Poor internal communication may affect teamwork, employee engagement, and your business growth overall. In this blog post, we go through obstacles that prevent employees from staying informed and we share best practices for improving communication in the workplace.
Unless your business is in one single office building, and all your employees are required to be there every single day, you may face a communication breakdown at some point. When employees don't feel like they're informed and up-to-date with your company news, it can lead to disengagement. Two major causes of employees not feeling engaged include not understanding the purpose or meaning behind work, and not grasping the big picture driving the company mission. Effective internal communication can improve both of these.
Here's a look at some significant reasons why your employees might be missing out on important information, which could be hurting your company's success.
1. Communication Channels Are Disorganised
There are many different types of communication channels that employees can gain information from, and your team members might be using several of them. These could include:
- Mobile apps
- Social networking, like a company Facebook Group
- Flyers posted up in a break room
- Word-of-mouth and in-person meetings
- Chat groups like Skype
- Instant messaging, like Google Hangouts
- Company intranet
Certain managers or executives may prefer communicating through different channels, which means employees have a lot to keep up with in order to get all the information they need. When messages are posted on varying channels, it can be confusing to know which ones to pay attention to, and there's not always enough time to keep up with everything.
2. Employees Are Scattered
Today's workforce is becoming increasingly distributed. More than 40 percent of workers spend at least some time working remotely, and by 2020, at least 50 percent of workers are expected to be working remotely, Business Insider reports. Remote workers must bear the responsibility of keeping up with corporate communications even when they are not in the office, which means messages may be missed.
Also, in addition to full-time employees at your business, you may employ part-time or hourly workers who don't have business email addresses. Getting information out to your entire workforce requires a centralised information hub that can be easily accessed by everyone.
3. Information Overload Affects Productivity and Critical Thinking
Your employees have a lot of messages coming to them every day. For some, the number of emails they receive might exceed hundreds a day, simply because they're cc'd on messages that are “nice-to-have,” but not essential. As a result, they could scan subject lines and leave many emails unopened because there's not enough time to read everything, or they don't think a message is pertinent to their work.
By 2019, the average number of business emails sent and received per user per day is expected to exceed 126 messages, according to the Email Statistics Report, 2015-2019. Already, the average employee checks emails 36 times an hour, though that doesn't necessarily mean the right messages are being opened or seen. HR or internal communications managers might be sending important information, but it might get ignored in a sea of emails.
4. Information Is Difficult to Access
The type of communication channels your business uses may be difficult for employees to use or access. For example, if you post an important message on the company intranet, but an employee's Wi-Fi connection is weak and prevents them from logging on, they will miss out on the message. If your communication channels are not optimised for mobile, remote workers may only attempt to access them from a desktop computer, which can affect how frequently they check their messages.
The demographics of your workforce may also influence how employees prefer to receive information. A team that is dominated by millennials might prefer a mobile application to get company news, which makes them more engaged and more likely to access it. When communication access is limited, employees may be less likely to check in.
How to Improve Employee Messaging
One way to address all those issues is to adopt an internal content hub, like Smarp, which also includes a mobile application. That way you can easily store your company news and make it easy for your employees to access them from any device.
Here's how an internal content hub can help you handle the challenges described above:
- Communication channels are disorganised: having a single, central place where all important office information is disseminated sets the expectation for employees that they can find the information they need at the right time.
- Employees are scattered: even when employees aren't in the office or don't have a work email address, they can still gain access to employee communications on a desktop computer or on the go.
- Information overload affects productivity and critical thinking: by subscribing to specific channels, employees receive information and content that are relevant to their own expertise. That way you make sure that they don't delete or ignore seemingly unimportant messages that are actually important.
- Information is difficult to access: a mobile application for internal communication is easy to access with a single tap on a smartphone or tablet.
By having a content hub that allows you to share the right information to the right employees at the right time, you provide your staff with a valuable tool to stay up-to-date with what you want them to know.
Are you interested in learning more about internal communications in the workplace? Download our free eBook "How to Boost Internal Communication" for more tips!