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10 Internal Communication Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Asloob Alam

Excellent internal communication procedures are frequently associated with increased production, earnings, and employee happiness. Your workers will benefit from your excellent internal communications plan when they entirely comprehend the company's goals, values, and culture.

However, internal communication conundrums are commonplace in many businesses. This is a problem as it can disrupt workflows, confound attempts at collaboration and lead to confusion on a company-wide scale. One of the significant communication breakdowns could be the traditional communication hierarchies where the information transfer would be in the top-down approach leading to many miscommunications in data distribution.

The best way to avoid these blunders is to know what they are in the first place and be prepared to deal with them as a priority. So here are the main examples to be vigilant for, and what you can do to minimize their impact.

What are Internal Communication Mistakes?

These are the few businesses that might get affected:


  • Not adapting to the latest technologies and team communication tools in the organization.
  • Not caring to consider employee feedback.
  • Not conveying enough inputs or specifications that help the employee deliver results.
  • Lack of horizontal communication.


10 Internal Communication Mistakes to Avoid

1. Not Clearly Defining Communication Channels

First and foremost it's important to establish clear communication channels in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You can engage all the company's employees on a unified team communication tool, such as Troop Messenger.

Without unambiguous guidelines for how messages should be sent and received, confusion can easily arise, which leads to mistakes or delays in decision-making processes.

Make sure you have defined protocols for internal communications such as emails, online meetings, phone calls, and other forms of messaging so that every team member knows what’s expected when engaging with one another. This will help keep things organized and prevent any miscommunications from happening in the future.

2. Failing to Use a Consistent Tone of Voice

You’re probably already familiar with the importance of having a particular brand-appropriate tone that you use in things like customer-facing social media messages and marketing materials. However, it’s also necessary that you use a consistent tone and language as part of internal communication as well.

This is relevant because it can be easy for messages or instructions to become jumbled up if multiple people are using different words and phrases when talking about similar topics.

To achieve this, make sure all members of your team have access to an agreed-upon style guide, so they know exactly how their communication should sound. This will help create unity among employees, and avoid people talking at cross purpose.

Also, having someone designated as a "tone officer" who checks over communications before they go out can also help keep things consistent across departments. It’s essentially a step that applies the same level of scrutiny to internal messaging as to external content.

3. Lack of Feedback Loops

You need to be able to assess the success or failure of your internal communication efforts, which means checking in regularly and looking for areas that can be improved.

As such, employees and managers alike must have the opportunity to provide input on how they think things are going. This could take many forms, from regular surveys to check-ins with department heads and team members. Whatever works best for your company's culture is worth pursuing.

Not only will this help ensure everyone is kept up-to-date, but it also allows for any issues or concerns to be addressed immediately, rather than lingering and causing further disgruntlement in the ranks.

4. Ignoring the Impact of Language Barriers

In a global business environment, it's crucial to consider how language barriers can affect internal communication. As such, you must take steps to ensure everyone is able to understand each other, regardless of their background.

This could include providing translation services for those who don't speak the same language as their colleagues and making sure people are aware of potential cultural differences and expectations when communicating with one another.

Having someone designated as an intermediary between different cultures can also help bridge any gaps and keep things running smoothly.

5. Using Antiquated Systems

If your company is still relying on outdated systems or tools to manage its communication, it might be time for an upgrade. With the ever-increasing range of technology available today, there's no longer any excuse for businesses not to take advantage of modern solutions that can help streamline processes and improve collaboration across teams.

Investing in a unified communications platform such as Microsoft Teams or Slack would allow everyone within the organization to stay connected with each other easily, without having to worry about compatibility issues between different technologies. Likewise, with successful salesforce implementation, you can transform the entire underpinnings of how your business operates from moment to moment.

The key here is finding something that works best for you, so don't be afraid to explore all options before settling on one.

6. Being Too Vague

When conveying messages within your organization, it's important to be as clear and specific as possible. Ambiguity can lead to confusion which, in turn, can cause delays.

Make sure everyone is aware of the exact message that needs to be conveyed, and ensure you provide enough context so there’s no room for improper interpretations to arise.

This ties back into the aforementioned idea of having a specific tone of voice and way of talking about particular mission-critical topics, to which every team member must subscribe. Regularly reviewing that the policies you put in place are being followed will be better than assuming that everything is running as intended after making changes to internal communication requirements.

7. Skipping Over Important Details During Meetings or Discussions

Meetings are often criticized for being a time sink, but if core points are addressed and discussed thoroughly, then they can be invaluable.

Of course, if vital information is glossed over or left out entirely, this can derail entire projects. To avoid this, make sure everyone involved has the opportunity to voice their opinions and ask any questions they may have. This will guarantee clarity of thought, and reduce the likelihood of follow-up conversations being even further diluted.

Once again, having a team member who’s designated to monitor and oversee meetings and group discussions, with a view to keeping them on-topic and in keeping with best practices, is a godsend.

8. Focusing on Small Talk Instead of Achieving Goals

Effective inter-team communication involves a concerted effort to stay focused and on-task. All conversations should be geared towards achieving the desired outcome, whether that’s exchanging information or working together to solve a problem.

As part of this, you need to avoid getting sidetracked with small talk, as this can quickly undo any progress being made. A good way to do this is to set specific times within meetings which are built for getting off-topic conversations out of the way so that the body of your time together is entirely productive.

It's also important to ensure everyone is aware of their role in these discussions and knows what they need to do in order for the team to succeed. That all-powerful concept of clarity goes hand in hand with accountability.

9. Putting Off Necessary Conversations Until It's Too Late

No one likes having a difficult discussion around a sensitive, emotive subject, but that’s a reality we all have to face, both in our professional lives and our personal relationships.

For business leaders and team managers, it's important to recognize when these tricky conversations need to happen and act on them sooner rather than later.

If you ignore necessary discussions or put off dealing with difficult topics for as long as possible, this can lead to conflicts and further conundrums that were entirely avoidable.

So, endeavor to address key matters as soon as they arise. This will keep everyone up to speed, and will also show team members that you respect their right to have all relevant info, rather than being mollycoddled.

10. Neglecting to Create an Open Dialogue

Communication within your team should always flow in both directions, not just from the top down. Be certain to afford everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions, as this can be incredibly beneficial for problem-solving or decision-making processes.

Moreover, it's in your interest to check that all members of the team are aware of how they can make themselves heard if they feel like their views aren't being taken into consideration. Having a designated channel where employees can provide feedback anonymously could help here.

Ultimately, creating an open dialogue between teams will ensure every voice is heard, and result in more effective internal communication overall.

Final Thoughts

There is no getting away from the fact that internal communication can be a bit of a minefield, and so you need to navigate it with care to avoid igniting an issue that might be laying dormant without your knowledge.

That said, it’s far better to be proactive in unpicking the problems you face in this arena, rather than ignoring them. It will not only be beneficial from the perspective of organizational productivity but will also bolster morale, which is useful for collaboration as well as employee retention.

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