Although the importance of internal communication is recognised, many companies find it difficult to optimally network internal target groups. This is mainly due to the lack of a central coordination of communication. But even in companies with a separate department for the internal exchange of information, mistakes often occur in practice. We identify 5 key areas that can lead to communication problems in your company.
5 reasons for communication problems in the company
Problems with communication in the company can affect all success-determining target variables: Employee satisfaction and organisational development are just as affected as customer satisfaction. Therefore, companies need an internal communication strategy. It defines tools, target groups and content. It improves internal communication by avoiding these common mistakes:
- Communication as a one-way street: Email newsletters are indeed a good way to inform a large internal target group with little effort. But where can the staff reflect their comments back? The widespread intranet without a like or comment function also lacks interaction possibilities. However, this exchange is important for both parties: employees can contribute and managers receive feedback.
- Non-desk employees hang out: In industrial companies, a large proportion of employees hardly have access to the intranet or other digital information channels. Colleagues in the field rarely get to see the bulletin board. If you focus your communication solely on the desk staff, you lose the connection to sales staff, customer service or the team in the warehouse.
- Exclusive knowledge: Knowledge is the defining resource of any organisation. But often the exchange stops at the departmental border. Should everything remain as it is? Then don't create a cross-departmental exchange through thematic communities and don't set up a knowledge database.
- Lack of target group reference: Who gets what information and when? And how must this be prepared to ensure the correct classification of the news? Internal target groups have different levels of information. But each group should be able to derive consequences for its own work. Information that confuses, arrives too late or is incomplete makes this impossible.
- No continuous improvement: Technical possibilities change. Digital communication options are opening up ever new potential. Progress is also changing employees' expectations of internal communication. At the same time, a new generation of managers is taking the helm. If you want to improve intra-company communication, the continuous search for optimisation possibilities is crucial.
Examples of an exemplary implemented communication strategy
The subject of employee surveys: The primary goal is to obtain an authentic and comprehensive picture of the mood of the workforce. The communication around the survey must support this goal. The following points in particular are crucial:
- Provide information on the background to the survey in good time before the survey is due. Provide regular updates on the participation rate and the status of the evaluation. The managers must be addressed differently in terms of timing and content than the production team.
- Reach all staff: As they are better connected via email or intranet, the voices of your desk staff are often over-represented in surveys. Use mobile apps for surveys that lower the barriers to participation.
- A survey comes to nothing if the results are not dealt with openly. This also reduces acceptance among the staff. Therefore, they should create online and analogue forums for the discussion of the results.
In addition, there are many other examples of a successful communication strategy. It is important that you use established and new instruments for internal communication in the best possible way.