The Seven Most Common Internal Comms Failings (Part One)

Now, we’re pretty cheery folk here at Fanclub. We’re about sharing the love, after all, not revelling in doom & gloom. We like to focus on the positives and the opportunities, rather than the problems and poor practices. But sometimes, even we must confess that the easiest way to move forward and to grow is to look at where things are going awry and run like the wind in the opposite direction!

By: James Blair on

Research has suggested that fewer than 1 in 7 workers are “highly engaged” and so, with that in mind, and as a two-part musing, we present the seven deadliest sins in internal comms (or, to put it another way, the biggest internal comms issues that companies are facing today).

And, before you ask, these are not Covid related or specific. But the changes ripping through every sector and every industry off the back of the pandemic only make these even more pertinent!

As the first instalment, here are the top three…

1. Employee engagement

…or a lack thereof! It almost doesn’t matter how direct, clear or well-intentioned your messages are if your people aren’t engaged and motivated.

This has to be number one in the list because it can become a vicious circle, downward spiral or self-fulfilling prophecy: the less the critical messages get through, the more detached the workforce becomes, and the more detached the workforce is, the less interested those people are in hearing those critical messages.

In case anyone was in any doubt, this report from Gallup about US businesses, shares some convincing numbers regarding the impact engagement has on profitability, productivity, attendance and retention.

Engaging your teams, and keeping them engaged, is fundamental to the success of any business. This can’t really be over-stated. There are many ways to keep your workforce engaged, but recognition and appreciation are top of the list.

2. Keeping remote workers engaged

We figured this justified its own entry in our top 7, separate from the above, with it being such a growing concern - if having remote workers wasn’t a growing trend before Covid hit, it sure is now!

Many organisations are having to adapt to a richer mix of flexible working within their teams, be that in working hours, locations, job sharing, or a combination of all of these and more.

Not having an effective employee communications resource can damage your relationships with remote workers or leave them ill-informed or poorly-engaged.

If some of your most important people are not office-based all of the time, why would you let comms with them slip?

As with number one, ensuring remote workers don’t miss out on recognition opportunities (to give or to receive) is a great step in the right direction.

3. Irregular & inconsistent communication

Just announcing the big news pieces or, worse still, surprising your people with changes to the business is ineffective at best, and damaging at worst. Therefore, larger companies should have a robust comms plan in place to ensure all staff feel connected, empowered and in-the-know, regardless of when and where they work. This can be a time-consuming process but is more than worth the effort.

Smaller companies may not need a fancy & bespoke detailed strategy, but a robust commitment to organised comms could still reap dividends.

At the risk of sounding like a peak-hour Saturday night ITV talent show host, stay tuned for the next instalment to find out what made numbers four to seven…