Effective internal communication is vital to your organization’s success. If your employees aren’t engaged and informed, it has a flow-on effect to everything else your company sets out to achieve.
Companies that have excellent internal communications practices often have higher productivity and profits, and report greater employee satisfaction.
When you have an effective internal communications strategy in place, you will assist your staff to fully understand the organization’s values, objectives and culture. You can build a company culture of trust and honesty, and turn your employees into brand ambassadors.
On the road to implementing excellent internal communications practices, there are a number of common mistakes that can be made.
1. Traditional communications hierarchies
The traditional communication model where information trickles down from top management to the front-line staff creates many problems. Slow distribution of information, lost information and misplaced data are common issues.
2. Lack of goals and objectives
It might seem really obvious, but not having clear goals and objectives before communicating is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you can’t achieve it.
3. Information overload
Bombarding staff constantly with information can be counter-productive. If there’s too much content, they’re not going to have time to read it, let alone absorb it. Complex information can take too long to analyze and then act on.
You also need to select your communication channels carefully and send to those employees who really need to see it. Sending information out to everyone is just another way to overwhelm them.
4. Using jargon
Content that contains too much jargon can be off-putting to read at best and at worst, is incomprehensible. Your communications should be written clearly and concisely and be as easy to understand as possible.
5. Not asking for feedback
Effective communication is a two-way street. Not only do you need to send the right message, but you need to know if it was received and understood by the audience. How can you measure the effectiveness of your communications campaign if you don’t know whether or not people understood it?
6. Not repeating your message
Sometimes you have to tell your story again and again to get the message through. This means you may need to use more than one channel to keep the information going and telling your story in different ways to maximize engagement.
7. Using out-dated technology
Using paper-based communications channels such as memos and printed newsletters really belongs in the past, most of the time. Even email has had its day – to cut through the noise and reach more staff with targeted communications you need digital solutions, such as DeskAlerts.
8. Not being proactive
You need to be on the front-foot when announcing major news or initiatives: if your staff are hearing the whispers on the company grapevine before hearing from the communications team, then you’re too late. By dithering, you run the risk of losing control of your messaging and you will need to be reactive, instead of proactive, as you address inevitable misinformation.