Common causes of poor internal communication
Communication is an integral part of any organisation, and if your internal communication isn’t right then there could be some serious problems.
Good internal communication, however, informs and motivates employees. It supports strategic development and ensures that everyone is clear about what the organisation is trying to achieve. Strategy turns into action, rather than remaining locked in a word document or left in a meeting and never discussed again. Because what’s the point in strategy if you’re not making it happen?
Keeping staff informed sounds easy enough, right? Well, internal communication isn’t quite that simple but if you know what you’re doing it can be easier to tackle. One of the best ways to get started is to understand the causes behind poor internal communication. That’s right, before jumping straight into the team meetings and newsletters we want to look at what goes wrong.
1. Lack of clarity or understanding of the organisation
Poor understanding of an organisation’s mission and aims can really throw up some problems. It can result in enquiring clients not getting the answers they need, or even (in some cases) incorrect answers!
2. Unclear lines of reporting or management
If staff don’t know who is in charge, or who they need to report to, internal communication will fail. Confusion can lead to chaos, and before you know it wires are crossed, no one knows who to talk to and people get frustrated.
3. The core purpose is forgotten
Staff are at the heart of any organisation, but if it becomes too internally focussed then this can be to the detriment of its core purpose. Fixation on operational issues and staff will mean that the external focus can be left on the shelf to gather dust.
4. Too much communication
Unnecessary meetings are the bane of most workers’ lives, and too much communication can create clutter and confusion. This ‘communication diarrhoea’ results in overflowing inboxes, wasted time in meetings, and no one really knowing what’s actually going on.
5. Underdeveloped management communication systems
If your organisation doesn’t do appraisals please start doing them! Appraisals and regular supervision meetings make internal communication much easier, and they’re also a great way to monitor progress.
These are just a handful of causes, and there are a number of ways to tackle each problem. If you’d like to learn how to develop your organisation’s internal communication, take a look at our one day course here.