Internal Communications Challenges and How to Solve Them
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
The most prevalent internal communications challenges in organizations, from small startups to global enterprises, are so widespread that handling them can start to feel like a routine. Forgetting that internal communications challenges can significantly influence your employees’ productivity and your organization’s success can be easy. However, with the right tools, addressing the most common challenges can be easy, too. An employee communications platform may be the solution to your challenges.
Let us look at the most common internal communication challenges and learn how you can overcome them with an employee communications platform:
Table of contents
- 1. Email Fatigue is a common internal communication challenge
- 2. Lack of Communication is the biggest internal communication challenge
- 3. Reaching Frontline Employees
- 4. Reaching a Dispersed Workforce
- 5. Generating Intranet Traffic is an uncommon internal communication challenge
- 6. Lack of Leadership Communication
- 7. Overload of Irrelevance
- 8. Device Preferences
- 9. No Measurement Methods
- 10. Engaging Your Workforce
1. Email Fatigue is a common internal communication challenge
Most organizations still use email as one of their most important methods of communication. However, according to a Superhuman survey, 38 percent of office workers said they would consider leaving their job because of ’email fatigue’ and overflowing inboxes. If you want to keep your workforce happy and retain your employees, it is important to cut down on general mass emails to all in your organization.
It is more efficient to use other communication channels, designed to bring relevant information to your workforce fast, seamlessly, and without extra effort for your employees. Deploying various communications channels such as digital signage, a corporate screensaver, and an employee app provides your staff a choice to consume information from their preferred channel. It will bring valuable information to your employees while you avoid sending mass emails – which will keep your workforce informed and engaged
2. Lack of Communication is the biggest internal communication challenge
Too many emails, messages, and information are not desirable; neither is too little communication. Employees can get seriously dissatisfied with their jobs if their organization does not provide enough information. Changes that are not communicated to employees, managers who do not communicate with their teams, information silos between teams and departments or updates on new guidelines or products: these are all moments that should be covered with internal communication to the right employees.
A direct line to every employee in your organization can fill this communication gap. An employee communications platform can form this direct line. It provides your employees with relevant, accurate, and real-time information. It enables employees to choose their preferred communication channel: TV, PC, or mobile device. Social features like a comment section in a mobile app can be a place where your staff can ask questions, talk about problems, or interact with one another. The right channels will keep your workforce connected, informed, and in the know, wherever they are.
3. Reaching Frontline Employees
Frontline employees are critical to customer satisfaction and success. They are your storytellers, your brand ambassadors, and your opportunity for influencing customers. That is why engaging and empowering your frontline workers is crucial – and an internal communication challenge if you have no way to reach them easily and constantly with the information and communication they need, which many organizations do not. Your frontline employees are a hard-to-reach audience, that is even harder to engage and include. An employee communications platform with multiple communications channels can offer help, as some of our customers quickly discovered in their search for a method to reach their frontline.
“Netpresenter is an essential communication tool for Sky Lakes.”
John Gaede, Director of Information Services at our customer Sky Lakes Medical Center, views Netpresenter as ‘an essential communication tool’ for reaching their frontline employees: “Netpresenter has become a key tool in our communication pathway. We have multiple communication methods, and not every person in the hospital is available to receive every form of media. For example, our clinical staff does not always have access to overhead announcements or email – but they all use PCs. Netpresenter is our primary channel of communication for these clinicians. Whenever we use Netpresenter, we inform them with messaging that they need in real-time. For those reasons, we view Netpresenter as an essential communication tool for Sky Lakes. It is not the only communication path we have, but it certainly is unique in what it does for us.’
4. Reaching a Dispersed Workforce
Your organization may now be a mix of employees working from home, working remotely, working in factory halls or on shop floors, working at your customer’s sites, or even working from another country. Reaching this geographically dispersed workforce can be quite the internal communication challenge. It is a hard puzzle to solve without multiple communication channels: your information and your communication channels should be tailored and targeted for your various audience groups. This way, you keep your information relevant and the employee experience seamless and effortless.
An omnichannel employee communications platform such as Netpresenter can help you truly reach your complete workforce, wherever they are. Your corporate app reaches your employees on the go; the corporate screensaver informs the part of your workforce that sits behind their desks (whether at the office or remote); digital signage screens in public areas such as a factory hall or lunchroom will reach your collar workers. You can create and send messages from one content management system to any connected device in the world. A lack of relevance can be solved by targeting your content with our targeting feature. Netpresenter allows you to create multiple categories, which we call sites or channels. With multiple channels connected to specific devices, you target content to specific locations, departments, or teams to make sure your content is always relevant to every employee.
“Our intranet has never been more popular”
5. Generating Intranet Traffic is an uncommon internal communication challenge
Your intranet can form a reliable flow of relevant information and news for your employees. It helps employees stay in the know and connects across departments and silos. However, the intranet can only do this for your organization if employees know what you publish and where to find specific information. Many of our customers came across our platform in their search for a method to increase intranet traffic. They found a solution in our SharePoint Integration. It made our customer Rotterdam World Gateway‘s intranet ‘more popular than ever,’ according to Niels Dekker, Public Affairs & Communication Manager at RWG.
