5 Misconceptions That are Damaging Your Internal Communication Efforts

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Last updated: November 7, 2017

Are you making these common mistakes in your internal communication?


An increasing number of companies are taking steps to improve their internal communication. However many of these companies have certain misconceptions that undermine those attempts.

Here are five common misconceptions that are seriously damaging your internal communication efforts:

1) Internal Communication is a Top-down Activity

If the internal communication in your organisation essentially consists of messages from top leadership, you are losing a huge opportunity.

This top-down approach in internal communication is characteristic of a highly hierarchical management style from the last century. Today, the most profitable companies are the ones with a truly collaborative work environment. 

Therefore, don’t just make announcements and give directions. Instead, encourage dialogue and spark conversations. Use internal communication technology that allows people to comment on updates, ask questions and share their own content.

The more people communicate the more productive they will be.

Related: Who is Responsible for Internal Communication?

2) Internal Communication is HR's Responsibility

Companies who begin with internal communication initiatives often make the mistake of leaving it all to their HR department. 

This is not to say that HR has no role to play. HR not only helps to deploy an internal communication platform, such as Smarp which makes it super-easy for people to communicate, create an IC plan, refine the messages delivered by top management, and so on.

However, without the top leaders initiating and fostering important conversations around the status of the company and the industry, internal communication will fail to take off within your organisation.

You also need champions across levels who are influential to help promote, execute and grow the initiative. Identify people, across the board, who know the value of good conversations and bring them on board as champions.

3) Internal Communication Does Not Contribute to Profitability

Most people think that internal communication is just a 'cost center'. It does not contribute anything to revenue generation or profitability. Internal communication has a clear impact on your bottom line, by improving productivity and sparking innovation.

Internal communication leads to higher employee engagement, and thereby increased productivity. An engaged employee works harder, contributes better ideas, helps out other teammates, and energizes people around her. 

Productive employees also innovate better ideas. They also have higher levels of communication between team members, creating better teamwork and resulting in superior and faster accomplishment of business goals.

Your best-performing employees are usually the most engaged. And it's no secret that ‘star’ performers contribute substantially more to your bottom line than ‘good’ performers!

Make internal communication successful

4) The Intranet is Enough for Internal Communication

For your millennial workforce, using an intranet to provide internal communication is akin to running Photoshop on your DOS-powered PC. It will simply not work! Instead of using outdated systems like intranets, adopt SaaS tools like Smarp that are designed for the new age workforce.

A smart tool not only supports easy deployment of great content, it also encourages sharing as it is easily accessible on mobile devices that people use on the go. Sharing content on social media provides  a great opportunity for collaboration, interaction and involvement among all employees leading to better dialogue among team members.

And isn't the first goal of internal communication to foster conversations? 

5) IC does Not Need to Be Measured

If you want to know the effectiveness of any activity or improve a process, it needs to be measured. The same goes for internal communication. Measuring it will also help you clearly see how internal communication is contributing to your business goals.

Start by setting the right KPIs. Align your KPIs with the key goals of your organization. Measure the Reach and Engagement KPIs first. This will tell you how many employees you are reaching and how are they engaging with the content. 

Once that is in place, start measuring Behavior and Impact KPIs - this will show you what your employees are doing differently and how is internal communication impacting performance, productivity, employee engagement, retention, etc. Use surveys to track all your measurement and effectiveness activities. 

The more you measure, the more you will be able to improve your internal communication initiatives.

Conclusion

Internal communication is a powerful tool that can transform your company.  Avoid these pitfalls and you will realize the full potential of what internal communication can do for you.

A free guide on how to boost internal communication 
Peter Banerjea
November 07, 2017