Business leaders are always looking for ways to grow their company and help it achieve better things. More often than not, this involves the senior management brainstorming in the boardroom to think up new tactics that will help business targets be met and goals achieved.
But the reality is, businesses who work in this way are in a vicious—and costly—cycle of wasting valuable resources and repeatedly going back to the drawing board, only to be faced with disappointment when the hopes and ambitions planned never materialise.
But for companies wanting to boost profit, it’s not always a case of finding ways to increase revenue—sometimes, looking at the places money can be saved within the business can be as—if not more—effective.
And while you might think this approach doesn’t apply to your business, the truth is: it does. In fact, there’s likely more than one drain on your company’s finances that needs to be plugged, one of those being that of inefficient internal communications.
Costing some companies as much as $11,000 per employee, efficient internal communication is no joke, and has a detrimental effect on business growth.
Read on to find out the real cost of broken communication to your business from employee engagement experts, StaffConnect.
What is internal communication?
When you think of the internal communication that takes place in your business day-to-day, you’ll probably go straight to things like emails and calls. But communication for businesses has come a long way and, in the 21st century, there’s now a lot more options on offer.
Although email is still one of the most popular methods of internal communication, with an estimated 124.5 billion business emails sent every day and the average office worker receiving up to 121 emails per shift, it’s not always the most effective method.
Internal communication should ensure that information and instructions are relayed to employees in an effective and efficient way. But good internal communication isn’t just about getting a job done, it will also:
- Keep employees informed
- Encourage two-way communication
- Help build company culture
- Boost employee engagement
- Offers a platform for feedback, questions and discussions
The damage of inefficient internal communication
Although things like a boost to employee engagement and better company culture might seem like a positive by-product of internal communication, they should be seen as one of the core reasons for any improvements made to communications.
And this is because the lost $11,000 per employee due to inefficient internal communications isn’t solely due to staff not knowing what to do or how to do it. Communication plays a fundamental part in workforce engagement and, in turn, not paying proper attention to internal comms can cause harmful and costly disengagement.
Communication is at the root of engagement. Not paying proper attention to the quality of communication between employees and managers can lead to lower engagement levels, the results of which can be extremely costly to your company.
The states of indifference or hostility which come with being a disengaged or actively disengaged employee can cause long-term harm to your business and its workforce.
Absenteeism: The term used for employee sickness without legitimate reasons, absenteeism is an issue that’s all too real for the majority of businesses. With 50% of the UK workforce admitting to ‘pulling a sickie’ during their career, and two thirds of people saying they’d do it again, absenteeism is a financial wound businesses need to work to heal.
Communication of staff value has a direct impact on absenteeism, with 65% of dissatisfied employees citing that they feel undervalued. With many employees of the impression that they won’t be missed if off sick, communicating individual impact and value is imperative.
Higher staff turnover: 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback once per week, compared with 18% of less engaged staff. The less involved your team, the more likely they are to look for work elsewhere.
With replacing a staff member costing anywhere between 90-200% if his/her annual salary, the importance of strong communication which provides employees with the level of feedback they need to stay engaged is—quite literally—worth its weight in gold.
Reduced productivity: Companies with engaged employees are estimated to outperform those without by 202%. But the only way to keep employee engagement high is to communicate.
From the vision for your business to staff members’ individual role in achieving this, a workforce which understands its purpose and value is 38% more likely to have above average productivity.
Improving internal communication in your workplace
It’s easy to see how the cost of low engagement resulting from inefficient internal communication tallies up. But what can be done to change this?
Every business is different, and the methods that work for one workforce won’t necessarily do the same for another. Understanding the requirements of your employees and importantly communicating to find out what it is your employees need, and building an internal communications strategy around this, will provide a bespoke, actionable solution.
But, no matter your business size and specific requirements, there’s some core areas you must strive to do:
- Encourage sharing – Often, internal communication breakdowns lead to employees feeling disconnected, out of the loop and not part of a team.
Encouraging staff to get involved with communication by uploading photos, posting, liking and commenting is vital to getting a free-flowing system up and running.
- Listen – Good internal communication will put your business out there. You will receive questions, and you might even get some criticism.
But this shouldn’t be seen as a negative! These are the opportunities that allow you to learn and develop your business, show employees you value their opinion and create a healthy employer-employee relationship.
- Go mobile – Often, the hardest part of introducing a new communication platform is getting staff to buy into it. But with an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2020, getting people on board with mobile apps has never been easier.
And the demand for internal communication apps you can access and use from your phone has been answered. With usability and access issues a distant memory, businesses can finally get to grips with their internal communications once and for all.
StaffConnect is an industry-leading internal communication platform designed to improve the engagement in your workforce.
With the ability to chat, ask questions, send out bespoke surveys, share important business news and much more, StaffConnect is helping businesses in a variety of sectors manage their teams effectively.