Improving the Internal Communications
of your Business

See also: Motivation Skills

A lack of communication in the workplace can be problematic. But is it actually indicative of a bigger problem within your organisation?

Employees who feel reassured and confident enough to express themselves clearly to team members and upper management are the fuel that drives your business forward. But if they don’t feel that their trust and respect are reciprocated, that momentum will quickly slow, affecting your productivity in the process.

Internal communications can be analysed through one simple but extremely important question - are your channels of communication failing you, or is there a lack of trust, confidence and understanding across all levels of your business?

In this article, we’ll explore how your internal communications can become as effective as your client communications - how compassion and openness can unify your employees and your objectives, creating a work culture that accentuates the individualities of each team member, for the benefit of your entire company.

Implement a culture of mutual respect and openness

The role of the leader is to foster mutual respect and build a complementary team where each strength is made productive and each weakness irrelevant.

Stephen Covey

Anyone can pay lip service to mutual respect in an email or spreadsheet, but how are you applying your communication skills in person to show your team how important it truly is?

Openness and respect aren’t just about comforting and reassuring people - it’s about realising how each of us perceives the world. Many classes and cultures have different perceptions of what is deemed inappropriate.

For some, workplace ‘banter’ is a way to bond and create friendships, while others may see it as offensive. Some cultures consider being direct extremely rude, while many western cultures value the direct approach.

Encourage people to ask questions

We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.

James Stephens

The differences listed above can breed mistrust across all levels of your business. All it takes is one or two miscommunications for a person or department to be labelled as ‘difficult’ or ‘rude’. And if these cultural differences aren’t taken into account, this seed of doubt can grow deep roots internally.

But if you encourage a culture where questions and differing opinions are welcome, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of the root cause of a problem, but you’ll have also made your own skillset richer by learning why someone felt their method, opinion, or point of view was the best choice.

Internal tip: If you happen to discover a better method of doing something or a clearer route of communication through these questions, be sure to celebrate those innovative ideas and methods. By making it clear that differences are a good thing, you’ll help your team to feel more confident in asking questions of their own.

Adapt your communication style according to each situation

All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.

Bruce Lee

Culture and class aren’t the only social differences that exist in a business. Many introverts are considered antisocial or rude, simply for being a little less outgoing than others at work. But if you truly want to embrace all communication styles to unify them under one clear goal, you’ll need to make an effort to adapt your style for each of these types.

Different sectors of a business are key factors here too. There shouldn’t be the same communication process and procedure for a small spillage in your warehouse, a typo in an administrative email, and failing to double-check some invoice details for a top client. Consider the variables, and stay flexible.

Internal tip: Introverts tend to feel more confident in one-on-one chats, while extroverts may prefer having a group to share some ideas and overcome obstacles with. Try to remain flexible to both kinds of people.

Strive to make real connections

I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.

Gina Bellman

Improving the communications of departments and team members won’t mean much without the final piece of the puzzle - trust and understanding between employees and management.

When the next management training session occurs, be sure to raise this as an essential part of keeping everyone on the same page.

Scratch beneath the surface of those brief Monday morning hellos and find ways to connect with staff. When employees trust their managers, they’re more likely to communicate better and understand processes.

Internal tip: One of the biggest reasons for employees failing to report a mistake is due to the fear of repercussions, or not trusting the people above them. Cultivating a healthier relationship here can save you costly errors down the road.

Create a method of information or knowledge sharing

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.

Marilyn Vos Savant

Make sure you have one place online that’s purely for sharing ideas, information, and knowledge. It gives your staff members a voice and lets some of the more introverted team members shine away from the pressures of in-person group meetings.

Think of this platform as a blank canvas for your team members to fill with their own unique ideas and interests. As the observer, you can stand back and see the bigger picture of where the true advantages of your business lie - communication, support, and clear goals.

Internal tip: A good project management tool can facilitate creative and insightful communications while keeping projects on track, on time, and clearly set out across multiple areas of your business. This helps to reduce miscommunication and errors over the course of a project.

Celebrate differences and play to the strengths of others

Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.

M. Scott Peck

Chances are that your company has a wide range of people from different backgrounds, classes, and cultures. And while these unique individuals can be a huge advantage to your business, they can also be a potential obstacle if that culture of understanding hasn’t been properly nurtured.

Accentuate those strengths, and if you’ve effectively implemented all of the points above, you’ll have created the ultimate roadmap for mutual respect, clear and concise communication, and consistency across all levels of your company.

Internal tip: A clearly defined goal or task can unify a team and put all of those differences to good use. Never forget that good communication always begins at the top. So, lead by example, keep communications clear, and watch your team achieve faster results.

About the Author

Aislinn Carter is a freelance writer and small business owner living in Hallandale, Florida. She has extensive experience in writing across a number of different verticals, with a specialism for business management and professional development related content.