The problem with employee communications (+ how to fix it)
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6 mins read
Wed, May 17, '23
According to one recent study, approximately 86% of executives say that a lack of effective communication and collaboration is one of the main causes of workplace failures. If you need a single statistic to underline the importance of employee communications software, let it be that one.
Understanding that employee communication is important and taking meaningful, actionable steps to improve it in your own business are two different things. In this post, we’ll explain why improving organizational communication should be a top objective, and we’ll share some tips on how to make that happen.
Why you need to prioritize employee communications
Effective employee communication best practices are about so much more than just being able to periodically talk to your colleagues. It has an impact on worker engagement, company culture, the productivity of teams, and more.
Especially in an era when more people are working remotely, a streamlined employee communications platform is essential. Not only does it help employees know what’s going on within the business and how they're contributing to various initiatives, but it also allows them to remain connected to one another.
Increasing employee engagement is critical because the more invested someone is in their job, the more likely they are to give it their maximum effort and attention. As worker productivity rises, company profitability tends to do the same.
Making sure that everyone is always on the same page and moving in the same direction is one of the keys to avoiding project delays and quality issues that could waste resources and damage a business's reputation with its clients.
According to one recent study, during the COVID-19 pandemic remote productivity tended to suffer due to a lack of office socialization. This shows that people need socialization at work in order to unlock their full potential.
All businesses depend on collaboration to thrive — both in terms of employees working with one another, and employees working with customers and/or clients. You literally cannot get to that point if communication is needlessly difficult and convoluted.
Why traditional employee communications miss the mark
Being unable to effectively communicate with your colleagues is more than just a minor inconvenience for most people. It actually creates a negative ripple effect, causing a myriad of different problems.
Some traditional employee communications tools only allow for top-down messaging. Essentially, communication becomes a "one-way street." People can’t ask questions or offer feedback, even in situations where it’s desperately needed.
Too few communications tools
You need a way for people to reliably share files, integrate data from various sources, and work both one-on-one and in larger groups. Having too few communication tools can make collaboration difficult, if not frustrating.
For example, messaging apps like Slack may be effective for in-the-moment communication, but they don’t offer a way to store, organize, and search for information.
Businesses may prefer to continue using the same on-premise communication platforms they’ve always used, but today’s remote and hybrid teams need a cloud-based solution to communicate effectively.
Productivity suffers if information can’t freely move from department to department. For example, the sales team might have crucial data the marketing team needs to do their job — but without a way to share it, it may as well not exist.
It's also hard to find information if it has only been shared via email and isn't in a centralized repository that everyone can access.
How to start your journey to better employee communications
Here are the first steps for improving employee communications:
Evaluate communications tools
Start by taking a look at the tools you're using now, like email, Slack, SharePoint, and others. Make a list of what works well and, most importantly, what doesn't. Compare what your tools can do to what you need them to do, so you can identify any gaps. You don’t have to throw out what is working, but the point of this exercise is to illustrate that a lot of the systems you currently rely on likely are not working as well as you think they are.
Ask for input
Whether you do so at a meeting or by way of a survey, always solicit feedback from employees and managers. Maybe people need a way to better store and manage files. Maybe managers need some way to better unite their international workforce. You'll never know these are priorities unless you ask for that insight.
At this point, you can make a list of the features that are an absolute priority moving forward. Things like a dedicated mobile app, knowledge sharing, app integrations with other tools you're already using, and more. Then, you can focus on solutions that check as many of these boxes as possible.
The ROI of using an intranet for employee communications
By improving employee communications, you make workers more collaborative — which naturally makes them more productive. That's just one of the benefits of using a solution like an intranet to accomplish this goal. There are also a number of other ways in which an intranet provides maximum ROI.
Unifies remote teams
When everyone has access to all critical information within an enterprise, it's possible to be truly productive anywhere, at any time, and on virtually any device. Remote teams can finally be on a level playing field with in-person workers, regardless of where they're located.
See how ActivTrak strengthened employee communications and became a remote-first company
Read the case study
Eliminates information silos
When you eliminate information silos, people have access to the critical data they need to do their jobs. They can make better and more informed decisions regarding things like client interactions and strategy.
Enhances company culture
By replacing legacy communications systems with something more in line with the demands of the modern workforce, you're giving people access to the tools they need to work smarter, not harder. This makes their work more efficient and more rewarding.
Facilitates mergers and acquisitions
Top-notch communication during the mergers and acquisitions process is crucial, as it helps employees understand how the changes will impact them and their jobs. Good communication will also help them feel secure in their roles, which again improves morale.
Let's have a conversation
In the end, it doesn't matter what type of business you're running or even the industry you're a part of — there are virtually no areas of your organization that couldn’t benefit from improved employee communications.
Happeo gives you all the tools you need to improve employee communication, in an intuitive cloud-based intranet platform. Let us show you what Happeo can do for you — schedule your demo today!