11 Internal Communication Problems & Their Solutions: A Full Guide

HR Management
Rea Regan September 18, 2020 12 min read
11 Internal Communication Problems & Their Solutions: A Full Guide

Quick Guide

    We’ve reached a point where internal communication is far more important than we think. Why is that? Proper communication leads to a company’s success, increases employee engagement and customer satisfaction, reduces turnover, and the company image is positive.

    However, far too many companies are riddled with internal communication problems and the statistics are shocking:

    • A 2018 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. study found that 60% of companies don’t even have a long-term internal communication strategy and McKinsey found that 20 to 25% of employees are actually more productive when organizations have an existing and effective internal communication strategy.
    • Speaking of productivity, Gallup found that productivity loss costs the United States $550 billion every year.

    And sticking with the theme of monetary losses,

    The cost of miscommunication in the workplace - Connecteam image

    In addition, a Watson Wyatt study found that companies who effectively communicate are 50% more likely to experience low turnover. Any way you look at it, the statistics support effective internal communication.

    While communicating effectively has always been a problem, the use of mobile phones has helped to lessen the burden. Using outdated methods, like email or phone calls, often becomes too much of a distraction. However, you must understand how to use communication apps smartly, otherwise, your employees are still faced with an influx of messages. Kill off communication problems now before they spin out of control, use an employee communication app to your advantage to strengthen your relationship with your employees. Especially as the demographic of the workforce is changing

    In this blog, we highlight 11 internal communication problems and offer solutions to each so you can increase engagement and move the company forward. 

    1. A Lack Of Feedback

    When you have a lack of feedback, you’ll only get low motivation and poor work attitude from your employees. Whereas positive feedback, any feedback really, will equal employee engagement and positive, happy employees.

    It’s no secret that feedback shows you how your employees are getting on with their job and their coworkers and managers. Feedback also highlights an employee’s weaknesses and strengths,  but it’s not enough to just gather feedback. You have to act on it, otherwise, the data you’ve gathered is useless. And don’t wait around for an annual review as you’re missing the point. 

    Remember that communication is a two-way street, so you must ensure you are gaining feedback from your employees and aren’t just dishing it out yourself. By listening to the issues and concerns your employees have, you can help improve productivity and build loyalty – additionally, this opens an opportunity to learn about issues before they escalate.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Start a feedback process by establishing a process for genuine and consistent internal communication between managers and employees. 

    2. Endless Emails

    Radicati statistics on business emails from 2015-2019.

    Ping! Yes, that’s an alert to yet another email. Radicati did some research on just how many emails the average person receives on a daily basis and the results are shocking. By the end of 2019, they estimated that more than 246 billion emails would be sent worldwide. Look at the graph below, the numbers speak for themselves and the message is clear, “Please, no more emails!”

    On top of all that, the most important information sent in an email is lost, deleted, forgotten, or ignored. And that’s because employees are frustrated with the number of emails they receive, and hey, it makes perfect sense. No one wants to spend every morning sifting through an ocean full of emails!

    CONNECTEAM TIP: An employee communication app like Connecteam offers organizations a way to avoid sending mass emails, endless email chains, and avoids irrelevant “cc” threads.

    3. Using The Wrong Tools

    Once upon a time, communication was only given and received through phone calls, emails, newspapers, hand-written letters, and instant messenger like AIM. That seems like decades ago because each method was the communication mode of the decade.

    However, in today’s world, a mobile phone is the primary communication tool. In fact, a study found that a smartphone is the first thing we pick up when we wake up and the last thing we look at before we go to bed. And most people are inclined to check their mobile phone 85 times a day, the same study found.

    This is why solutions like Connecteam’s communication app are so innovative and used by various verticals around the world. Connecteam gets you where your employees are so you can engage and communicate with them on a channel they use on a regular basis.

    Connecteam’s robust features cover many team management needs so you can streamline communication, engage employees, limit knowledge losses, and improve employee productivity.

