Much energy is focused on clear and accurate external communications with clients and suppliers. We reach them in meetings, presentations, brochures, emails and phone calls, as a matter of daily routine.
Lack of clarity and accuracy can lead to expensive mistakes and reputational damage, so most companies manage their external communications closely.
Internal communications just as important as external
Communication inside an organization, between one department or division and another is just as important. We call this intra-company communication. Once again, English has borrowed a word from Latin: intra means within.
How widespread are poor internal conversations?
First, let’s see what the research tells us. Discovery Surveys Inc ran an opinion survey among its database of 60,000 employees. No less than two out of every three say there’s poor communication between departments in their organizations. Sixty-six percent!
Another study, by SIS International Research, among companies with up to 400 employees, showed that poor internal communications leading to impaired efficiency costs companies $26,041 per employee per year. That’s $5.2 million for a company of 200 people.
Other studies have reported that 79% of companies believe internal communication is a key success factor. Also, organizations with the most effective internal communications deliver a 47% improvement on shareholder returns when compared to the least effective.
How much is this poor communications costing your company?
The evidence is all around us. Technology, such as a community cloud, is there to help, but the first step is to run a proper survey among your internal stakeholders.
Find out what they dislike about your communications and what improvements they want to see. Use a professional research company to help you with this. And make sure you implement the findings; ignoring them will inflict lasting damage on morale.
When you’ve determined the internal communications insights from this research, you can design a programme that fits your organization’s goals.
Start slowly, testing as you go
Use your new platform to improve motivation by sending short, sharp messaging; don’t load your audience with too much reading; they have more than they need already. Find out which form of messaging and content is proving most popular. Many employees ignore internal emails, so create distinctive new templates that report breaking news, important updates, new product information and so on.
Please have these professionally designed. Yes, it will cost money but it’s always best to have a striking, clearly laid out format that will last for years with occasional refreshing.
If your communication style is too formal, change to a livelier style. We call this a company’s ‘tone of voice’ and you should take the proper care to get it exactly right. If it’s too casual it will be seen as flippant, too stiff and it will be boring. Either way it will be ignored.
At least 50% of your staff aren’t sure which way your company’s heading
We guarantee that, if you run a proper survey as we suggest, you’ll find that at least 50-60% of your staff will say leaders spend too little time explaining the organization’s objectives, plans and results. Without proper coordination in your intra-company communications, your goals and your deadlines will be more costly and more time consuming to achieve.