Houston, we have a problem. A communication problem.
Does your organization suffer from poor internal communication? If so, you wouldn’t be alone as is evident by the volume of clients that approach us with this very challenge. Our conversations typically go something like this:
Client: I just don’t understand why communication continues to rank so low in the employee satisfaction survey results. I even created a task force last year to come up with ways that we could improve communication within our organization. All of the task force recommendations have been implemented but the surveys continue to tell me that we have a problem!
Me: What types of ideas did they come up with?
Client: We introduced a new newsletter, and Intranet site, and an employee idea program.
Me: From these new communication tools, how were you able to improve the broken and mucked up processes or “systems” within the organization where the actual work of the organization gets done?
Client: What broken processes? Why would you ask that? What does that have to do with communication?
Me: It has everything to do with communication! In fact, more often than not, the real frustration that employees are feeling originates from broken processes and systems where the actual work is done. When those processes are broken, nothing flows smoothly. The frustration surfaces in the form of poor scores for “communication” on employee surveys and staff discussion. If you fix the broken process within your organization, it’s likely that the communication will improve all by itself. And while the work of the task force is certainly commendable, implementing the task force recommendations without addressing the actual root cause of the problem is only going to make the issue continue to worsen (i.e., your employee satisfaction survey results).
Opportunity for Action:
Where are the broken processes in your organization? Are there areas where work is getting held up? Where does work fall off the face of the earth, or so it seem? Start by answering these questions and you’ll begin to see where the biggest communication break-downs might occur as well.