The Future of Internal Communications
16 Mar, 2023
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Employee communication is a vital part of any business, from a small start-up to a multinational billion-dollar company. In fact, research suggests that 86% of employees and executives say that poor communication is the main cause of workplace problems. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to make sure you have good methods of communication.
In this blog, we’ll go over everything you need to know about employee communication, including what it is, how effective communication can help your business, and most importantly – how to communicate better with your employees.
Employee communication is, quite simply, how managers and executives exchange information with their employees. This will almost always be workplace-focused communication, during work hours, but there are plenty of ways to improve communication that takes place outside of typical work hours too. Sometimes there are important work-related events outside office hours, or you need to contact an employee in a hurry.
It’s vital to stay on top of current employee communication methods. At one time, workplace communication would have almost entirely occurred through face-to-face meetings or formal letters. But as technology has evolved, so have methods of workplace communication. A lot of employee communication now happens through email, shared calendars, and telephones.
Of course, since remote working has become more popular, there has been an increase in even more technologically driven types of communication thanks to the internet, including video calls and workplace messaging systems. Staying abreast of new and effective employee communication systems can help make sure that your employees are always kept in the loop.
Employee communication can be a factor that makes or breaks any business, regardless of your industry, your company structure, or your company size. The simple truth is that companies run more smoothly when there is good, effective, and clear communication between employees and managers or executives. If you look at the research from Pumble, you get a clear idea of how important communication is:
It’s easy enough to see why this is the case. With any project or company where you have multiple people working together, effective communication can help make sure that everyone is aware of what they need to do. Without good communication you can easily have people re-doing work that someone else has done, getting stuck on a project but not being able to ask for help, or you have employees who feel undervalued and underappreciated. Good employee communication is a simple way to fix all of these problems.
If you want to see the benefits of improved employee communication in your company, you may wonder what approach to take. There is no one right answer – employee communication is constantly evolving as technology or necessity gives you new options for communication.
It is, however, important to pick the right type of communication for your business and employees. Every company and every employee in a company is different, and you may find that what works for some employees will not work for others. The simple solution to find what works best is through more communication. Ask your employees the best ways for them to communicate, and find a method that works well for everyone involved.
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Some tips to get you started on managing employee communication include these recommendations.
Most types of communication will have an appropriate delivery method. If you need to give your employee bad news, about a demotion or a pay cut, or even a refusal of a holiday day, it’s generally considered polite and respectful to tell them in person if possible, which can make your employee feel more valid and seen. Of course, in-person meetings are unnecessary for some communications. If you need to quickly remind everyone of a changed deadline, you might find that a group email will be quicker and easier, rather than dragging multiple people into the office. For even more minor concerns, like a broken appliance in the office kitchen, group chats are fine. Use the right tool for the job.
You can improve internal communication with video recordings and video chats. 75% of employees say they are more likely to watch a video rather than read text. Video often helps people stay focused on the information as well as letting people watch while having a break from other work activities. See how you can incorporate Seenit for internal communication.
No one type of communication is going to be right for every one of your employees. It’s a good idea to get to know everyone who works for you in order to best communicate with them. You can start this by having an open conversation with them, asking them what kind of communication would help them do their jobs better. Of course, it goes further than this as well. Getting to know your employees to some extent on a personal level is also often a good tactic. Most employees appreciate it when they are seen as valued humans, not just workers. Knowing a bit about them and their interests can help make communication more fun – and in turn, more effective.
Open communication is good communication. There are only very few occasions when it may be justified to withhold information or give cryptic messages. Most of the time, open and transparent communication will help make sure that your employees feel respected. Open communication also of course helps to avoid misunderstandings, which is crucial since confusion can seriously derail a project. Being open with your employees doesn’t just mean telling them the truth. It also means not hiding information from them, even if you think the information may be difficult for them to hear.
Communication can be difficult, especially if you manage several people. A lot of managers find that their jobs involve so many spinning plates that it can be hard to remember every conversation you have had with an employee. That’s why documenting conversations is so important. Even if it’s just a quick chat, it’s worth making a note that these things have been discussed. This is where group messaging services can be so helpful. Having a way to search through old messages to see what you discussed earlier can help. Detailed documentation can go further into tracking exchanges too. It’s also important to make sure that you follow up on any concerns your employees raise, especially if you tell them you will follow up. If you struggle to remember to follow up, calendar apps can be useful for making quick plans for further meetings.
We’ve discussed some of the downsides of poor communication, but what about the effects of good communication? There are many reasons to focus on good communication.
Employee retention can rise by a factor of 4.5 compared to businesses with poor communication. Employees tend to be happier in roles where they feel listened to, and roles where good communication allows them to do their job well.
Employee engagement has a vital role to play in productivity and ultimately profits. Engaged employees feel motivated and are committed to their work.
Open and clear communication helps your employees feel less stressed and more valued at work. Lower stress levels generally mean employees can be more productive and more innovative. Once employees are less stressed, most companies find that they come up with creative and new solutions to problems the company may be facing, which can have a hugely positive effect on your business.
Teams at work are meant to be just that – teams. If your employees feel that they can talk to everyone in their team, including the team leaders or managers, they are more likely to work together, which can lead to better productivity for everyone in the team, and more successful projects.
Employee communication used to be overlooked, but it’s fundamental to success. In the digital era where we’re all connected, it’s important for us to remember to communicate well. This doesn’t necessarily mean communicating all the time but finding the best way to communicate with individuals.
Every employee can be a more valuable asset to a company when communication is improved. Employees are more loyal and productive when they trust the communication network they are part of. There are many ways to communicate with your employees, and with the advances in remote working and online communications, there is no reason to use poor or outdated communication methods in your business.
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