How to Improve Internal CommunicationJanuary, 2 2013
Very often we find business and information technology personnel don’t communicate very well. Disputes range from unrealistic demands on technology functions, to disregard for following due process. The end result is friction and diminished cohesion between both teams.
She says, “Sales/business people don’t want to get into the technical details and technical people don’t want to talk about the ‘why’ or the ‘what’ because they are absolutely infatuated with the ‘how.’”
This isn’t just a problem between these two departments. Large or small, all types of businesses struggle with internal communication. There may never be a foolproof way to make sure your message is clear, but Matt has a few suggestions on how to improve internal communication.
A lack of internal communication can lead to a breakdown of business processes, decreased sales, and a negative effect on the bottom line. To avoid a breakdown Matt suggests you:
- Communicate more
- Ask more questions
- Have a conversation
- Explain the who, what, and why
Create a Common Language
Train your employees to create a common language. Not everyone understands the jargon of your department or sometimes even the context of your job. For instance, IT professionals don’t need to go into the technical details of a project or solution when they talk to business professionals and vice versa. For example, Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals, recently wrote about how he is learning Ruby on Rails so he can better communicate with his programmers.
Matt says context is a key ingredient to get internal communications right. “You get context by asking clarifying questions and making an investment into really understanding the why and the what,” she adds.
The message shouldn’t be clouded with vagueness; rather it should be as clear and concise as possible.
Effective communication helps a company stay efficient and productive. It takes work to improve it, but the payoff is worth the time and investment when you get it right. There are many more ways and means to improve internal connections in companies; these are just the tip of the iceberg.
How have you improved internal communications? What has worked? What hasn’t?