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Nov 27, 2018

Approx. 6 min. read

3 Signs Your Business Is Facing Internal Communication Challenges

To improve the customer experience your business provides, look at your internal communications. They could be affecting much more than just your...

To improve the customer experience your business provides, look at your internal communications. They could be affecting much more than just your operations.

A study published in Public Relations Review highlights the importance of internal communication on employee engagement:
  • Both internal organizational communication and internal supervisor communication have a big impact on employee engagement.

  • Internal communications create workplace relationships based on worth and meaning.

  • Internal communications play a significant role in developing and maintaining optimal employee engagement.

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Employee engagement is a key factor in customer experience and satisfaction. According to a 2018 study by Gartner, 86% of customer experience executives rank employee engagement as having an equal or greater impact than factors like data skills and project management. Gartner reports that issues like poor communication of goals in the workplace can negate the effectiveness of business tools, including pricey technology investments.

Related: 5 ways Internal Communication Makes a Digital Workplace More Productive

The growth potential of your business may be hindered by internal communication challenges. Here are three signs to be aware of:

Sign #1: Silos Are Crippling Your Teams’ Productivity

Communication silos occur when teams focus more on communicating amongst themselves rather than focusing on overall business goals. Silos pose a threat to businesses because they increase the risk of missed opportunities and learning among teams.

Various teams run the risk of repeating each other's mistakes or even spending time on similar tasks.

Ultimately, this ends up hurting the customer, who doesn't get the very best service.

Sign #2: Employees Don’t Share Your Vision

One of the reasons why silos emerge is because of a lack of leadership and vision. A 2016 report by Gallup found only 40 percent of millennial workers felt strongly connected to the mission of their business.  A research report by The Society for Human Resource Management found that a clear understanding of an organization's vision or mission is a crucial component for employee engagement.

The vision should be communicated from the top leadership down and reinforced within various teams. Global trust in CEOs is at just 43% according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, and 44% of workers don't feel like senior leaders provide clear direction. Without a clear vision and frequent communication on that vision, there will be a lack of strategy and consistency. Employees won't feel as connected to the business, and engagement may suffer.

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Sign #3: Your Employees Don’t Get Adequate Feedback

Managers are responsible for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement, according to a research by Gallup. However, since only 13 percent of employees around the world are engaged, clearly managers have a lot of improving to do.

Manager feedback is crucial to improve employee engagement and internal communications: managers who give little or no feedback to employees result in 40 percent of workers being disengaged. Even managers who give predominantly negative feedback have higher engagement rates with those they manage.

How to Overcome Internal Communication Challenges?

Improving internal communications means taking into account the ways employees want to communicate, and giving them the tools that enable improved communication. Here are some best practices for delivering effective internal communications:

Use an Internal Content Hub

Most of your employees are on some form of social media, and an internal content hub that presents them with company news and content in a social-similar format can encourage better communication. Millennials, who make up the largest generation of social media users, are also the dominant generation in the workforce. An internal content hub can increase their consumption of news relating to your business and industry.

An internal content hub also helps employees stay focused on work, instead of facing email overload and having their work constantly interrupted. An internal content hub can also be used to improve training and company knowledge, by sharing product updates, compliance tips, customer feedback and more.

Related: Why Your Organization Should Have an Internal Content Hub

Embrace Technology

Regular work-at-home, among those who are not self-employed, has grown by 140 percent since 2005, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com. A study by Zogby Analytics found 41 percent of workers said their company doesn't provide mobile communication tools. This decreases the connectedness of mobile workers, and hinders the ability of employees away from the office to stay aware of company developments.

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The increase of mobile workers (IDC predicts nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be mobile by 2020) means businesses must adapt to technologies that enable always-on communication. Videoconferencing tools and online messaging platforms are solutions that can facilitate more internal communication, even when employees are outside of the office.

Encourage Transparency

Open communication makes all team members feel involves and valued, and it holds employees accountable to perform based on shared values. For example, you can encourage open communication on the top principles that guide the company, the company culture or the events hosted at the company. 

Sharing these valuable nuggets of information with all staff and also the public when those information can be externally shared helps employees to better understand what drives their company and what type of work it's producing.

Examples of other types of transparent internal communication include sharing the results of an internal survey, giving all employees insights into new product developments, and sharing notes from various meetings held within a company.

Improve Internal Communications to Boost Business Results

Internal communications affect every part of a business: how employees work together, the level of engagement from team members and the quality of products and services. Organizations of all sizes face internal communications challenges, but solutions like an internal content hub, tech-based communication tools, and increased transparency can help improve communication.

Want more tips for improving your internal communications? Feel free to download our free guide below!

A free guide on how to boost internal communication 

Written by

Nicki Escudero

Nicki Escudero

Expert at crafting an engaging brand story through news and features journalism and marketing copywriting. More than 14 years of publishing experience.

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