One thing that you will quickly realise about working in an office is that communication is key to make it successful. Unfortunately, communication, in particular internal communications are actually quite tricky to get right.
So much so, that to help out we have put together our guide to the 5 biggest fails of internal communications and the best ways that you can fix them.
When it comes to communication, one of the most important things to get right is actually listening to what the other person has to say. Listening is just as important as the speaking and if you are not listening then you are not hearing what is being said. Within an office setting, listening can be tricky, but it is incredibly important that you get it right.
So, how do you listen effectively within the context of internal communication? Well, one of the most important things to do is to make sure that you actually give your employees a way to speak to you and voice anything that they want to say. An internal communication tool, such as an app or an employee intranet portal is probably one of the best approaches to take. Make sure that your employees know how to access it, as well as make sure that it is easy to use too.
You should also show that you are listening by taking on board any feedback or recommendations that they might have, making changes or implementing things that will make a difference.
Using tools that are out of date and ineffective
As we have already mentioned, in order to communicate and listen to your staff members, you need to be able to provide them with an effective communication method. Having a system that is out of date and that doesn’t really work as well as it should, like notice boards around breakout areas, are not fit for purpose and your employees won’t take their time to read them.
It is vital that your communication system is up to date, is easy to use and that it works. You want staff to feel encouraged to use it, rather than avoiding it at all costs. If you are finding that internal comms are just not working in your business, your employee communication tools could be to blame.
Communicating too much
Communication is important, but too much is just as bad as too little. No-one wants an inbox which is full of things that they just don’t have time to read. So, when it comes to communicating, make sure that you are only sending the information that your employees really need to know.
Having just the right communication means that there is a much greater chance that your employees are going to read through it instead of suffering from inbox fatigue. It also ensures that key information has been read and has been understood too.
Thinking that information will trickle down
Another common mistake that is made in office communication is thinking that information that employees need to know will simply make its way down to them. Managers are kept in the loop, they know what is going on and what is happening and many business owners think that is good enough.
The trouble is, communication doesn’t trickle down quite as effectively as you may think. Managers might not think that they need to notify their team members, they might not even know how best to approach the situation if it is a difficult one.
If you have a message that needs to be communicated to staff members, then do it yourself. Don’t rely on others to do it for you. You can let the managers know beforehand what is being said, but don’t leave it up to them to pass the information around.
Making office communication complicated
Of course, there are times when a message that you need to pass over is complicated and has lots of moving parts and components to it. But one of the most important things that you can do is to make it as easy as possible to understand. You never want a message to be mis-understood, to be open to interpretation as this is just setting yourself up for failure and maybe also for gossip and mis-understanding too.
The best thing that you can do is to make sure that you make everything as easy as possible to understand. That way there is no confusion and your message gets where it needs to be.
Communication is important in a business setting, but you need to get it right or you may find that it wasn’t worth the effort in the first place. Try and avoid these 5 mistakes and make sure that whatever message it is that you need to pass over, gets where it needs to be and is understood loud and clear.