In today’s era, more factors can destroy a business than build it. The corporate world has become complex, having more stakeholders than ever before. Meeting every stakeholder’s demands – internal or external – is not an easy task. However, it is necessary for ensuring business viability and success in the long run. Internal stakeholders are more important because they have a direct and first-hand impact on business efficiency. External stakeholders can never be satisfied until the internal ones are.
Therefore, internal communication plays a vital role in business efficiency. It ensures higher employee satisfaction levels and propels motivation. According to a survey by McKinsey, proper internal communication strategies increase employee productivity by 25%. It can save up to a whopping $550 billion lost due to internal communication errors every year. Strong internal communication can make or break it for the business. In comparison, ineffective internal communication can shatter employee morale.
Unfortunately, not every organization identifies the importance of internal communication since their attention is mostly on external communication. Organizations that realize the importance of internal communication achieve great success. The key to efficient internal communication is in identifying the communication issues and resolving them. Therefore, this article highlights four internal communication issues that affect business efficiency.
1. Using inappropriate communication tools
How will you feel if your boss sends you a message on LinkedIn to call you to their office? Awkward and surprised for sure. Using the right communication tool at the right time is extremely important for internal communication. Unfortunately, many corporate professionals are unaware of the proper utilization of communication tools and resources to drive effective results. Online training has been helping business executives to identify and deploy the right communication strategies and mediums. For instance, a communications online degree allows corporate executives to sharpen their communication skills and utilize appropriate tools for conveying messages precisely.
There was a time when business communication was all about using the company’s official email. Now there are numerous communication tools that organizations can use for internal coordination. However, wrong communication tools create a communication gap and therefore deter the business processes. Likewise, we cannot rule out the importance of smartphones in the contemporary environment. The need is to utilize the right apps and integrated platforms that are safe and known to all employees internally.
2. Email Bombardments
It is not surprising to see employees complaining about email overload. One of the mounting internal communication issues is ignoring or missing out on critical internal emails. It happens because employees – especially senior executives – receive humongous amounts of emails. According to the Guardian, the average office employee receives about 121 emails on an average day.
Now checking and responding to emails is not the only task of their job description. That is why people apply filters and reply only to the most important emails. However, the perception of the sender and the receiver vary. Therefore, these filters pose a high probability of a critical email getting ignored.
It is among the most widely known internal communication issues, creating difficulties for business executives to keep relevant information. The biggest problem is the loss of time. When important emails get buried under the bombardment of other irrelevant emails, things start to get delayed. There might be necessary approvals, interview schedules, and cross-references of seniors. It all gets burdened under periodic emails that have very little to do with actual value-making functions.
3. Inadequate Feedback
Feedback is undeniably the most crucial part of any communication process. It helps the recipient understand the actual intentions of the sender behind the message. It completes the communication in a comprehensive and meaningful way. Lack of feedback makes interactions misconstrued. It creates communication barriers, derailing employees from deciphering the real purpose behind a message. That is where inefficiency and dissatisfaction in work erupt. Employees perform tasks the way they deem fit only to receive bad reviews later that it is not compliant with what was asked.
The gravest impact it has on business efficiency is in terms of reduced work satisfaction, lower accuracy, and decreased employee engagement. According to Trakster, a mind-boggling 98% of employees fail to engage at a workplace where managers do not give them proper feedback. Employees do not feel honored because they do not receive feedback on their work input. They sense a gap in communication between themselves and their seniors. Moreover, feedback comes from same-level colleagues too, but the one your senior provides has a more substantial outcome. Therefore, timely and insightful internal communication feedback is pivotal for ensuring a healthy and positive workplace environment. Hence, companies providing employees regular feedback have 15% lower turnover rates.
4. Overall inconsistent communication
Communication is a regular and ongoing process. It must take place at all times along with the standard business processes. It is not reliant on specific business events. It should be prevalent across every function, department, and stakeholder of a business. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen this way in many organizations. There are no integrated internal communication channels where communication takes place in real-time as things evolve. The inconsistency in communication creates information silos – a situation where crucial data is lost. According to ClicData, 47% of organizations believe that data silos are a huge internal communication challenge.
Inconsistent communication distorts cross-departmental communication. When there’s no consistency, departments are never on the same page. They lack the coordination required for effective inter-departmental communication. Therefore, inconsistent communication has immense effects on business efficiency, making decision-making weak and deprived of essential insights. Thus, the overall competitive edge of the business declines. It misses out on critical business information, barring business executives from creating a holistic experience for customers.
Communication is crucial to human life in all spheres, whether corporate or social. Similarly, the importance of communication quadruples in complex functions of a business. The recent COVID pandemic has reiterated the significance of internal communication for businesses.
To carry out their tasks and processes smoothly, they have to utilize the right communication tools and ensure cross-functional coordination. Additionally, they must strategize emails and provide feedback wherever necessary to convey messages accurately. At first glance, these issues seem minor; however, they serve as colossal business impediments in the long run.