5 most common mistakes in internal communications

You know it's time to implement a cohesive internal communications strategy, but what should be a relatively simple process can cause as many problems as it solves. Here's our round up of the top 5 internal communications mistakes, and how to avoid them.

The smallest businesses can share information organically and very easily but larger enterprises with disparate teams who are aren't in the same office, or even in the same country can run in to trouble when it comes to communication. Messages get lost and no one knows what anyone else is doing. The result is duplication of effort, and unnecessary man hours spent trying to find information that should be freely available. You know it's time to implement a cohesive internal communications strategy, but what should be a relatively simple process can cause as many problems as it solves. Here's our round up of the top five internal comms mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1) Don't Be Old Fashioned.

Ideas like 'cascading' (informing top management, who brief the next level down, etc.) and desk drops have no place in the modern office. Dripped down briefings get diluted resulting in the essence of the message getting lost and who needs another piece of paper that will end up in the recycling 0.5 seconds after receiving it? Instead the center piece to a well thought out internal communications strategy should be an intranet which allows all employees to view it from everywhere, on any device. Make it cloud based and all those satellite staff working from home, on site or with customers can see exactly the same page as their office based colleagues.

2) Not having a plan.

Failing to plan is, well, planning to fail. Deciding to make a conscious effort to communicate more is always a good idea, but what you say and how that communication happens is just as important. Make a list of the channels at your disposal - this might include the intranet, email, notes in payslips, internal messaging systems, face to face briefings, newsletters and the old classics, like the back of restroom doors. Understand which groups each method reaches. Then start with the business plan for the year. What do employees need to know and when? Drop in regular events like quarterly results and fit less time sensitive information around it.

3) Too much information.

By planning carefully, it's possible to avoid inundating staff with constant messages. Select channels wisely and send out only what people need to see. Better still, segment the audience appropriately so only the accounts team get the finance messages specific to them or only those attending the Christmas party get the note about dress code. Best practice internal communications should tell each employee what they need to know, not kill an hour of their day as they wade through a daily tranche of information.

4) Failing to Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Remember that presentation skills workshop where they told you: "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and tell 'em again"? The same mantra works in internal comms. Reinforcement is key to retaining information. So tease the message, tell the story and follow it up. For variety, use more than one channel so repeated information doesn't get boring.

5) Not Measuring Results.

As part of the planning process, work in metrics so you can effectively see how well campaigns are going. Track how many clicks articles on the intranet gets and whether that changes when you tease the story on another channel. Work an A/B split with a different headline served up to one half to see what wording resonates the most and survey staff for spontaneous recall of that day's intranet news stories.

Done right, good internal communications can increase productivity, save time and make employees feel better connected to their colleagues and the business. Forbes reports that "companies with highly effective communication practices enjoy 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared with the firms that are least effective at communicating".

So it's time to ask yourself – "Does my intranet do enough to facilitate the businesses' communication leads?" Then imagine an out of the box solution that can do it all and be up and running in six weeks – doesn't that sound good? And that's not all; Unily incorporates all the features that 80% of business users say they need in an intranet so the chances are it has what you need.

Talk To Us

Upcoming events

View all

Latest news

  • Unily launches new report: Future Of The Workplace 2030+

    This week Unily launched a new report in partnership with Kjaer Global exploring the impact of technology, AI and cultural shifts on the future of the workplace in 2030 and beyond.

  • Rising digital workplace star Unily attracts $68m growth investment

    Unily, the leading digital workplace platform today announces it has attracted a $68 million growth investment from Silversmith Capital Partners and Farview Equity Partners. Post investment, Silversmith and Farview will hold a significant minority stake in the business and with board representation will support the existing management team on its ambitious international growth strategy.

  • Unily Intranet Masterclass Auckland: An Event Round-Up

    With a reported 87% of employees not engaged in their work, the need for businesses to develop employee engagement has never been greater. Unily’s exclusive masterclass; ‘How to maximize employee engagement with an intranet’ aims to address this by showcasing how organisations can use a digital workplace to create engaging employee experiences.

View all

Where next? Latest insights.

5 reasons employee experience should be the focus of your enterprise right now

According to the 2018 Talent Trends Report, 51% of ​employers planned to boost their spending on employee initiatives in 2019 and a significant percentage of this investment will go into technology. Why are so many companies investing in employee experience initiatives and what benefits does a strong employee experience bring to the modern enterprise?

Why intranets are key to unlocking employee engagement

A universal message from the general email address blasted to all employees can have the same effect as stapling a memo to the bulletin board in the break room. Your people may take a half-hearted glance, but are they engaged? In this blog, we explore how intranets, and more specifically targeting and personalization, are helping to power authentic engagement with internal communications.

3 HR problems your intranet can solve

20% of all intranet projects are now being led by HR. Why? Because, when leveraged correctly, a modern digital workplace is a powerful HR tool capable of increasing efficiency, improving the employee experience, and solving some of the most pressing challenges facing the department today. In this blog, we consider some of the ways an intranet can benefit HR.

SUBSCRIBE. To our insights.

The latest digital workplace news, events, guides and case studies.