Common Internal Communications Mistakes
Internal communications, the function responsible for effective communications among employees within an organisation. Sounds like a pretty simple thing to get right doesn’t it? But as the way we work evolves, think of the rise of deskless workers for example, so should your internal communications strategy. Is your organisation doing enough to ensure the right messages get to the right people at the right time? Take a look at some of the most common internal communications mistakes and see if any sound familiar.
Internal Comms Mistake 1 – Current tools are outdated and ineffective
Desks overrun with paper, email inboxes full to capacity, are these common sights in your organisation? If the answer is yes, you have a problem. Any lengthy process involving paper documents is most likely wasting unnecessary time. Outdated methods, such as the use of paper for a task which can be completed digitally, can have a negative effect on your employee’s productivity, can be costly to your organisation and be the cause of great annoyance to employees.
So, assess your processes and scrap the use of the paper wherever possible, it’s great for your employees and also reduces the environmental impact from your business.
So you might not be outdated as much as still relying on paper communications, but what does your inbox look like? We’re at a point where the tools available for a digital workspace enable more effective chains of information and communication.
Organisations often send blanket emails to “All Company” which can cause a couple of problems. By doing this, messages can get missed or overlooked. An important company update, for example, could be missed resulting in miscommunications and potential costly errors for your business. Also, you are filling up employees’ inboxes with messages that sometimes aren’t even relevant for that particular job role. This leads to wasted time spent trawling through inboxes which could be devoted to completely more valuable tasks.
The workforce is changing and so should your methods of internal communications. There has been an increase in the number of organisations with remote workers, or sectors reliant heavily on firstline workers. These employees don’t always have access to a desktop computer so the methods your using need to be accessible anywhere on any device. Secure cloud-based platforms should enable all employees, whether working from home or on site with customers, to access the same information in timely fashion.
Internal Comms Mistake 2 – Ignoring your employees
Who are the people with the best insight into how effectively your internal communications are working? It’s unlikely to be the key stakeholders. If you’re only focusing on management goals and not listening to your employees at all, you’re making a mistake. Quite often employees are overlooked. Communicate with your employees. Employee feedback is vital to ensuring you deploy the right internal comms strategies. They may face issues in their working day that you are unaware even existed. They need to see how the platforms you’re introducing will add value to their working lives. Not only will talking to your employees provide a complete picture for your internal comms vision, your employees will feel valued. Employees who feel listened to and appreciated will have increased job satisfaction and productivity.
You’ve addressed the short comings in your internal communications, you’ve devised a clear strategy. An intranet is your chosen method to bring all of your digital workplace tools together in one place. But how do you choose between the seemingly endless list of corporate intranet providers? We have 5 key steps to help you in your search.
Internal Comms Mistake 3 – Failing to plan
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This applies to every part of your internal comms strategy. For your internal comms to be a success you need to have a clear strategy or roadmap. Carry out an assessment on your current internal communications. Which technologies are you using? Are there some which are working better than others? Different types of information will need to be passed via different methods. For example, sensitive information can’t be published to a company-wide intranet page. A successful strategy must have a well thought out and researched plan!
Internal Comms Mistake 4 – Not measuring your results
This mistake may seem like an obvious one, but the majority of internal communicators aren’t measuring the impact of their internal comms. If you aren’t measuring your results how do you know what’s working? You need to identify your KPIs and align them with your business goals, common KPIs for internal comms are employee awareness, performance and productivity. Use these KPIs to alter your communications strategy, analyse the results! As results and technologies evolve, so should your strategy.
To combat these mistakes, you will be using a number of technologies, from enterprise social networks to collaboration platforms. The most effective way to use these is to have them in one unified, central hub. This is where your corporate intranet should tie everything together for the perfect digital workspace. Ask yourself if your organisation’s intranet is effectively aiding your internal comms needs.
With all the above being said, don’t think we’re saying you should completely veto traditional methods of internal comms. Digital tools and platforms will undoubtedly improve your internal communications but there will still always be a place for face-to-face meetings, phone calls and the occasional email.