7 Internal Communications Mistakes to Stop Making

By Michael Kosiba
February 12, 2019
5 min read

Internal Communications Mistakes

One of your big business goals should be improving your company’s internal communication. Focusing on this not only improves business proficiency but also creates a happy work environment that encourages employee satisfaction which leads to higher employee retention.

You’ll also find that when you actively work to improve internal communication, customer satisfaction also improves. This leads to a significant improvement in everything from customer referrals to profit margins.

The impact communication mistakes has on the average business is far bigger than many people realize.

You see, internal communication mistakes trigger a high level of employee dissatisfaction which results in high employee turnover. Poor internal communication leads to poor customer service and reduced sales.

Yet, it’s not uncommon for business owners/managers to realize the business is suffering from communication problems. But many don’t know how to go about identifying problems such as overloading employee inboxes, expecting mid-level managers to pass on important messages, and failing to consider that different types of employees respond best to specific forms of communication.

The failure to identify the negative communication mistakes makes it impossible to rectify the situation and create a happy, stress-free, efficient work environment.

In fact, there are seven common internal communication mistakes businesses make. Make 2019 the year you correct these issues.

Staying Attached to Antiquated Communication Methods

Are you still using a great deal of paper as part of your internal communications? If so, it’s time to devote yourself to going paperless.

Switching to paperless forms of internal communication reduce office expenses, decreases your business’s environmental impact, and reduces the risk of your employees losing important information.

Bombarding Employee’s Inboxes

Make 2019 the year you stop sending your employees massive amounts of emails. Instead of sending out individual emails to each employee or an email for each issue that arrives, explore setting up a single channel email. If multiple issues need to be addressed, present them in the single email.

Adding a personal touch and sending each employee a unique email may seem like a good idea. However, it takes up a massive amount of your time. Furthermore, there’s an increased risk of you failing to send all pertinent information to all the employees! There’s also a chance of you forgetting to contact a key employee with an important message.

Switching to single channel email not only saves you time, but it also reduces the volume of emails your employees have to read, allowing to devote more time and energy to their actual work tasks.

Relying on Information Trickling Down

The days when you send information to the manager of a department and hope that they pass the information on to key employees need to come to an end.

In the long run, it’s better to use a project management site to contact everyone you want to be involved in a specific project at the same time.

The benefit is this gives the named employees an opportunity to wrap up current projects and also eliminates issues such as information not getting passed on quickly enough, the wrong information being passed, lost information, and misplaced data.

Not Encouraging Feedback

You might be in charge, but that doesn’t mean your way is the only way. Make 2019 the year you invite your employees to provide feedback and offer suggestions. Be respectful of the feedback you receive and decide what comments are useful and which to discard.

When you encourage employees to provide feedback, you’ll:

  • Get new ideas that ultimately improve the business
  • Show your employees that their opinions matter
  • Improve employee retention

Don’t be surprised if it takes some time before your employees begin feeling comfortable providing you with honest feedback. It’s natural for people to be worried about the type of response they’ll garner.

Asking insightful and specific questions is a good way to get the feedback ball rolling. In fact, your reaction to feedback–especially feedback that doesn’t align with your views–is also important. You need to be open-minded and actively consider each suggestion, even if you ultimately reject the idea.

Not Learning What Form of Communication Your Employees Prefer

Want to gather real feedback from your employees about the current internal communication system? Consider polling them to learn what their thoughts are and how you can improve. You’ll find out if they’re happy with how they receive information or if there’s a different option they think would work better.

Now, don’t be surprised when employees from different age groups have different preferences on how they want to receive information. It’s up to you to determine a system for internal communication that everyone likes.

Failing to Keep Communication Simple

The next time you’re about to send an inter-office memo, stop and read through it. Is the information in the memo to the point or is it rambling?

Keep in mind your employees are just as busy as you are. They don’t have time to read a two-thousand-word missive. The next time you write a memo, stay on point, use bullet points, and make sure the wording is clear. It may take a couple of tries, but after writing a few memos, you’ll find that writing a concise memo is easy.

Condensing the amount of information you include in each memo you send to your employees is just one aspect of simplifying your communication. Study the language you used. It should be simple and leave no opportunity for misunderstanding.

In fact, you’ll find employees tend to respond best to pieces of internal communication that includes short sentences.

Failing to Create Internal Communication Goals

This is the perfect time to sit down and think about your business goals and how improving internal communication will help you meet them.

Make a list of the issues you’ve noted with your current internal communication system and create goals to correct the issues. Once you’ve done that, each time you use your company’s internal communication system, identify what goal you want that particular piece of communication to address.

It’s always a good idea to share your communication goals with your employees.

You won’t believe how much your office culture improves as you successfully eradicate internal communication issues. You’ll discover that employees “in the know” are more engaged, more passionate, and contribute more to the overall success of your business. Bring a little more ‘exceptional’ to your everyday!

Do you have any questions about how to identify internal communication mistakes you’re currently making and the steps you should take to correct them? Feel free to contact us today.

By Michael Kosiba