Communication in all instances is only complete when the recipient of the message confirms that information has been received. It is successful only when the information delivered is correct and the recipient has understood it in the same fashion the sender wants to convey.
In a business perspective, improving internal communication results to recipients receiving correct information and fully comprehending what is being communicated. Failure to establish an effective internal communication may yield consequences that are detrimental to the company on an organizational, operational and financial level. The synergy among departments will be adversely affected as there is lack of communication channels or poor ways of communicating information.
Here are six ways how improving internal communications not only help build stronger teams and improve company efficiency but also reduce costs:
1. Correct customer requirements are identified
Poor communication of customer requirements from one department to another can result in many catastrophic results regardless of the nature of the organization. Wrong inputs may lead to wrong product or event specification, failure to make on-time delivery, product getting lost during delivery, or wrong shipped item or wrong shipped customer. At the end of the day, you gain an irate customer and lose reliability as well as data integrity.
2. Costs from repetitive information distribution are avoided
Correctly disseminating information eliminates costs of time and effort to relay the same information to interested parties having been omitted inadvertently from a distribution list. A general important notice posted on a channel that is accessible only to a small population will not be effective versus a companywide notification. Repetitive poor communication may ultimately lead to delayed shipping, delayed product roll-out or change in production schedule.
3. Information is updated in a timely manner
Information that is correct but not correctly updated especially across departmental boundaries is useless. Improving internal communications methods relating to quality and procedures helps in avoiding several issues. These issues may include legal ramifications from materials purchased from suppliers that are no longer credited. Outdated scheduled notifications or outdated changes to work instructions for urgent orders may bring costly schedule change and process deviations. To avoid these issues, changes to supplier qualifications and on-time revisions of customer specifications are best communicated through regularly updated e-mails, alert notifications and nonverbal status indicators. Investment in a technology or software that will ensure speed of delivery and correct distribution will result in efficient operations.
4. Communication is delivered in an understandable language and format
Do you promote an organizational culture that fosters communication? Are people able to express information and concerns in a fashion understandable by your target audience? Recipients might misunderstand or misinterpret what’s being communicated. The latest model of a product specification may not go to production. Modified quality objectives that are not shared with employees may not be observed. Revised safety reminders may not be implemented or employees may miss a training session important to their job function. Therefore, it is important to consider the channels to reach the audience and how the message should be packaged to be understood. To ensure information has been correctly understood, a feedback system may be implemented to check and give way for future improvements. This way, you will also learn which tool of internal communication are working and which are not.
5. Employee time is managed wisely
The worst thing for an employee on a momentum is to get interrupted by a new e-mail. A portion of the e-mails may account for administrative tasks, companywide news that is not applicable to all sections, or simply individual pieces of comments regarding a certain topic. E-mail spam can be a major source of inefficiency as it may take employees several moments to get back into momentum.
To eliminate this, segment communications in target audiences, avoid running group discussions through e-mail and distribute consolidated news into a weekly electronic newsletter. The newsletter should be short and direct; any relevant supplementary information may be included as hyperlinks to the intranet. In meetings, limit the topics to problem solving, context and enhancing relationships. General updates are best done in a short concise introduction. Urgent and important messages can be done through desktop messaging. Messages that are not urgent but nevertheless important can be posted to the intranet or screensaver.
6. Teams’ important needs are identified
The employees are one of the major factors behind every successful organization, and thus need to be well-invested. Happy employees do their job effectively and efficiently hence directly impacting external customer satisfaction. An open-door policy and periodic communications between employees and management let employees know that they are valued and involved in the company. The larger the communication gap, the lower the engagement level of employees hence resulting in lower efficiency. Interpersonal or face-to-face meetings help on improving internal communications between management and employees. It gives a human dimension to the working relationship and can be an ideal platform to recognize the strengths and address weaknesses of each side.