Communications is a vital component in any business or sector. It is the common link, established between the employers and the employees, which facilitates the exchange of information of all sorts. Internal Communication is a two-way street, a process where a dialogue (and not a monologue) takes place, between the various levels of hierarchy.
A paradigm shift has been observed in the IC after the increase in the young workforce and millennials entering the corporates. The need for a perfect system for internal communication is at an all-time high, as there is a visible generation gap between the employees at various managerial levels. Often, the middle level management feels unheard, and now, the top-down hierarchy is slowly disintegrating, which is proving to be advantageous for everyone.
There are 10 mistakes which are ought to be avoided by the corporates, to ensure a stability and growth:
1. The Conventional ‘Trickle’ Method:
The traditional and ‘most-trusted’ method of information flowing down from the top to bottom is not only ineffective, but is also flawed. Often, it is assumed by the top level management that the information has been relayed by the middle level to the bottom level- as a result, the speed also decreases, and the information passed on is incomplete and wrong, many times.
2. Lack of Inclusion/Exclusivity:
Many of the employees feel that they are unheard. Communication is a two-way street, and this needs to be re-emphasized, as the feedbacks and opinions of several employees, generally of bottom and middle level go unnoticed and are ignored, which affects the satisfaction, engagement, and retention rate of the employees directly.
3. Imbalance of Expectations:
With the hike in the younger generation in the workforce, there is an unspoken expectation- that the environment would be interactive, and that they would be taken seriously. HR plays a vital role here- they have to ensure that their potential is tapped, and their acquaintance with the digital world is harnessed and utilized in an effectual manner.
4. Technological Expansion:
Employees spend just 5-15% of their time in reading the information, and up to 50% of their time in relocating it, thanks to the stereotypical usage of pen and paper at work. Staying ahead of technological curve would occur once the companies adapt to the usage of technology even in the internal communications, and the technology cannot be just limited to emails. There are various websites, apps, and softwares available to facilitate the IC.
There is absolutely no point in depriving the staff members of the information about major changes that are about to happen in the company. It is in the best interest of the company that the employees are well aware of the changes- this ensures that the rumors and gossips don’t do rounds, and everyone stays focused and prepared for the change. This also helps in decreasing the resistance towards the change and makes it easier to deal with the apprehensiveness.
6. Avoiding Repetition:
Managers who repeat twice or more, have better success rate– they tend to get the projects completed faster, with lesser errors, as compared to those who disburse the instructions just once. Usage of several communication tools can be helpful, such as emails, calls, video calls, texts, social media, etc. This is also an indicator of how supportive and encouraging the managers are.
7. Dependency on Emails:
With the advent of social media platforms, emails are now a thing of past. Also, emails, if not composed right, fail to generate an impact upon the recipient(s). Emails often are perceived to be redundant, and are also overlooked several times, if they are too long. Emails should either be composed in an appropriate and an effective manner, or, the information can be relayed via another tool.
8. Lack of Listening Skills:
Communication is just not about speaking- it is 50% speaking and 50% listening. It is the fundamental component of establishing a healthy relationship, and it exhibits a genuine concern for the organization, and also creates a positive impact on the employees
9. Lack of Simplicity:
Over-usage of technical jargons and ‘embellishments’ do not contribute to the retention of the readers. Emails or messages should be precisely framed, and should not be too long- according to “You Won’t Finish This Article: Why People Online Don’t Read to the End”, most people read only 50% of online content, including emails, and skip to the end.
It is an absolute must to have a strategy and a plan to execute for Internal communications. The seriousness of the IC is hazardously overlooked, and as a result, the company profits suffer.
Effective internal communication is essential for a flawless co-ordination and is the key to employee engagement. Internal communication ensures that all the employees are kept in a loop, and creates a healthy work environment. It is also beneficial in terms if and internal crisis. Through the effective approach, the companies can put a leash on the rumors, which is one of the pre-requisites for enabling an absolute transparency amongst all the levels of management. It contributes to a 30% hike in profitability, 36% increase in the overall performance of the company, and 40% increase in customer satisfaction. The Internal Communications Survey in 2016 presented with the figures that indicate an increase in the budgets of the Internal Communications over years to come.