In the modern world, communication is key. We live in a time of endless communication, unrestricted by borders. Anyone can develop both personal and professional relationships across the globe. In fact, talking to someone at the other side of the world has become so commonplace it’s not even worth comment.
But while this is a great benefit for external communications, it can be harmful when it comes to connecting with our internal team.
This is called ‘communication overload’ and it can affect all businesses, big or small.
Why internal communication matters
Imagine this: you turn up to work in the morning, and everything is silent.
Nobody says hello. Nobody is talking about their lives or favourite TV shows, and the only communication is done via email and instant messaging.
When a client gets in touch, nobody knows what’s happening, and people throw responsibility in every direction but their own. Then, everyone rolls their eyes at one another for being so incompetent.
This is hardly an ideal, or efficient, working environment. And it’s one that could cripple your business if allowed to fester.
Yet, it’s a problem with a simple solution: better internal communication.
After all, not only does quality internal communication build a happy and successful team – it can improve productivity by up to 25 percent.
What good internal communication looks like
Effective internal communication is about adaptability and accessibility, ensuring that everyone touches base and knows what’s happening within the business.
It allows information to flow between people who are coordinating projects and managers to ensure everything runs smoothly. Simply put, it is the key to running an effective and profitable business.
Why? Because internal communications impact four essential areas:
- Decision making. All levels of management need accurate, timely and complete information to make the best quality decisions about the business.
- Inter-departmental coordination. Individual departments need to communicate with each other so that interrelated functions work smoothly together.
- Team information. Keeping team members informed about company activities is an essential tool for motivation and retention.
- Providing a channel for colleagues to air their thoughts and feelings will make them feel valued and can alert team leaders to more significant issues.
How to improve internal communication
As we’ve shown, there are tangible business benefits to effective internal communication. You only need to make a few key improvements. If there is a structure in place, it means one less thing for people to worry about.
Here are some ideas for improving internal communication:
- Make communications entertaining. You can do a half-hour ‘breakfast and blather’ a few times a month to give people a friendly place to catch up. You could also run a few ‘coffee and catch up’ afternoons where everyone shares what is going on in their role – the good, the bad, the ugly.
- Rethink your office space. Ensure the layout of your workplace encourages (rather than discourages) conversation. Are there places for people to have conversations, or to brainstorm together?
- Give people the right tools. Make sure they are equipped with mobile devices so they can stay in touch and connected on the go, or when they're working remotely.
- Communicate your strategy. The more people are aware of the specific apps that are used and the best ways to keep in touch, the easier it will be.
If you want your business to thrive, you need to learn to communicate. After all, connecting employees and management significantly improves engagement, cultural alignment and allow daily operations to flow.
Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more about how Pensar can help your businesses achieve better internal communication.
Note: this article was originally published on 30 January, 2014. It has since been updated.