Barriers to Internal Communications
When establishing, re-establishing or reorganising an internal communications function you should be aware of the problems you may face. Be aware of these issues and introduce counter measures when constructing your Communications Strategic Plan.
- The structure or culture of the organisation may not lend itself to good internal communications, i.e. silos, flat structure, highly centralised(1)
- Attitudes of senior management; “no need”, “problems too big”, “surely they already know – I do”, “it will cost too much”, “need to know principle – and they don’t!”(2)
- Attitudes of more junior managers; “just more work”, “not another meeting”, “additional bureaucracy”(3)
- Staff cynicism(4) – “Yeah, so it’s going to make our work easier is it?”, “It’s just to look good on their CSR report, they don’t really mean it”
- Poor messages – therefore wrongly heard, wrongly perceived or misinterpreted
- Lousy bosses – who point blank refuse to communicate
- Limited resources, financial, technological or people
- Lack of staff involvement or contributions.
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(1) In which case you may be looking at making recommendations to change the organisational structure
(2) Find examples of where poor or lack of communication has led to lost opportunities or damaged bottom line – probably the reason you are doing this exercise anyway – so make sure they get the message
(3) You need to give them examples of where it was done and made the junior manager’s life easier – work on the ‘what’s in it for me’ principle of persuading them
(4) Do a staff questionnaire and share the findings with them – the chances are it will reinforce your point.