    Connecteam Work chat
    • Employee Recognition and Acknowledgment: celebrate employee or group success and allow for likes and comments to push engagement and allow everyone to take part in the achievement. Create employee spotlights releases, an employee of the month recognition, celebrate employee anniversaries, share birthday wishes, welcome new hires, and announce promotions.
    • Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates: engage your employees by sharing regular updates on organizational milestones such as new customers, exceeding a goal or KPI set, upcoming company events, etc.
    • Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: easily send targeted surveys to specific groups or individuals, conduct anonymous surveys, get insights into overall rankings and statistics of survey results, open a suggestion box so feedback and insights can be shared at any time, and start a live poll (anonymous or not) on any topic like where should the next company event be or who’s your favorite superhero?
    • Wellness & Benefits: provide key information in one place that employees can access whenever is needed and get everyone to register for company events while on the go.
    • Work Chat & Fun Communication: use GIFs for interactive content, allow your team to like and comment to interact with the content, or create a structured organizational environment with one-way announcements or content administration.
    • Measurable Communication: immediately know who did and didn’t read your content, send targeted messages, allows for specific followups, pre-scheduled messages, and send automated reminders and notifications.

    Reinvent Communication & Engagement

    Reach every team member with fun and measurable communication. Engage like never before, reflect your company’s culture, and solidify your employer branding with Connecteam’s employee communication and engagement app.

    4. No Visibile Direct Line of Communication

    You have to relay information, updates, and anything else to your employees. Don’t be the kind of manager who doesn’t share anything, or worse, forgets to! And don’t wait for the higher-ups to do it because there’s a slim chance that will actually happen.  

    In addition, employees need to be heard as well and when they have the opportunity to do so, they become more invested and engaged. Employees should be able to easily share suggestions, share their problems, and talk about their day. 

    Additionally, ensure that you are sharing clear goals and priorities with all relevant parties to increase collaboration.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: As such, you should create a direct line that allows your employees to make suggestions, share issues and problems, and have a safe space to talk about their day – Connecteam allows for all of this and more. Plus, Connecteam allows for a “personal touch” so that senior leadership can share videos from the CEO to every single employee. This offers an easy way for front line employees to directly approach senior management, and even HR, in a structured and controlled environment.

    5. Too Many Phone Calls

    Phone calls might be the simplest way for managers to reach their employees and manage their day-to-day business needs, however, too many work calls disrupt productivity. Research has proven that when you get an unplanned call, it will take you a full 23 minutes to recover and get to what you were doing in the first place. As far as internal communication problems go, too many emails and phone calls top the list of annoyances.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Connecteam communication app helps to eliminate phone call overload. Use the chat function for group or private messaging and media sharing. Create digital online forms to get structured data and history. Send updates straight to a mobile phone like announcements, birthday wishes, an employee of the month’s success,  and more.

    6. Onboarding New Employees

    Onboarding should be easy! We know it can be a time-consuming task, but it has to be done. Have a clear manual in place with all the rules and regulations laid out. Be sure to also introduce your new hires to the company’s social atmosphere so that they’ll feel more at ease. The “big things” and the “little things” matter when onboarding! Don’t just plop a big manual in front of them, instead take them out to lunch, make sure they’re greeted in a fun and nice manner by other employees, give them a mentor to learn more, and more. 

    checklist for new employee onboarding infographic

    Download our free onboarding checklist for first-day success. 

    By ensuring proper onboarding for all new hires, your organization and employees have increased productivity, are happier, and you save money by not needing to re-hire someone else.

    Follow our guide on how to ensure a smooth onboarding process from day one of the new hire lifecycle.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Connecteam features an online manual, including ones specially made for new employees that automatically opens as soon as they are granted access during their pre-boarding and onboarding phases. Create quizzes and track their performance, use adaptable libraries to create a knowledge hub that can be accessed at any time, and all activity is stored in the cloud so you can safely access all data results.

