Internal Communication Blog

Five ways to stop misinformation in the workplace

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

‘Fake news’ is not exclusive to social media. Nowadays, we must also be on our guard for misinformation in the workplace. Research shows that 59 to 64 percent of employees are concerned about fake news in the workplace. Rumors about company results or cutbacks can cause a lot of unrest. Fake news can also be used to question decisions and undermine leadership. Fortunately, strong internal communication can help you do something about misinformation!

In this blog, we discuss five ways internal communications can counter misinformation in the workplace.

Leaders must take the lead

Misinformation in the workplace is not always created with malicious intent. If there is too little communication from the organization, you might cause an ‘information vacuum’: employees don’t know what is going on due to the lack of information. Rumors and speculation will fill this void. It is up to the leaders within an organization, such as the CEO, department heads, product owners, and project leaders, to prevent this information vacuum from occurring in the first place.

The good news is that employees actually want leaders to communicate proactively. A whopping 92 percent of employees believe it is important for their CEO to speak out on important workplace issues. It also allows the leaders to take charge of the story they tell. If there is any bad news, they’ll have the opportunity to immediately explain in their own words what is going on and what it will mean for the organization. By communicating proactively, the CEO can stay ahead of rumors, and employees can be reassured as much as possible.

misinformation in the workplace

Netpresenter enables organization’s leaders to quickly broadcast a video message or share a link to an extensive blog post on SharePoint. All employees are literally just one click away, whether they are working in the office, at home, the production line, or even visiting a customer. In case of urgent news, you can even use a push notification to boost your message. Everyone will be informed right away!

Provide periodic updates

Yet leaders should not wait until issues arise. Keep employees informed with periodic updates on everything going on within the organization, even when things are going well. It will help keep everyone assured. You might want to inform employees about current projects or dive deeper into the current KPIs and whether we are still on track to meet company objectives.

Providing periodic updates doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Creating a message with Netpresenter is as easy as sending an email. Creating and publishing content isn’t reserved for just a few employees. When the sales department wants to elaborate on the latest results, the sales manager is probably the best person to do so. They might as well personally create a message and reach every employee of the organization. 

Use the power of repetition

Repetition is a powerful weapon in any form of communication. Marketers know better than anyone that you need a few attempts before a message will hit the right spot, and people will understand it. That also applies to internal communications.

For many organizations, repetition is even crucial in order to reach all employees. Employees work at different times and locations, might have a day off, work part-time, or are preoccupied, making them hard to reach with a one-off message. Meanwhile, non-desk employees require the use of different channels than office employees.

That’s why we recommend ‘gentle’ repetition via multiple channels. This approach will guarantee people will see and remember your message without having to interrupt their work. Everyone will get the message eventually through different devices and at different times, regardless of what they are doing and where they are working! Want to know more about the power of repetition? Be sure to read this blog post as well.

misinformation in the workplace

Provide a single source of truth

When dealing with an ongoing project or crisis, such as the corona crisis, it is important to provide a central place to keep track of everything that has happened. You don’t want to repeat yourself over and over again with each and every update, yet it is essential to create some sort of timeline so employees can look up what has happened so far.

You might want to consider creating a dedicated page on SharePoint to keep track of everything, much like a live blog. Such a dedicated page will solve multiple problems. Content managers only need to manage content in one place, minimizing the chance of errors and outdated information. On the other hand, employees will no longer have to scour different sources for info, as there is now one place where they can find everything they need on the matter at hand.

Yet, it is still a challenge to make employees aware the overview page even exists and notify them when it is updated with new information. Especially non-desk employees might have limited or even no access to SharePoint. To solve these problems, you can use our SharePoint integration to extend the reach of SharePoint. Employees no longer have to visit SharePoint to see if there’s anything new; messages will automatically come to them through many different channels. Even non-desk employees can read the messages on various devices, like television screens in the break room, regardless of whether they have access to SharePoint or not.

Even if you don’t use SharePoint, you can always manually add a hyperlink to messages on Netpresenter, making it as easy as possible for employees to click through to your central hub. You’ll combine the reliability of a single source with the strength of repeating messages through multiple channels!

Enable interaction

No matter how well you prepare your communication, people will always have questions and concerns. Those uncertainties will fuel rumors. That is why people must have the opportunity to respond and ask questions. It enables you to address the problems right away and stop the spread of misinformation.

With Netpresenter, you can embrace social interaction. Our app, for example, allows employees to comment directly below any message. If you prefer to use platforms like Teams or Workplace, our integrations will enable you to show conversations held on those platforms on public screens, so everyone can see what’s being discussed.

misinformation in the workplace

We even go one step further and support other forms of interaction. Such as pulse surveys to keep track of people’s feelings during organizational change, an extensive project, or an ongoing crisis. Pulse surveys are a convenient way for employees to indicate that they feel uncertain or anxious. They may not want to express these feelings publicly.

The results of pulse surveys provide valuable insight. You’ll know for sure whether everyone is satisfied and reassured or if you need to provide extra information on a particular subject to quench any lingering unrest.

Curious how to prevent disinformation in your organization with Netpresenter? Schedule a free demo or contact us. Or download our free guide to find the right communication tools to reach your employees.

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Luc Bormans

Luc Bormans, Netpresenter's head of Marketing, is an expert in the field of Marketing Communications. In his spare time Luc likes to cruise around in his Mini Cooper.