The Importance of Internal Communication & 4 Tips to Improve It
Conversely, disorganized and unreliable internal communication leads to:
- Frustrated employees and low office morale
- High absenteeism and turnover rates
- Low productivity and engagement
- Poor customer service
- Lack of transparency
- Negative company culture
How do these affect your bottom line? Low employee morale translates to low productivity and high absenteeism, meaning you’re paying employees the same amount but getting less output in return. High turnover leads to constant hiring and training, both of which require a significant financial investment from your company.
If your company’s internal communication isn’t where it needs to be, you can take steps to improve it using the tips below.
How to improve internal communications
Nearly 75% of employees feel out of the loop when it comes to company information and news. Your employees are your company’s most valuable resource. If a huge percentage of them feel uninformed and disengaged, your bottom line will suffer the consequences. Fortunately, you can improve your internal communications in a few simple steps.
Audit current communication channels
Do you know all the ways your employees talk to each other and share information? It’s not unusual for employees to use half a dozen communication channels in a single workday. It’s important to understand what their preferred channels are and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
The communication channel you choose to relay a message is just as important as the message itself. Create guidelines to help employees and managers determine the best communication channel for the type of information they need to share.
For example, a manager who needs to provide difficult feedback to an employee should do so in person whenever possible, or by video or phone call as a last resort. This type of communication greatly benefits from nonverbal cues such as tone and body language. Using an impersonal channel such as Slack or text message opens the door for misunderstandings and resentment.
If your audit reveals a mass of random channels that are used inconsistently across the company, you may want to consider consolidating your internal comms to a company intranet. If you use a solution such as Onehub, you can create an intranet that centralizes company communications, securely stores all of your internal documentation, and provides easy-to-use collaboration tools.
Limit one-way communication and encourage feedback
Communication is most effective when it’s a two-way conversation. Try to limit internal communication that is simply an information dump. You’ll get better results if the majority of your communications open the door for employees to respond with questions, ideas, or constructive feedback.
Soliciting engagement shows employees that you value their thoughts and feelings. It gives them more of a stake in your company’s success when they know that their opinions will be heard and may make an impact.
Not only does this lead to a better employee experience, it also has incredible potential for innovative ideas that can improve your business. Each of your employees has a unique combination of experience, skills, knowledge, and perspectives. When you encourage two-way conversations, you can tap into this invaluable resource that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Keep remote workers involved
The pandemic ushered in remote work in a big way, and it looks like it’s here to stay. If your company has a mix of remote and on-site workers, it’s critical that you keep your remote employees in the know.
If your internal communications don’t adequately involve them, you can unintentionally cause a schism between the two types of workers. In-office workers will benefit from better communication and personal involvement, and remote workers will eventually become resentful and frustrated with the unequal treatment.
Using cloud-based digital workspace is an excellent solution for this. It gives remote workers and in-office workers equal access to information and communication in a secure and organized virtual environment.
Be reliable and balanced with your communications
It’s essential to provide workers with regular communication about company news, upcoming projects, colleagues’ milestones and achievements, and whatever other information is important to your employees.
While it’s easy to fall into the habit of only sending updates for big news, this inconsistency spells disaster for good internal communications. Determine the best channel for regular company communications such as a weekly newsletter or a monthly all-staff meeting. Once you’ve established this, make it a priority to maintain that schedule. Reliability is an important part of building trust with your internal communications.
It’s also crucial to keep your communications balanced. Employees should be informed of good and bad news about the company and encouraged to voice their opinions. Many organizations are hesitant to share negative updates, possibly fearing that their employees will immediately start updating their resumes. However, you’re more likely to find that workers respond with reasonable questions and ideas to remedy the problem.
Are you trying to improve internal communications and business efficiency? You can try Onehub for free for 14 days to see how much easier internal communications can be! Onehub provides a secure and user-friendly platform to centralize communications, organize company files, and facilitate collaboration.