    7. Language Difficulties

    Don’t let a language barrier become an internal communication problem. Share information and news in many languages, offer easy translation options, and also encourage intercultural training. All of this will encourage a team environment and will help to avoid misunderstandings. While it might sound like a lot of work, it isn’t when you use an employee communication app. 

    CONNECTEAM TIP: An employee communication app allows you to change the language to the setting of the mobile device and switch in between languages if necessary so that you can avoid internal communication problems from festering. 

    8. You Aren’t Measuring Communication 

    It isn’t enough to just communicate with your employees. If you aren’t measuring your communication efforts then how can you know if you’re succeeding or failing?

    You can start by setting a baseline to really know what you’re measuring in order to determine how effective your efforts are. To learn more about how to measure internal communication, read our full guide outlining the process from A to Z.

    Now, let’s build a small example. Your company wants to improve its communication around health and safety, and in particular COVID-19 related matters. You create a health declaration form that’s available on everyone’s mobile devices, you initiate engagement methods, and you include checklists and safety forms to enhance documentation. This documentation makes up your mobile protocol library and includes important guidelines relating to health and safety that everyone can reach in the click of a button.

    overcome internal communication challenges with connecteam employee communication app
    Photo by fauxels from Pexels

    This way, whenever a crisis hits, you already have established processes in place so that you can monitor which employees you reached and how quickly they responded. As a result, you are able to keep track of safety incidents as well which helps improve internal communication challenges even further.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Take a targeted and measurable approach to communication: send real-time updates to your team or to designated team members. Gain visibility on who read your updates and who didn’t and have targeted follow-ups if needed. Make sure your important messages reach every single team member. Whether it’s a breaking announcement that can’t wait, a message from the CEO, or an operational update, keep your team informed and on the same page with Connecteam. 

    9. Irrelevant Information Overload

    Only communicate relevant information to relevant parties, not everyone needs to know everything. You have various departments, job locations, seniority levels, and so on within your organization so the information sharing must be balanced accordingly to ensure your employees are not being overwhelmed with countless information that doesn’t impact their day-to-day.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Connecteam allows you to create specific groups and channels that will help you to create specific user groups based on criteria like the location; project; team, etc. Therefore, you can send content accordingly so that no one receives irrelevant information. 

    10. Alienating Deskless & Remote Employees

    Your deskless and remote employees deserve to be a part of the conversation. Considering that 2.8% of workers are working remotely and given the nature of this post-corona environment, that number will grow as well.

    However, Gallup reported that a staggering 71% of remote employees are not actively engaged in their organization. And 85% said that the communication they receive just isn’t enough.

    When you have a lack of internal communication with your remote team, they can easily become isolated, feel undervalued, and will lack motivation.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Connecteam helps you streamline communication, limit unnecessary phone calls, and improve employee productivity with its robust communication features made especially for your remote workforce:

    11. Budget Issues

    When you want to develop your own internal communications, it can be highly expensive, resources can be lacking, and it just doesn’t seem worth it. And maybe you looked into company intranet options as a solution but nothing was in your price range.

    CONNECTEAM TIP: Connecteam is incredibly affordable and is available at a fixed monthly price ($39/month for up to 50 users), saving you tons of money while boosting internal communication. Or you can start with the free for life plan! 

    Read up on how to best choose the right internal communication app for your business here.

    Listen to how a field service company with 200+ employees utilizes Connecteam for daily internal communication & engagement!

    The Bottom Line On Internal Communication Problems

    It isn’t always easy to recognize poor communication before issues begin to spiral and blame is tossed around. It’s clear that strong internal communication strategies make it easier for goals to be achieved and for employees to be more productive and happy in what they do. The bottom line: good communication is THE key to your company’s wellbeing.

    Building an Effective Internal Communication Strategy (eBook)

    This eBook offers actionable tips and easy-to-implement strategies for managers looking to build and maintain an effective internal communication strategy. Download the eBook for free now!

    Download eBook for free
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