A famous organizational scholar, Charles Kettering, once said, “a problem well-stated is half-solved.” What if you are unable to explain the problem correctly? What if your organizational communication channels are weak to ensure a comprehensive exchange of information? Most organizations struggle with problem-solving mainly because their departmental communication is not strong enough. It hinders the cross-departmental exchange of information, which deteriorates the overall decision-making process.
Internal communication is undoubtedly the deciding factor for organizational success. A Gallup survey found that 65% of the employees remain disengaged at the workplace. The prime reason is ineffective internal communication. Employees do not feel connected to their team if they cannot communicate with them easily. The wall of hesitation keeps increasing between upper management and employees. It affects almost every management function negatively, and the overall ROI is significantly reduced. Companies with better internal communication practices enjoy a 47% higher ROI.
You might be facing the same issues. Despite heavy financial investments, you are unable to derive the desired success in your organization. Most probably, your organization is struggling with internal communication issues. Therefore, this article can prove extremely helpful to you. It highlights four areas where you can work to have a better internal communication infrastructure.
1. Embrace Technology
Technological advancements have revolutionized the entire corporate landscape. They have a significant role in organizational communication as well. As an effective manager, you must widen your understanding of the right tech applications for internal communication. Utilizing smart communication systems and software in the workplace can prove beneficial in the long-run. There are many options available, from IVR to apps like Skype. But, what is IVR, and how can your company benefit from using it. Interactive Voice Response is an advanced technology that allows companies to communicate efficiently and quickly. The key to successful internal communication is identifying then adopting the right tools.
Technology provides instant connectivity, appropriate media richness, and good interactivity to produce quality internal communication avenues. Stagecoach, a Scottish transport giant, has been using a mobile app to improve internal communication, generating phenomenal results.
2. Maintain the Right Media Richness
Media richness refers to the ability of a communication channel to accommodate the amount of content communicated. It is the weight of information carried through a medium. So a face-to-face interaction would have the most media richness and an email the least. Effective internal communication is all about maintaining the right balance of media richness. If you bombard employees daily with dozens of lengthy emails, don’t expect efficient internal communication.
The rule of thumb is to keep it precise and concise. Competent managers convey directions to employees in a terse yet meaningful manner. They judge the situation effectively and choose the most befitting medium of communication. Surprisingly, most people don’t read a message that’s above 100 words. Knowing it, Amazon drives its internal communication through small and easily digestible bits of information rather than large email chains. Therefore, the success of Amazon’s organizational communication speaks volumes for itself.
3. Promote Collaboration among Employees
One of the best ways to garner employee engagement is to promote collaborations among them. There is a natural tendency among employees to work along with each other in a comfortable space. However, if it receives official support from higher management, it can significantly enhance employees’ internal communication. When employees collaborate, they learn to tackle internal team conflicts. It saves further coordination from facing the same conflicts.
At 3M Company, employees must invest 15% of their working time in collaborating with other employees to devise new product ideas. It enhanced their internal communication and resulted in overall organizational success. The company had annual sales of a whopping $32.2 billion in 2020, primarily accredited to its internal communication infrastructure.
4. Reduce barriers in vertical communication
Vertical communication is the interaction between employees that are at different levels of hierarchy within an organization. Organizations that have a rigid hierarchy always have huge barriers between employees and higher management. These organizations fail to develop strong internal communication networks. Whereas organizations where higher management is in easy reach have an effective internal communication environment.
Higher management must be accessible to employees. They feel more confident and empowered when they can communicate with seniors easily. It inculcates commitment to work and enhances employees’ performance. Employees develop better trust in their seniors, which uplifts the entire communication network quality. Mark Zuckerberg promoted an open floor plan where he also works at the same kind of desk as everyone else. The main idea is to foster communication among different levels of employees. He remains easily approachable to any employee. It improves the overall internal communication at Facebook headquarters.
Conflicts are typical of human nature. However, having strong internal communication in your organization can radically reduce the chances of disputes. Communication dictates the success of an organization. Now you either destroy your operations’ fabric because of poor communication or take it to new heights. You must utilize technology and maintain the right media richness to promote collaborations and reduce vertical communication barriers. All these factors are fundamental to communication success. The earlier you realize it, the better it is for your organizational health.
Sheerin Jafri is a creative and passionate blogger who loves to write on various trending topics. She looks forward to pursuing a career as a financial analyst and is keen to learn about business and lifestyle.