Aria is our new AI-powered virtual assistant, which will revolutionise how businesses communicate with their people. In our blog, we share the advantages of using AI and how they can save internal communicators time when crafting communications this Christmas period.
Common Internal Comms Challenges [How to Beat Them]
Effective communication is essential to a company’s success.
It affects just about every aspect of the business including employee engagement, customer satisfaction, employee happiness and the overall perception of the organisation.
Sometimes it can be hard to recognise poor communication in the workplace before the damage is done.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Fortunately, internal communication software such as an employee engagement app can help you navigate through miscommunication issues.
In this blog we’ll cover:
- Common Communication Challenges in Organisations
- The Digital Divide
- Employee Feedback
- Employee Onboarding
- Email Overload
- Too Many Devices
- Information Silos
- Communication Challenges by Industry
- Communication Problems in Enterprises
- Communication Problems in Healthcare
- Communication Problems in Construction
- Communication Problems in Manufacturing
Common Communication Challenges in Organisations
Let's take a look at the top communication challenges and how to beat them:
The Digital Divide
The digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don't or have restricted access. This technology can include mobile phones, television, personal computers and internet connectivity.
A report by The Century Foundation in 2020 highlighted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 42 million Americans lacked the ability to purchase broadband; a situation worsened by the pandemic.
This is the digital divide.
Since so many workers are now working from home most of the time, it’s essential that employees have access to the tools they need to perform their best work.
Poor performing connections and technologies can damage productivity and performance in the workplace.
So how can organisations fix the digital divide for remote and hybrid workers?
Although internal communications and employee experience platforms tools cannot fix the situation entirely. It gives the opportunity for senior leaders, HR, and communicators to create corporate communications strategies that can at least work to bring teams together in understanding and collaborative work.
This would meet the goal of most communicators, to increase engagement, to improve employee experience, and to optimise company culture.
Recommended Reading 📖: 11 Simple Tips to Improve Internal Communication
Feedback is vital for an employees’ development as it correlates very closely with employee engagement in the workplace. Not only does it help determine how well your employees have met their goals, but it also shows how well they collaborate with their teams, their co-workers, and their managers.
A lack of feedback may result in lower employee engagement rates in the workplace.
In fact, there is 14.9% lower turnover rates in companies that implement regular employee feedback.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of employee feedback, let’s take a look at ways you can improve it in your workplace.
The key takeaway is to make it easy!
Using your company intranet is a simple and effective way for employees to give feedback and make it feel like second nature.
Pulse Surveys & polls are also great collaborative tools designed to increase employee engagement, productivity and efficiency.
Companies no longer have to gather information and feedback by email, but can start a poll on their intranet. It may be used to get an understanding of what your people want, involve more employees in conversations or inspire content. By targeting specific employees, polls can generate data or content that could be reused.
Not having any onboarding process in place can cause a number of negative consequences for both the employee and employer.
According to a 2017 study from CareerBuilder, 16% of HR managers said it lowers their company's productivity, 14% said it brings on greater inefficiencies and 12% said it leads to higher employee turnover.
Why not extend a warm welcome to build off the excitement of your recruitment process and offer, and provide a smooth transition from candidate to a new hire?
It might also be wise to get the paperwork out of the way so your employee’s first day can be filled with celebration, introductions, and early learning.
A perfect way to engage your new employees is through a company intranet such as Oak. You can set up a new starter hub and ensure all documentation and information such as company policies and uniform information is stored here for ease of access.
Did you know that most companies are still using email as their number one channel of communication?
The average professional spends 28% of the work day reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis. For the average full-time worker, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent and 120 messages received per day.
This has a huge impact on productivity and performance.
Combining everything into one single channel in order to cut down email overload is an easy way to streamline messages.
An employee mobile app like Oak provides companies with a place to share information via messenger, whether it be singular or group chats. This is a good way of avoiding sending mass emails.
Recommended Reading 📖: Social Intranets: A Beginners Guide
Too Many Devices
Technology has evolved. Gone are the days of only using a desktop computer. Employees now use laptops, mobile phones, tablets and more.
So getting information to your workforce on the right device can be tricky.
Solutions like Oak gives employees a responsive, dynamic and secure app to access everything you need. The mobile intranet offers users the exact same experience as the desktop app. Keeping both deskless and office workers up to date with company news and information.
An average person in the UK spends 148 minutes on a smartphone. So why not make sure you’re making use of this communication method in your company?
Information silos is a term used for situations when information just gets lost. This is one of the main problems that large organisations are facing.
In fact, according to Planview the average team wastes more than 20 hours per month due to poor collaboration and communication. That’s 6 workweeks per year that teams are not being productive.
So what can you do to reduce this?
