Internal communications are supposed to support how teams unify around interpreting information and making decisions. Yet often, internal communication can end up being misunderstood, forgotten, and even missed completely. Clear communication is critical, especially from a human resourcing point of view.
Are messages getting across, remembered, and communicated in the right way? Crafting your comms systems and processes around these 23 home truths will allow messages to be received loud and clear.
1. Clear communication saves time and money
Without it, working relationships break down and work can slip or be held up - from simple miscommunication, or not communicating when key information should be.
2. Asynchronous communication is most definitely not dead
Unplanned real-time communication can easily disrupt daily workflows. Slack and Teams can be like communicating with a pellet gun. Use asynchronous, written comms as your default (just try and phase out email as a default).
3. Group meetings are (usually) a waste of time
If a meeting is mainly a one-to-many (or few-to-many) one-way communication channel, use long-form writing, videos, or mixed media instead. Organizational time wasted increases with the number of participants, time taken, and frequency of meetings. Use them as sparingly as possible.
4. Limit scheduled one-on-one verbal meetings
One-on-one verbal meetings can be used to quickly relay important, personal, time-sensitive information for the receiver to think over / make decisions about. Think new project briefs, behavioral work issues, etc. Keep these meetings short and sweet, follow up straight afterwards with a written overview and other necessary materials.
5. One-way messages that can be hard to swallow need time/space for comments
For verbal comms, allow Q&A/discussion time at the end, as well as an open door/messaging facility for those who prefer to think over their replies. For written comms, a commenting field that you actively reply to. Messages that can be hard to swallow are better said in person. Without a commenting channel, staff will comment amongst themselves, with the potential to undermine others.
6. Following bad news immediately with good news feels cold-blooded
Spacing between bad news then good news matters. Spacing between good news then bad news matters a little less, especially if the bad news is urgent.