Improving internal communication

Too often, companies utilise too many communication points. We meet via Zoom or Microsoft teams, we email, we set tasks on a task management system, leave comments on Google Docs, message on another system and so much more!

Too often, companies utilise too many communication points. We meet via Zoom or Microsoft teams, we email, we set tasks on a task management system, leave comments on Google Docs, message on another system and so much more! Through all these touch points, we lose our message, confusion ensues and culture can be affected. Enough is enough. Let’s take a look at how to cut out the noise and improve internal communications for your team. 

Develop a communication strategy

Just like you would (or should) for your external communications, develop a strategy for your internal ones too! Outline who needs to know what, when they need to know it and how they receive it. This can help minimise issues such as confusion and informing employees too late or not at all.

Make use of surveys

Surveys can help you to address the current issues you’re having with your internal communications and help you work on improving them. It can also help you pick out systems and implement strategies. Ask your team how effective they believe internal communications are, how they would improve them, what systems they like to use and what they like about them and how they feel about collaboration as well. These types of questions are going to give you real insights into how your internal communications are working and how your team is responding to the current system. 

Follow the 3 C’s

Your communication strategy should follow the 3C’s

  • Correct: All information needs to be accurate and coming from a reliable source. No one should be getting multiple versions of the same story. Ensuring you’re sharing correct information can minimise confusion and ensure clarity.
  • Consistent: Consistency can mean a lot of things here, and if you do your own research, people will suggest that it means something different every time. By consistency, we mean the consistency of the message and of the systems used to convey the message. Ensure you aren’t giving out conflicting information and that others aren’t either. Also make sure you are using the same systems and areas for that type of information. Perhaps you use one platform for more informal chats and then email for company announcements. Make sure you don’t mix and match, it will increase confusion and the likelihood of messages missed. 
  • Constant: Make sure your team is kept in the loop! When employees feel as though they are being left in the dark, they start to worry and speculate. Keep your team up to date with what's going on as much as possible. 

Implement a comprehensive system 

If you’re using a million different systems to communicate with your team, your message is easily lost. Try looking for a system that can host all the ways you like to communicate with your team. You can find systems that will allow you to set tasks, chat with the team, make formal announcements, can integrate with your emails and more. Systems like that can make it easier to communicate with your team and also make it easy to find information too! 

When choosing a system, it’s really important to consider what it is that works for your team too. There's no point in implementing new systems and tools if no one wants to use them. Choose a system that’s easy to use, has a simple learning curve and a user friendly interface. 

Sometimes… face to face is best

Don’t fret remote workers, face to face can mean video chat too! A lot is said in the tone of your voice, your body language and facial expressions and that simply isn’t conveyed in writing. Oftentimes, emails and messages can be misinterpreted. For example, when giving feedback over email, someone may view your tone as accusing rather than constructive and helpful. It’s important to recognise when to speak to someone face to face - whether that be in person or on a video call - in order to have your message received in the way it was intended. 

The focus is usually on external communication and rarely ever as much on internal communication. By taking a look at your internal communications and improving them, confusion and resistance is reduced, a healthy communication culture is developed and engagement is increased. The above are just a few ways you can improve your internal communication, but are a great place to start!

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