Internal Communications real world vs. best practices
Internal Communications in the Real World
Practicing what they preach is not the strongest attribute of a lot of organizations. When it comes to implementing internal communications best practices, both big and small companies tend to struggle.
For big organizations, after hiring the best talents they could afford, most of whom attended the best schools and got the best training, one would think adhering to best practices in internal communications would happen naturally. But it does not. In the race to meet the bottom-line, employees across all levels of organizations often trade best practices for the most convenient options.
In smaller organizations, the situation is quite similar. With a small number of employees, there is often no internal communications department or personnel, and no clearly defined organizational culture. Consequently, even the few employees who do know about internal communications best practices are not compelled to adhere to it.
Deloitte LLP carried out a study called ‘Core Beliefs & Culture Survey, ’ which showed quite a significant disconnect between what should be the best practice, versus what the employees believe, versus what top management believes.
Some of the top internal communications best practices which are often not implemented in the real world include the following:
According to the Deloitte study, both employees and executives believe in the importance of having a distinct workplace culture (88% and 94%, respectively). In practice, however, 76% of executives regard business strategy as more important than communicated core values and beliefs.
It can be seen that although executives are aware of the importance of organizational culture, in practice, they do not give it as much priority as it deserves.
Frequency of Communication of Core Values
Although 70% of employees agree that strong financial performance occurs because their managers discuss culture with them, most managers do not communicate the organization’s core values as frequently as they should. While 84% of executives believe senior managers regularly communicate core values, only 67% of employees share the same opinion.
There is obviously a need for executives to communicate the organization’s culture more frequently, so as to match the real world with best practices.
Leading by Example
While top managers usually know the right thing to be done, regularly executing that knowledge is often challenging. According to Deloitte, 81% of executives vs 69% of employees believe senior managers act in accordance with core values.
Another organization that tends to have managers who know best practices but do not adhere to them is Home Depot. The organization has a lot of training and evaluation procedures targeted at the store associates and not as many for managers. Hence, most of the managers oversee the store according to their own personal preference, rather than follow best practices.
Technology in Theory and Practice.
Proper use of technology is another aspect of internal communication that organizations know about but do not always adopt as they should. Some organizations, for instance, have issues with managing big data, video storage, communication devices, amongst others.
Moreover, when it comes to social media’s impact on Work Culture 45% of executives vs 27% of employees believe social media positively impact workplace culture.
There is a huge gap between most organization’s knowledge of tech and how they engage with it.
As the popular saying goes, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. A lot of organizations wish they had a great organizational culture driven by their core values and internal communications best practices. Unfortunately, without making a conscious effort to realize this dream, it will never become a reality.
Although some organizations are actually upholding a great organizational culture, some others need to be more intentional about doing what it takes to make it happen.
Every organization should do more than just having a list of core values inscribed on their walls or website, they should also see to the proper and continuous implementation of those values. It is primarily the responsibility of management, but also the responsibility of every employee of the organization to ensure the company adopts best practices in not just its internal communications processes, but also in every other aspect of the organization.
As we navigate this unfamiliar terrain of doing business during a pandemic, it is crucial to create a positive employee experience for members of the organization.