Are you finding it increasingly difficult to ensure your team is aligned and informed? Effective internal communication is the backbone of a thriving business environment, yet achieving it is becoming a complex challenge for many. A remarkable 58 percent of job holders in the U.S. report they can work remotely at least part of the time. That’s equivalent of 92 million people. With more people working remotely, lots of online meetings, and so much information online, it’s getting harder to make sure important messages are heard.

Nearly 50 percent of surveyed workers reported that ineffective communication impacted job satisfaction while 40 percent said it affected trust in leadership and their team. We need smart ways to talk to each other at work to keep everyone in the loop and working together well. Embracing best practices in internal communication is essential to keep employees engaged and informed, ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction.

The evolution of technology has transformed the way businesses operate, offering unprecedented flexibility and connectivity. However, this digital revolution brings its own set of hurdles. While we now have the tools to communicate across time zones and borders, the essence of clear and effective communication among team members remains a nuanced art. The key lies in leveraging these technologies wisely, tailoring communication strategies to meet the diverse needs of your team, and fostering an environment where every voice is heard and valued. Embracing these principles can help navigate the complexities of modern communication and drive your business forward.

Enhancing Internal Communication Across Generations

The promise of technology to streamline communication often leads to an increase in confusion and noise. Despite having an array of tools to convey visions and objectives, creating a transparent and cohesive workplace environment where employees feel empowered to voice concerns and access crucial information for their success remains a significant challenge.

Remember, the effectiveness of your communication often outweighs the content itself. If your messages are getting lost, it’s not necessarily because they lack value, but perhaps because they’re not cutting through the clutter. When communication breakdowns occur, it might be the approach, rather than the content, that’s at fault.

To bridge the communication gap across different generations within your team, consider the following strategies:

1. Direct Conversations

When issues arise, don’t wait for the rumor mill to take over. Address them directly with the concerned employees, ensuring that each conversation is tailored to the individual’s communication style and comfort level.

2. Diverse Communication Styles

Recognize and cater to the varied preferences within your team. For those who prefer face-to-face interactions, introduce “Email-Free Fridays” to promote in-person engagements like office lunches or coffee breaks. For email enthusiasts, consider sending special offers to engage them.

3. Promote Open Dialogue

Facilitate brainstorming sessions and ensure ideas and information are captured both on visible platforms like whiteboards and digital tools such as Evernote.

Understanding and adapting to the different working and personality styles of your employees can significantly enhance team dynamics. By acknowledging these differences and adjusting your management approach accordingly, you’ll foster a more engaged and motivated workforce.

6 Best Practices for Effective Internal Communication

So, how do you go about creating a culture of more effective internal communication? Here are six best practices we’ve seen from partnering with organizations in almost every industry:

1. Ditch Email for a Project Management or Collaboration Platform

The average office employee receives approximately 121 emails every single day. If email is your primary way of sharing important information or collaborating with your team, messages are likely falling through the cracks.

Email has its benefits, but internal communication is not one of them. If you want to improve communication and collaboration, consider a project management or collaboration tool for teams to communicate with each other.

2. Design Visuals for Important Concepts, Values, or Initiatives

Sixty-five percent of employees are visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network. If this is true, then communicating important concepts, such as your organizational values or important annual initiatives, might “stick” more effectively when they’re communicated visually.

Rather than distributing a bullet point list of your values or annual goals, find a designer to help you convey that information in an easy-to-digest manner. It will likely have a more lasting impression than text.

3. Don’t Forget to Include What’s In It for Them

Is your staff not reading your memos? Do they forget what you communicated in the last company email? Are they not changing a behavior or practice you wanted to improve? It might be because they didn’t understand how it would help them.

Whenever you’re communicating a critical policy or initiative that requires buy-in from employees, you can’t forget to include what’s in it for them. How will it make their lives better? How will it help them be more effective at their job? These are important questions to consider when communicating with employees.

4. Find a System that Works for Your Team, but Don’t Be Afraid to Tweak It

There’s no “one size fits all” communication process that works for every organization. In fact, different teams within an organization might use different processes to communicate effectively.

Finding a system that works for your team is an essential principle for your managers and team leaders to understand. At the same time, always encourage them to adjust or abandon a system if it starts hurting more than helping. For example, your team might need to conduct a daily 10-minute stand-up meeting while working on an important project. But, don’t host a daily stand-up meeting simply for the sake of hosting it. Instead, focus on sending the right information to the right people at the right time.

5. Set Expectations Prior to Meetings

We’ve all been in meetings that could have easily been an email. It’s one or two important nuggets, and then it devolves into tangents and side conversations. This happens most often when we don’t set expectations prior to getting together. Though it’s important for your employees to connect even on a personal level—especially when working remotely—it’s also important that they walk away from a meeting feeling that their time was well spent and that they have the information they need to do their jobs well.

Try scheduling each meeting with an agenda in mind. Let everyone know what you will be covering, request that they come prepared with updates and questions, and try to keep tangents to a minimum. It helps to have one person leading the meeting, so that they can monitor the flow of the conversation and ensure that all topics are covered appropriately.

6. Make Sure Employees Know They Can Come to You with Questions, Ideas, or Concerns

Having an “open-door policy” is not limited to the physical space. By opening the lines of communication and making sure employees know they can come to their manager or supervisor with questions or concerns, your team members will feel welcome rather than intimidated. Whether you’re a large corporation or a startup, this internal communications practice bridges gaps and helps build receptive, honest relationships between employees.

Improving Internal Communication is Worth It

Investing in what it takes to improve internal communication can seem like a lot of work. But, it’s worth the investment. It improves team morale and enhances employees’ ability to be effective. It reduces the number of missed opportunities, misunderstandings, and lost revenue because of miscommunication.

At LBMC Employment Partners, we understand the intricacies of these challenges and the impact they can have on your business objectives. That’s why our PEO services are designed to support your teams in overcoming these hurdles. Our experts are equipped to provide tailored solutions that can transform your internal communication processes, ensuring that your organization not only meets but exceeds its goals.

Don’t let communication barriers hold your company back. Reach out to LBMC Employment Partners today and discover how our PEO services can be the catalyst for positive change in your organization. Let’s work together to create a thriving workplace where every member of your team can excel. Connect with us now to begin this transformative journey.