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The 6 most common internal communication problems

When we are looking at improving the flow of information within a company, we should also be honnest about our mistakes. Here are the 6 most common issues in the worls of internal communication.

The engagement and the trust of the employees are essential for the productivity of companies. Those positive relationships between the companies and their employees take time to grow, and they depend in a large part on the way the company acts towards its staff.

Considering this, internal communication mistakes can really harm the growth of those relations Some are more frequent than others and can have a wider impact.

Recognizing the main problems of internal communication in order to avoid them

Being able to identify the issues of internal communication make it possible to solve them quickly, and therefore win back the trust of the employees.

1) The lack of transparency takes the first rank among the internal communication problems

The corporate voice must tend towards more and more transparency. This trend, that has been emerging in the past years, has been even more important during the lockdowns and home office due to the 2020 pandemic.

Employees really need to know what is going on in the company, understand the reasons behind major decisions. Besides, they accept changes much more easily if they understand the context and reasoning. 

On the contrary, an internal communication that is too vague, or one that would not touch on any issue, would be less and less credible or trustworthy. They will lose their legitimity, little by little, and this trust relationship between the employees and their company will be broken.

2) Not communicating at the right time 

Internal communication teams or team leaders often need to take a step back in order to identify the best way to talk about a specific topic. However, this aspect is not enough, as it must be linked to the importance of finding the right timing.

Regarding the most important themes, it is difficult to prevent any information leakage. Therefore, communicating too late means coming after the spread of rumours, which are difficult to battle. On the other hand, it is important to take the time to put certain subjects into context. This allows employees to understand the different issues at stake, and therefore to better accept them.

Establishing a precise communication plan helps to find the right time and the right way to spread the information.

3) Communicating too much… or not enough

One of the most tricky issues in terms of internal communication is about the quantity of information that is broadcasted. Employees need to receive news about their company on a regular basis, whether it is business updates, information about their daily lives, or just articles that would present some employees or new projects.

On another hand, they must have time to read or watch the content that seems interesting to them. Communicating too much means taking the risk that the most important information will go unseen, drowned among the other news.

The question around communication frequency can be brought up when you are conducting internal satisfaction surveys. Analying those results will allow you to fine tune the frequency of your publications.


4) Identifying your targets to limit internal communication issues

Some misunderstandings between the employees and the company come in part from not approaching the different internal groups in the right way. Therefore, when you prepare the publication of your content, do not forget to take into account:

  • the communication channel, because all employees so not have the same reading habits or the same accesses to softwares
  • how many employees are actually concerned by this information
  • the differences within an internal group, such as the different generations
In parallel to this, it is also important to ensure that all professions or all sites are well represented internally, for instance when you are doing employees’ portraits. This will prevent some people from feeling left out or ignored. In the same way, an international group should publish its internal content in all the languages of the countries where it is present.

5) A lack of consistency between the corporate speech and the facts 

Transparency is essential for the employees to trust their company, but it is not enough. It is important that actions, and notably the ones coming from the top management are aligned with the speeches. For example, it is not possible to ask some budgetary efforts to the employees while organizing a seminar in an exotic and far away place.

In the same way, the company should act according to the values that it preaches. It should for instance support the projects that are highlighted in the employee engagement platform. If their acts are not aligned with the discourses, the employees will soon have the impression that internal communication is a mere facade.

6) Failing to train managers in their role as communicators 

Managers are a key element in internal communication. Indeed, they enable the flow of information, both from the bottom to the top management and vice versa. They act as a relay to all questions and comments coming from their teams. Thus, it is important to support them in these tasks by giving them the necessary tools

A good manager allows his/her colleagues to make their voices heard, therefore making them feel valued by the company as a whole.

It is the same thing for the 5 other internal communications mistakes discussed above. By avoiding them, you will communicate in a more precise, suited and clear way. This honnest relation with the employees will foster their level of engagment with the company.