- March 31, 2022
- Posted by: Chase LaChimia
- Category: Organization and Processes
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
Challenges with internal communication are evident in every type and size of organization, from small business to big government. Inadequate communication creates information silos and leads to the bystander effect. Duplication of effort, low morale, and “that’s not my job” attitude combine to lessen productivity, and, as these examples illustrate, ultimately risk organizational failure.
1) WeWork Co-Founder and CEO Adam Neumann fostered a culture that discouraged information sharing and transparency, leading, in 2019, to the commercial real estate company’s dramatic breakdown.
2) In 2018, poor internal reporting and the absence of honest feedback led to the resignation of several top male executives at Nike over treatment of women in the workplace.
3) At the macro level, consequences of bad internal communication even have U.S. national security implications: at least three different intelligence and homeland security entities failed to share information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, architect of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, who had been recently radicalized overseas.
Effective internal communication:
- Keeps your people informed and engaged. People are the lifeblood of any organization. If employees are conversant and connected, they will perform their jobs and look for ways to propel the organization forward.
- Influences organizational culture. Employees that regularly receive top-down information from leadership and collaborate often with each other will develop an appreciation for the organization’s mission, why it matters, and what it stands for.
- Encourages honest discussion and debate. Listening and genuinely caring is one of leaders’ most important jobs. Employee opinions matter and they tell discerning leaders volumes about the organization, its problems, innovations, solutions, health, and future.
For leaders, successful internal communication is crucial to a highly functioning organization. Messages to the workforce should be planned, deliberate, straightforward, and in support of a specific goal or vision. Inconsistent, nebulous, and excessive information underserves the organization by confusing the workforce and reducing the trust necessary for effective communication. Leaders should include metrics whenever possible and provide feedback channels. Anonymous employee engagement surveys are a useful way to gauge interest organization-wide and an opportunity for leaders to learn what isn’t being said at meetings.
It is also incumbent on leaders to encourage cross-departmental communication. One way to accomplish this is hosting regular team meetings or Q&A sessions where departments can share information, collaborate, and voice opinions or concerns. Over time, these habits and practices become an essential part of the organization’s culture, where regular internal communication is not only encouraged but vital to its success. Employees want to know the organization’s leaders are transparent, understanding, and providing their people with every means to be successful. Effective internal communication is critical to achieving this employee satisfaction and ultimately a high performing organization.
“We are stronger when we listen, and smarter when we share.” – Rania Al-Abdullah
About KSA Integration
KSA Integration, LLC, is a Service- Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that was founded by LtGen Keith Stalder (USMC, Ret.) and Bryan Altmire in November 2010. KSA Integration offers a comprehensive portfolio of support capabilities in three critical areas: 1) Data Analytics, 2) Warrior Care, and 3) Business Process Improvement. For more information visit us at www.ksaintegration.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.