How Internal Communications Can Improve Business Operations

How Internal Communications Can Improve Business Operations

Despite the importance placed on the value of internal communication within the workplace, it seems that organizations are still falling short and failing to implement the right strategy to ensure effective communication within their organization. Research has proven that the quality of communication is a direct reflection on the health of an organization. Poor internal communications can result in employee-related problems, and in the long term, affect the smooth running of the business. It can also highlight cracks within an organization and lead to possible external crises.

The task to improve internal communications falls upon the leaders and management of the organization to establish a culture of open communication and set a standard for the way people communicate within the company. An ‘open-door policy is the best way to achieve this.  Open communication lines where employees can freely express themselves and are encouraged to have open and honest conversations is the most important step in creating a productive and pleasant work environment.

This starts from the very first stage during the new employee onboarding process, where new hires should be encouraged to be forthcoming when communicating with management. This is also just as important in the final stage, during exit interviews, where employees should answer questions on why they will be leaving the organization and which policies can be changed to improve retention and company culture. Exit interviews are particularly great at getting honest feedback because departing employees are generally more forthcoming than those still in their jobs. The faster a problem is brought up, the faster it can be addressed, resolved, and contained within the organization. The key is to avoid internal issues becoming public and reflecting negatively on the company.

However, asking employees to be more open and honest can be quite difficult, particularly when they are shy or introverted. It is up to management and team leads to make the effort to get to know the strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits of all their team members. Oftentimes, shy employees are usually overshadowed by their more outspoken counterparts, but what they have to say is just as valuable. Internal communications cannot be improved if a group of employees are overlooked or left out.

Another key step to creating a comfortable working environment is by celebrating employees’ personal milestones and occasions. Many successful CEOs have discussed how something as seemingly insignificant as remembering and calling their staff by their first name has made a great impact on fostering relationships. Celebrating birthdays, and work anniversaries make people feel valued, encouraged, and more comfortable to communicate.

As a rule, multichannel communications are the best way to reach employees. Being too frigid on strictly e-mail communications will limit the effectiveness of a conversation, however, reaching employees through social media platforms allows coordination and collaboration. Phone calls can help build stronger relationships and help avoid meanings getting lost in translation. When implementing changes, it is best to look for tools that allow diversity in communication methods and make it easy to experiment with different formats.

Communication doesn’t just involve conversations between individuals but can also be through the sharing of information. Across all industries, document management and knowledge sharing should be a part of day-to-day tasks. Employees should be able to find files, photos, and answers easily through cloud storage systems like Intranet, dropbox, and google drive. Adopting these platforms will help with collaboration, improve employee efficiency and in turn help a business run smoothly.

It is said that a problem understood is a problem half solved. By reviewing the current internal communication plans within the company and listing the pros and cons, insight will be gained on where issues may possibly arise and how best to tackle them head-on. Management teams must ensure that there is a regular review of the policies and communication plans in place.

Lastly and most importantly, every organization should have a common goal at the heart of its objectives. In order to eliminate confusion amongst employees, this goal must be made clear and repeatedly communicated to staff members at all stages of employment. This will also strengthen staff productivity and makes sure that every member of the team is on the same page because a team that moves with synergy is a team that is destined for success.

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