Niels explains: ‘We have put up large screens in both our office buildings and our container terminal. Netpresenter automatically displays a condensed version of our intranet on these screens. We also use the screensaver to display intranet news items on their computers automatically. Employees can simply click on the item, and it will redirect them to the full news item on the intranet. Our intranet’s popularity and traffic have increased considerably; intranet messages are truly read more.’
6. Lack of Leadership Communication
Organizations with healthy internal communication strategies involve all levels of their organizations, including leadership. Additionally, healthy internal communication involves constant communication. Consistency is important: if your leaders only communicate with employees when change is afoot, or problems arise, your staff will start to fear leadership communication. Instead, it should be standard for employees to hear what’s going on. A genuine connection and sense of loyalty and trust arise only when your employees regularly hear from those at the top.
With an employee communications platform, you will connect every employee directly to your executive leaders and align your workforce with your vision, strategy, and goals. You turn your leaders into a focal point by equipping them with a platform that provides a transparent source of truth, and you reduce the emotional distance between your workforce and your leaders. A platform like Netpresenter that has various communications channels such as digital signage, a corporate screensaver, and a mobile app will enable your leaders to reach every employee, from front-office to factory workers, wherever they are. Social features or an integration with Microsoft Teams allow your leaders to make small and personable efforts in a ‘public’ digital space, solving your internal communication challenge.
7. Overload of Irrelevance
The ease of sending messages and the proliferation of communication channels have created an environment of irrelevance and information overload. Each day, employees are flooded with communication of little relevance and low value. This overload of irrelevance will only lead to your employees ignoring your communication and getting irritated with any messages, as they will not have any added value.
You can easily make your messages relevant with our targeting feature. Research your audience, segment them by needs and employee group, and communicate relevant messages to employees. Send personalized content to specific groups like departments, teams, or (office) buildings. If your messages are relevant to your employees, not only will they genuinely read them, they will be happy to receive them as they help them do their job better.
8. Device Preferences
Nowadays, there are many employee communications tools and channels. However, your colleagues will probably avoid the tools they do not feel comfortable using for whatever reason. If this happens, your message will not reach employees, and your efforts will be in vain. To make sure your messages reach employees, give them the chance to use a device that they are comfortable using. Individual preferences may vary. Some will want to use their computer; some will prefer getting the information on their mobile device; some will prefer short messages on digital signage screens.
Whatever device employees prefer, allow them to consume their communication from channels they are already using. This means you will probably need all the channels mentioned above as not all employees will want to use the same device. An omnichannel approach to communication is vital. The Netpresenter employee communication platform supports this omnichannel approach and provides you with all these channels without adding an extra workload for content creators and internal communicators. It enables content creators to create one message in their content management system, and it will push this message out to all your available channels. Zero extra effort but so much more effective, as our customer Catholic Health, can attest.
Juliana McCabe, Internal Communications Manager at Catholic Health, describes: “We wanted the ability to target entity-level messaging, which Netpresenter allows us to do. We now have a mix of entity-level and system-wide messaging, all highly coordinated, with a standard, branded look. Netpresenter helped us expand the reach of our communications and better manage and streamline them. The ability to simultaneously publish a message on three platforms—TV, PC, and app—gives us greater impact”
9. No Measurement Methods
Measuring internal communications efforts is an internal communication challenge many communication professionals face these days. However, just communicating with your workforce is not enough. If you can’t measure whether you’re reaching your communication goals and how your messages are performing, how will you know if your efforts are effective? Measurement matters: it is important for the improvement of your communications strategy.
With our statistics feature, you can collect relevant data to gain insight into the performance of your corporate content. Your statistics dashboard won’t only show you the reach and impact of your messages; it also gives you accurate information about the number of devices, the type of devices your message was shown on, and the Click Through Ratio. It also tells you the exact number of devices that are, or were, connected, how many of your messages are active, and the number of published messages. This way, you can create a content strategy that works for your organization or optimize what you’re already doing!
10. Engaging Your Workforce
Engaging employees is a top priority for organizations across the world. We think culture and engagement start with connection. Reaching, including, and seamlessly connecting with your employees will add to a smooth employee experience and help engage your employees. Creating a culture of transparency and recognition can empower your employees and make them feel like a valuable part of your organization. Engagement is driven by a sense of belonging within an organization. It’s about putting people first, which is an important factor in the culture of our customer Barenbrug.
Mirella van de Sant, Global Marketing Director at Barenbrug, explains how they use Netpresenter to drive their engagement levels: “Our company culture very much revolves around people. Taking care of each other is essential to us. We think people are very important; they make a difference in our company. To put people first in our company, we share all kinds of employees’ achievements through Netpresenter. We give attention to all kinds of projects: from sustainability projects to changes in packaging, people who have been in the news, extra training courses, good marketing campaigns. And I notice our colleagues are enthusiastic about that. They talk about the achievements we share. It gives them a sense of pride in their organization.”
Do any of these internal communication challenges sound familiar? And do you want to start solving them today? Schedule a free demo or get in touch with our consultants; they are more than happy to review your situation and help you start solving your biggest communications challenges immediately! Or download our free guide to find the right communication tools to reach your employees.