First of all, it’s important to know which information actually needs to be shared and where it needs to go. It’s useful to create different groups on your company intranet to communicate specific information to the right employees.
With Oak, employees can collaborate on company projects anytime, anywhere. Departmental or company wide. Hubs allow you to create areas for effective teamwork and communication in seconds.
Each hub or community has its own timeline, providing employees with updates on recent news or discussions.
Communication Challenges by Industry
Communication Problems in Enterprises
With a worker's mow working from home most of the time, the lines between office hours and employees’ personal lives have been blurred. It’s been regularly reported throughout the pandemic that an overwhelming majority of people are spending more time in the office, as it’s now located within their home.
Because of this employees risk being overconnected.
Having too many channels of communication can cause a decrease in productivity. This is where an all-in-one intranet softwares comes in to help.
Integrated intranet software increases productivity, improves communication, and boosts knowledge sharing. Oak supports organisations with large numbers of remote and deskless workers.
Built-in content targeting and intranet design tools give staff that personal touch, meaning employees are not overloaded with irrelevant information.
Keep your frontline workers engaged without the need to access a desktop application.
Communication Problems in Healthcare
The healthcare industry still faces communication challenges that can cause operational, reputational, financial and strategic risk.
Many are still using outdated technology such as faxes, radios and telephones that just won't provide quick and effective information to large groups of employees.
These types of tools only work as a one-to-one communication which requires manual replication to get the information round to everyone.
Instead, employees would benefit from a critical communications product that allows the facility to send instant messages to entire groups such as nursing staff or target a specific department.
At Oak, we empower organisations to improve communication, boost connectivity and centralise information for healthcare industries. It's important to create a centralised digital space for employees to connect.
It’s essential to create a centralised digital space for employees to connect. Oak is designed to facilitate a more streamlined operation within any industry.
In healthcare, this helps to adapt to a more modern and holistic undertaking of day to day operations.
Patients never stop needing medical supervision when they are in a hospital. Therefore, if you are left shorthanded, you will need to quickly fill the shift. Making manual calls to off-duty employees is an ineffective, slow process.
So how can you make this process quicker?
Push notifications through mobile intranet apps help to relay information quickly. As well as instant messaging where employees can reply to a shift that needs to be covered.
Speed and access is key to keeping healthcare workers aware of updates relating to their role.
Communication Problems in Construction
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), poor communication is the primary reason why projects fail one-third of the time. In projects with minimally effective communications, only 37% of the projects were completed on time, only 48% were completed within budget and just 52% met their original goals.
How does that compare to projects which had highly effective communication?
Seventy-one percent of these projects finished on time, 76% were completed within budget and 80% of them met their original goals.
Lack of communication in the construction industry is increasingly becoming a problem.
Inconsistent reporting, incomplete reporting, unclear reporting - all of these can lead to mistakes that can cause project delays and the cost overruns.
Clear, concise messages can help avoid confusion for workers. With an all-in-on platform such as Oak, all information relating to projects is available in a central location. With the extranet, you can also share the relevant information with external contractors.
This helps all stakeholders to understand the tasks at hand and be more aligned.
Poor communication in the construction industry can also cause unnecessary delays.
It can take several forms, such as delays in the flow of information, directing communication to the wrong person or area, and unclear communication leading to confusion or wrong interpretation.
It can be a challenge to keep information accessible - especially with projects running alongside each other. However, a company intranet will integrate with your most trusted 3rd party apps, enabling you to keep everything you need in one central location.
No more miscommunication, lost files or duplicated content. Employees can have everything they need, where they need it.
No more miscommunication, lost files or duplicated content. Employees can have everything they need, where they need it.
Communication Problems in Manufacturing
The manufacturing workforce can be more difficult to reach than workforces in many other industry sectors, which makes communication with manufacturing employees quite challenging.
Often, manufacturing employees are in environments where they don’t have ready access to desktop computers where traditional internal communications materials are sent. They can be based in factories or plants, warehouses and other non desk based facilities where they make products and ship them.
Poor communication in manufacturing can lead to:
- Costly mistakes
- Negative customer outcomes
- Potential legal issues
- Reduced productivity
- Lower Profits
So, how can you stop this from happening?
A mobile company intranet accommodates deskless workers by providing them with a secure app. Mobile connectivity allows for versatile communication and instant company updates through push notifications.
Through Oak’s mobile app you can give employees the ability to be connected to the business wherever they are. For onsite, deskless or travelling workers, mobile accessibility is vital in this industry.
Want to know more?
An Intranet software is an essential tool to break down communication barriers, improve collaboration and drive productivity. The first stage of any intranet project is to find the ways that an intranet can benefit your business.
Further Reading 📖: 7 Uses of an Intranet [You & Your Employees Will Love]