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Why Communication Programs Fail

Anton Vdovin - Sep 22, 2017 3:10:54 PM

Companies do their utmost to create communication programs to help employees align their efforts with the objectives of the company, and to help better get their messages across. However, while an HR communications strategy of an organization may sound tactical and sound, some common issues and challenges can still arise.

internal communication plan

Here are some of the more common problems that lead to the failure of communication programs:

1. Communication is too sudden

Managers and employers need to prepare their staff members to receive their messages. If they are abrupt with communication, employees might not be as receptive to the information. An HR communications strategy is not a one step process. There will always be several steps and two or more parties involved when it comes to communication.

For example, if you want to relay messages about the launch of a new product, make sure to give your staff members hints and details before the big announcement. Let your employees in on the fact that a new product is being developed, why it is being created and what purpose it seeks to serve. If you make the big announcement right away without keeping them in the loop before it, they might get dumbfounded or confused when you do launch the offering.

2. Communication is not aligned with the current state of the business

All organizations go through ups and downs. Always be honest about the current state of your business with your employees – even if the said state isn’t the best. Do not sugarcoat your messages; doing so simply prevents your employees from aligning their efforts to creating a better work environment and situation. When an HR communications strategy changes, be honest regarding the reason for the said change. If you are honest and transparent, employees are more likely to accept and work with the changes that occur.

3. Messages are delivered, but not read

It is not enough to get your message delivered. Your message has to be read. This is what a lot of managers and employers tend to overlook. Instead of creating brief and succinct messages in plain and simple language, many will want to compose long and highly technical prose that will be received, but won’t be read. Remember that your audience is composed of busy and distracted employees who try to fit in everything they can during the work day. Make sure to create messages that are easy and quick to read and understand, so as to lessen the likelihood of them being ignored or disregarded.

4. Expectations are not managed well

An HR communications strategy should not only include what the company intends to do, but what it wants employees to expect. Never overpromise and never promote something more than what it is simply because you want your employees to accept it. Make sure that their expectations match with the realities of the organization and the truths of the communication programs you present.

5. Wrong messengers and methods are used

While you may have concocted a solid and feasible HR communications strategy from the get-go, your communication program can still fail if it is not executed properly. This then means that choosing the right messengers and the appropriate methods are extremely important to the success of any communication effort. When you opt for the wrong messengers and wrong methods, you may be wasting time and resources on a plan that will simply never be fruitful.

Without the right messengers and methods, your plan may need to be constantly altered, may not be accepted by your staff members, or may even be seen negatively by your workforce, resulting in the worsening of work situations.

Topics: Corporate Communication

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