More and more companies see the importance of internal communication strategies as crucial part of the overall organization’s corporate strategy. With effective internal communication strategies, teams are stronger and employee engagement is increased resulting in improved company competitiveness.
In companies with high turnover rate, it may come as a surprise that the gap between perceived value of work and received compensation is not always the leading factor why employees leave a company. One of the top reasons for the turnover is the lack of communication between the staff and leaders, with the lack of training and educational opportunities, lack of recognition and lack of flexibility in work schedules trailing behind.
Employees who are heard and understand what their company believes often work for the success of the company. This is why companies invest in activities that engage employees from time to time as well as seminars to teach highly effective communication practices. When you see your employees slowly feeling demotivated and eventually turnover rate increasing, it is time to check your current internal communications.
Here are 4 signs that your company is suffering from poor internal communications strategies and how you can combat them:
1. Follow ups! Follow ups!
Waiting for a response particularly on e-mails is a frustrating thing especially when decisions need to be made urgently. Sometimes, it is not because people refuse to answer but it could be that the message simply was buried from the heap of e-mails coming through. There are many ways to combat this.
From the side of the sender, if the information is extremely urgent, desktop messaging and emergency notification system can be utilized. A window prompting the desktop of the receiver will automatically force the receiver to read the message. From the side of the receiver, color coordination for messages coming from VIPs can be helpful so important messages will never be missed.
2. Meetings the rest of the day.
It is an insider joke among managers that when you get up the corporate ladder, the more you will be stuck in meetings and the less you will be on your chair. Imagine if this is the case for staff as well. Meetings are often the biggest waste of employees’ time because of the “waiting time” to complete all attendees or verbal updates on all staff. People starting on their real work at the end of the day after all the meetings get burned out and eventually feel disengaged.
Meetings are essential to collaboration but it doesn’t need to take up all of your time. Reporting tools such as weekly progress reports can be used where people can log in their respective status and see just as well other statuses. Managers can also try to assess what their team thinks and feels through employee surveys which are more direct. For employee surveys, it is advisable to promote transparency to encourage confidence in the survey and get honest input from all ranks.
3. No company response in internal social media feedbacks.
Internal communication strategies not only focus on the tools on delivering the message but also the platform where people can exchange opinions, ideas, concerns and recognition. The intranet is one of the powerful platforms to hear and be heard. Intranets have message boards where Management can seek advice and tap the collective knowledge of employees. It easily circulates information, reinforces corporate values and perspectives. Companies can also use intranet surveys or polls to request comments and feedback from employees. However, if opinions and constructive feedbacks are given and no Management response comes out, then employees will feel dislocated and disengaged, feeling a gap between them and the company.
An effective intranet has an employee organizational chart where employees can see who they report to. It may also have a live chat to allow employees to communicate more quickly for urgent answers they need. This is applicable for companies who have no desktop messaging system. Employees can also pull Outlook Exchange mailbox calendars to sync company events to their own mailbox. Just like any social media, employees will feel a sense of belonging with a personal touch through employee recognition and employee milestones.
4. No mobile support.
Several studies in the Internet show a key insight about the shift of desktop or laptop usage to mobile usage. This is because people now see the need to cope with the fast pace of the environment and by being consistently connected through mobile, they will never miss an important message, news or e-mail.
Especially for companies whose main value is service or production, it is critical to maintain reliability in on-time delivery and correct shipping. In this regard, responsible departments have a mobile tracking system which ensures production is going as planned or delivery is on the right track within the scheduled time.