With more and more employees working from home, internal communications are evolving, and more challenges are arising. And because team communication is crucial to a productive work environment, anticipating and preparing to face any internal communication challenges is necessary. So, let’s unpack these challenges to help you address them.
The tricky part of internal communications is that its impacts aren’t easy to distinguish. Instead, they affect the overall quality and flow of work. An effective communications strategy can raise employee engagement and awareness. However, a low-quality one can cause:
- Drop in employee morale
- High turnover rate
- Reduced productivity
- Ineffective customer service
- Defective products
- Service mismanagement
- Increased stress
- Deteriorating wellbeing
Without further ado, let’s cover the 12 most important internal communication issues you may face in the workplace.
When employees are disengaged, communication becomes difficult. Unfortunately, this is very common in the workplace.
Gallup conducted a survey including over 195,000 U.S. employees, and its results were published in the State of the American Workplace report. The survey states that 33% of employees are engaged at work, 51% aren’t engaged, and 16% are destructively disengaged. Those 16% tear down what the engaged employees build.
Feedback is key to an effective communication strategy, as it helps employees understand if they’ve met their goals and demonstrates their teamwork skills. It also encourages them to improve and boosts their productivity and morale.
Otherwise, if employees receive little to no feedback, this results in a lack of motivation and an inability to cope with stressful situations.
If you’re getting too many customer complaints, that’s when you start troubleshooting. Sometimes, the issue isn’t your product but your internal communications. In other words, the happier your employees are, the happier your customers will be.
Transparency enables workplaces to create an engaging work environment. Such effective leadership communication is especially important with many employees working remotely.
Naturally, a lack of transparency can be a huge internal challenge. After all, employees aren’t aware of what’s happening or why it’s happening.
As a result, they may be uncomfortable asking questions and resistant to change, as it seems unreasonable to them. Of course, this creates a dysfunctional employee-employer relationship and undermines trust.
Inconsistent communication is one of the biggest internal communication problems because it means you can’t reach your employees easily and fast.
Internal communications suffer when employees and decision-makers aren’t on the same page when it comes to company goals. In other words, if your workers can’t identify the company goals, that signals an issue in leadership-generated content.
However, you can avoid it by communicating your company goals clearly. Being unclear about deadlines or event details will only lead to easily avoidable issues.
If you aren’t intentional about your internal communication, you might find yourself using different channels and tools at random. This can make it difficult for employees to remain in touch and engaged with your content.
One-way channels make it challenging to communicate effectively. After all, there’s no telling how your employees will understand and receive news or messages.
You may assume that your employees will go about the project the same way you would, which is why you might skip some information. Unfortunately, with no room for feedback, questions, or comments, your expectations and reality will probably clash, which means poor results and avoidable delays.
Not to mention, you can’t train and mentor your employees properly without a channel that supports two-way communication.
When it comes to internal communications, you don’t want to overdo it. While we recommend keeping your employees in the know, a fully packed email can be overwhelming.
It can also make it difficult for employees to find the information that concerns them, making them less engaged. A better idea would be to share messages with the departments or employees who will find them relevant.
Without a clear communication chain, your employees won’t know who to contact for questions or concerns. Not only is this confusing, but it also makes communication less effective and employees more frustrated. Unfortunately, this challenge usually occurs in companies without an internal communication strategy.
Based on a study from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, 60% of companies don’t have an internal communication strategy. So, they aren’t strategic about their selected systems, practices, or tools.
There’s no one-size-fits-all tool that works for all types of messages. Instead, you need to pick the right tool for each. As you’d expect, many companies fail to do so. That’s because they aren’t sure about their internal communication goals or the tools that accommodate them. Otherwise, they may be unwilling to invest in them.
We can’t ignore budget limitations, as they’re a struggle many internal communications directors have to deal with. Companies might prioritise marketing and external communication over internal communication strategies. They might not even have the budget for them or feel that they aren’t worth the investment.
How do you know your internal communication strategy has succeeded? It’d be best if you had measurable goals. In other words, you need to consider the relevant metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
This way, you’ll be able to celebrate your successes, enhance your internal communications strategy, and show stakeholders the actual results of their investment.
Now that we’ve illustrated what challenges communication, let’s go over four excellent solutions to resolve them.
It’s crucial to choose the correct internal comms tools. To do that, you need to consider the message type, urgency, and target audience and select the tools that accommodate them. Examples include communication management software, employee messaging apps, and digital signage screens.
Speaking of digital signage solutions, these flexible, seamless tools increase engagement and help deliver messages to the entire workforce, allowing large companies to communicate with their employees. In addition, they’re fast and easy to work with once you install the screens in the office or facility.
With digital signage, you can get a dry-and-drop layout designer and unlimited templates for screen designs. You can also display photos, videos, line news, and more.
Encouraging employees to give you feedback is at the heart of internal communications. You can collect it via employee surveys, suggestion boxes, polls, and one-on-one or group meetings.
After all, it guides you to make the best decisions for your team and address issues before they explode. Additionally, feel free to collect your client’s feedback on the company’s internal communication strategy, as they’ll surely have some valuable insights.
If you’re to resolve any internal comms issue, it’s vital that employees feel safe enough to speak up. In other words, they shouldn’t fear negative consequences to their career life. Another perk is that an open line of communication gives you fast access to the details of any situation.
With a safe space, employees can be honest and transparent, ask questions, voice their opinions, bring up concerns, and make suggestions.
For example, you can send a message by asking if anything is unclear and ask clarifying questions. It’s also important to keep employees from straying away from the conversation so that others have room to express their thoughts and ideas.
Acknowledging your employees’ efforts and hard work does miracles. It increases their engagement, job satisfaction, and motivation, which means a high employee retention rate. Not to mention, when you acknowledge their strengths, you make employees aware of what they’re doing right. Accordingly, they’re more likely to keep doing it.
Still, how do you show your appreciation or recognition of your employees? Well, you can write shoutout posts to congratulate them on their accomplishments, celebrate their birthdays, and choose an ‘employee of the month.” Just picture how that’ll transform your company culture and boost morale!
As a decision maker, you must be aware of the potential internal communication challenges that you might face. Then, you need to establish an open line of communication where both the leader and the employee are honest and transparent using the appropriate tools.
When you prioritise addressing these issues, you create a safe and positive environment and boost productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction. So, don’t hesitate to take your internal comms challenges seriously, and watch how that’ll transform your company culture.
Sabercom supply, powerful, effective and easy to use digital signage for internal communications