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7 Internal Communication Challenges That Slow Your Business Down (And How to Fix Them)

7 Internal Communication Challenges That Slow Your Business Down  (And How to Fix Them)

Internal communication is a necessary and integral part of any business. Without it, your productivity levels drop, nothing gets done, and your employees are dissatisfied with their work. But even if you have internal communication strategies in place, you may not realise that you are facing challenges that are slowing down your business. Here’s how to spot them – and how to fix them.

  1. Communication is too slow

If your employees are still communicating via email, things might not be progressing as fast as you wish. Email is a slow form of communication as each message must be sent, received, noticed, opened, responded to, and sent back – a process which can take a long while, especially if employees spend time away from their desks. Encourage the use of instant messaging through services like Slack, Discord, WhatsApp, or so forth. This keeps everyone talking quickly, and gets questions answered immediately rather than over the course of hours.

  1. There’s no record

Can you look back on past communication easily to find out what has been discussed or agreed upon in the past? If you can’t, then things could be grinding to a halt. It’s often necessary to look back on past communications in order to verify, check, or add to decisions. Create an online, cloud-based archive where everyone can look back at their personal and company-wide interactions. This is especially essential for important memos and announcements.

  1. People aren’t kept in the loop

When a new decision is made, everyone needs to know about it. There should be clear lines of communication in place, normally from manager to subordinate. Your heads of department should return from a meeting and inform their team leaders what was discussed, and they should then pass it on to their team members, and so on. When people aren’t kept in the loop, things can go wrong and projects can be derailed. Establish internal communication policies so everyone knows whose duty it is to pass information along.

  1. There’s no company handbook

When a new employee joins, how do they find out about how things are done in the company? You should have a company handbook, and if you don’t, you need one. This document should contain all the information they need such as department hierarchy maps, health and safety briefings, information on how to do necessary parts of their job, and so on. This employee handbook will get new hires settled in quicker, and will provide a reference point for established employees too.

  1. There’s no feedback

Do you know how well your internal communication is working? If no, you obviously don’t have a feedback system in place. Create periodical employee surveys or feedback forms asking for a response to the current system of communication, and ask for ideas on improvement.

  1. Employees are scared

If employees are scared to speak up about anything, you have a huge communication problem. Often, the solution is not just letting them know they can talk to their managers. It’s also about enforcing that in action. If complaints are met with abuse, punishments, or simply ignored, then the situation will remain the same. Ensure everyone is briefed on how to deal with employee complaints – and watch as employees learn they can also offer ideas.

  1. Vague orders

If management is not issuing clear orders and commands, then the workforce won’t respond with decisive action. Make sure that your messages hit loud and clear to see good results.

 

While challenges may slow your business down, getting internal communication right could speed it up hugely. This could be an invaluable change that will allow your business to reach new levels of efficiency.

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Sienna Walker is an avid business and careers writer, currently working as a part of the team behind DirectorStats. Interested in all aspects of creating and growing an efficient business, Sienna often shares her knowledge with others via online articles and presentations. Follow her on @SiennaWalkerS.

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