far more beneficial, and is critical for many reasons. Most importantly, when employees feel like they have a voice, it increases engagement. Engaged employees are more productive, more loyal to the company and more creative.
Two-way communication also supports a healthy internal dialogue. Employees will feel more comfortable bringing issues to their managers and asking for help from their colleagues. This type of healthy communication helps employees manage day-to-day stress and overcome adversity.
For management, two-way communication means more than just asking for feedback. Management needs to take action on user feedback to show employees that their input truly matters.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of keeping remote workers all on the same page. Remote employees who aren’t kept in the loop can quickly feel isolated and undervalued – causing them to disengage from their job.
Whether they work from corporate offices or from their couch, all employees and managers need to be kept in the loop. Remote work appears to be getting more popular and companies that don’t ensure their remote workers are connected will be working at a disadvantage.
When employees are engaged through two-way communication, it reduces turnover and increases productivity. When people feel comfortable with each other, they are more likely to communicate and avoid mistakes. Also, studies show co-worker relationships have a strong correlation to employee retention.
Choosing the Right Tool
The truth is a lot of necessary internal messages are more functional than fun. Because of this, some internal messages can go ignored or be dismissed.
Engagement with internal communication starts with the right platform. If employees don’t like a communications platform correctly or don’t use it correctly, they are less likely to engage with internal communications.
Employees are more likely to engage with messaging if it is vibrant and interactive. Many of the collaboration platforms available today resemble social media. These platforms are a great way to send vibrant messages and engage employees in conversation.
The ideal employee communications platform should be user-friendly. Some platforms have a social element and others include gamification or employee recognition features.
There are many tools out there for internal communications and it can be difficult to pick the one that’s right for your company. Some companies may have success with simple interfaces, while others may find success with a more sophisticated solution.
An internal communications team should focus on picking a solution that addresses the needs of today, but also is flexible enough to adapt to change. Technology is always evolving and companies that don’t adapt their internal communications technology could be at a disadvantage to the competition.
Sending the Right Message to the Right Person
Employees are also less likely to engage with internal communications if they feel most of the messages they get are irrelevant or redundant. An internal communications team needs to prioritize sending the most critical information. They should also filter messages so that information gets directed only to the most relevant parties.
Most companies have several department and seniority levels. Some companies have facilities in different locations. Modern platforms make it easy to send the right message to the right person based on department, job title and location. An internal communications team can use this function to create specific channels that funnel information appropriately.
Monitoring the Performance of Communications
Data and analytics are currently revolutionizing the business world, which includes internal communications. Simply communicating with employees and hoping for the best is no longer good enough. As noted above, bad communications costs the average company tens of millions of dollars each year.
An internal communications team should be able to see which channels and messages are most effective. This requires a tool for measuring the effectiveness of internal communications.
We Can Help You Address Your Internal Communications Challenges
At Tryane, we specialize in extracting valuable insights from communications platforms like Yammer and Microsoft Teams. If your company is currently looking to boost employee engagement and address challenges, please contact us today.