The Seven Most Common Internal Comms Failings (Part Two)

Welcome to the second part of our look at the seven most common failings in internal comms. With fewer than 1 in 7 workers claiming to be “highly engaged”, this is clearly a wide-reaching issue.

By: James Blair on

You can find part one of this blog here.

After (1) employee engagement, (2) remote worker engagement, and (3) irregular and inconsistent comms, the next four in our list of seven deadly sins are as follows…

4. Lack of feedback

Most communications and HR professionals will tell you that employee feedback is essential for engagement and satisfaction. Giving your people the opportunity to feed back on how they are finding things will make them feel valued and charge your teams’ morale. It will boost engagement and provide a greater insight into the real mood of the workforce. It can also produce winning suggestions and great ideas from those “at the coalface”.

An employee recognition scheme that gives your people the chance to feedback to each other on their support and good deeds is another winning engagement tool. And it can help you to identify the movers, shakers, influencers and unsung heroes in your workplace.

Measuring the impacts of your internal communications on employee engagement, motivation and productivity are vital for your continued success.

5. Poor inter-departmental comms

It’s a worrying trend that too many companies seem to just accept that each different department has its own agenda and rulebook, sharing only limited information. No matter the size of the organisation, your sales, marketing, finance, admin, HR, quality and support people need to communicate effectively and continuously if the business is to prosper.

The same goes for cross-departmental collaboration and knowledge sharing. Research suggests that high-performing businesses are 5 times more likely to encourage cross-team collaboration. Why wouldn’t you encourage sharing that knowledge?

6. Technology

Please don’t crow proudly about that outdated intranet as your “invaluable online hub”. Too many of these are not user-friendly, awash with irrelevant or outdated information, impossible to navigate and avoided by employees like the plague. And that affects productivity.

Hands up if you’ve ever wasted hours searching for crucial info’ on an internal system only to give up when your patience ran out…

E-mail is still the primary channel for internal comms in most companies even though we all know that, depending on where they work, some employees have limited access to their account, some have full inboxes and most ignore anything that they perceive as “generic” – and that tends to include those that arrive addressed to “all company”.

There are so many tech’ solutions available these days, and not all require an enormous budget or dedicated IT team to set up.

7. Lack of variety & fun

Yes, we know there is a time and place for corporate professionalism. But internal comm’s rarely calls for that. Making your internal comms fun is one of the best ways to drive engagement and get your messages to land and to stick. Mixing up your messaging with eye-popping visuals, lively videos and fun content may take a little more creativity and effort, but will get your points across. As mentioned earlier, an informal peer-to-peer recognition scheme can be a fun way to boost morale and engagement on an ongoing basis.

Like internal training, comms and recognition are often among the first things to get shunted aside when too many business priorities collide, but this can have a significant negative impact on engagement and productivity, and the effects can be wide-reaching and long-lasting.