Most people understand the value of communication. However, internal communication in specific is often neglected because it doesn’t deal directly with clients. Apparently, two out of three employees report that the flow of communication in their office is poor. However, effective inter-office communication is vital for a productive and smooth running business.
Utilise an intranet
Make use of an intranet if possible. An intranet is like a private internet just for your employees. You and your employees will have access to the intranet only while you’re at work. So you can post company info without worrying who is going to read it. You can use an intranet to make important documentation readily available, whereas it might have gotten lost in employees inboxes. Many businesses post their policies, procedures, changes and information about upcoming events on the intranet.
The layout of the office used to be divided between private offices and compartmentalised cubicles. Now, however, the trend is shifting towards open floor plans and shared space. While people can still communicate via instant messages and emails, it can be so much more conducive to the exchange of ideas if you’re sharing a space with your colleagues. It’s even great for managers to stay in the loop of what’s really going on in the office, rather than being sheltered away somewhere in an ivory office.
Clearly delineate communication channels
Sometimes, employees lose track of who is responsible for what and who reports to whom in what circumstance. For instance, who is responsible for overseeing those in security jobs, or admin?
It might seem silly, but the property channels of communication or hierarchies of management can get muddled. Especially when a business grows very quickly. There’s an interesting story of a former tech giant who suffered a big fall after it got very successful very quickly. Basically, potentially large deals were lost because the departmental processes got so disorganised, that no one knew who to contact to get anything done.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by making sure everyone knows who is responsible for what, and what the correct communications channels are to get anything done.
The digital revolution is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you can instantly get in touch with anyone in the office no matter where they are, even if they work from home. On the other hand, online communication comes at a price, and that is real-time communication. Sometimes, email or instant messaging doesn’t make for as effective a medium for dialogue.
It’s great that you can talk to people so easily and through so many mediums, however, don’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face communication. Be sure to schedule in some face-to-face meetings now and then, especially when there’s a complex topic to talk about or when you want to brainstorm ideas.