Communication is essential to almost every aspect of human life, both professional and personal. No man is an island and communicating with other human beings is a prerequisite for happiness and success (I know there are exceptions, but let’s stick to the rule here).
Relationships demand effective communication between the involved parties to exist and succeed. This rule is valid for all sorts of relationships: family, friends, marriage and professional relationships.
If you analyze how well developed is a business’ internal communication is you can find out a lot about the company. If you’re running a business in which people don’t communicate well, it’s time to do something about it before your ship sinks.
Here are a few tips you can put into practice before there’s irreparable damage and the ghost of poor internal communication scares everyone away from your company.
Tips for improving internal communication
Are you using the right channels?
Before you can actually work on improving your internal communication, how about taking a step back and analyzing your existing communication channels?
All communication methods, such as emailing, phone or messaging, have their merit and each comes with their own specific benefits. It’s up to you to analyze each situation and decide the ideal scenario for using each channel.
It may not me such a good idea to use email to have a conversation – it’d be wiser to use an internal communication tool, such as Slack. Many companies are working towards gradually replacing emails with internal messaging or even collaboration tools, such as Pipefy.
Let’s start off by making a list of all the existing internal communication methods so you can find out if there’s something missing. Analyze the methods you’re currently using for each situation to find out whether you’re using the right channel for each situation or if changes are required.
Make talking to your employees a regular thing
Talking – and listening – to your employees is imperative for any business’ success. Whether in-person or online, make it a habit of talking to your employees to find out what they’re doing, their projects, tasks and their points of view on your company as a whole.
Everyone wants to be heard – and it wouldn’t be any different in your company. People like to share their opinions and thoughts and giving them a couple of minutes of your attention every other week may be crucial to improving your entire organization’s internal communication.
Taking a few minutes to also empowers your employees and gives them confidence they are being heard.
Leave your doors always open
As we’ve mentioned above, you should make talking to your employees a regular thing. Many people, however, feel uncomfortable communicating with their managers or CEOs.
Due to the fact that they may not feel at ease approaching the boss, people end up avoiding bringing up important points and cutting the entire communication flow short.
Implementing an “open door policy” may be just what your employees needed to fill that gap and feel comfortable bringing anything to your attention. Not only is this beneficial to the company’s internal communication, it’s essential for making “the boss” more approachable and motivating the employees.
Use social media to your advantage
Even though some people still refuse to admit it, social media has been proving itself as a powerful communication method between companies and their customers.
It’s still largely overlooked when it comes to improving internal business communication. If you’d consider time spent at social media a loss of time, how about using your internal intranet as a channel for people to share their interests and create work-related conversations?
Content sharing and social media are both great ways for sharing your business’ culture and philosophy while allowing your employees to build connections and relationships.
It’s not uncommon to hear that the time spent chatting by the water cooler or during the afternoon coffee break is considered wasted time in the mind of some managers and CEOs and, according to the cliche, that would mean wasted money.
It’s not. Motivating your employees to talk to each other and mingle is essential for relationship building. After all, how could you expect people to actually get to know each other if all they ever talk about is work related?
If you identify your employees mingling and having off-topic conversations, even it’s during their work hours, let them – it’ll do more good than bad.
Strengthen your company culture
Integrating your company culture into your work day can be a great way for making your employees feel more connected to each other as well as to the organization as an entity.
A great – and easy – way to do it is incorporating your brand colors and symbols to your office decoration, documentation or even your internal systems.
Don’t make it just a visual thing, though. Make it a habit of presenting the company’s goals and philosophies to all new employees during their onboarding as well as reiterating it on a regular basis to all existing employees.
Celebrate milestones and achievements
Make it a habit of celebrating all important achievements in your company, such as throwing end of the year parties in which you have “employee of the year” awards, etc.
Providing moments outside of the office atmosphere in which your employees can interact can be highly beneficial to your company’s internal communication.
Don’t forget to share the joy of each achievement with every one of your employees – this makes them actually feel like they belong and their work is making a difference in the company’s results. It’ll also boost everyone’s moods and lets everyone know how important internal communication is and how it can impact everyone’s performance and productivity.
Improving your workplace internal communication can – and most likely will – be time and effort consuming but the results are normally worth the effort. Having the necessary tools and resources – such as Slack and Pipefy – will surely make this endeavor easier to achieve.
Don’t worry about putting each of these tips in practice at a time – if you can, incorporate all of them to your work routine and wait a while before you can reap the fruits of your effort.