Employee Satisfaction Surveys Determine if Poor Internal Communications is Hurting Your Business
Employee satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys are highly effective in assessing the effectiveness of communications within and between departments and work groups, identifying whether internal communications is helping or hurting your organization’s performance and competitiveness.
One of the areas that consistently receives low ratings in employee satisfaction surveys / employee engagement surveys is intra and inter-departmental communications. In addition to receiving relatively low ratings, employee survey / employee opinion survey questions receive significant comments that identify problems with internal business communications. Internal organizational communications are often insufficient and ineffective. Some managers often fail to communicate important information. Other managers are not open to receiving communications from their employees and from outside their departments.
In many organizations poor internal communications is significantly impacting productivity, employee morale and satisfaction, customer satisfaction, sales and profit. Employee satisfaction surveys / employee engagement surveys identify common communications problems and barriers across organizations as well as pinpointing opportunities for improving the effectiveness of communications in specific departments and work groups.
How effective are intra and interdepartmental communications within your company? What is the impact of poor communications within your company? Conducting employee surveys / employee opinion surveys is a highly cost-effective way to assess the effectiveness of your organization’s internal communications and many other drivers of business performance.
Senior management needs to set the tone and take action to encourage, facilitate and in fact mandate effective internal communications. If it is done well the payback can be huge.
Following are illustrative comments from an employee satisfaction survey / employee engagement survey conducted for a large company that sells and services office equipment across the U.S. Is your company experiencing any of these or other types of internal communications problems?:
- We could definitely be better about this. There seems to be a lot of bickering between our three call centers. People in Georgia have issues with the way the Florida center creates and transfers tickets. People in Florida take issue with the people in Georgia. People in New Jersey think that none of us do anything. It's a pretty vicious circle and could be helped by each group having a better understanding of what the others are doing and how they are judged in their particular jobs.
- Customer's calling for invoices - we transfer customers to the billing department and have them complain that the billing department transferred them back to service or supplies at the customer service center. Customers get frustrated that they get transferred all over the place.
- Communications does not happen very well at all, and it never really has in the 5 years I've been here. It seemed to work better when we had more authority at the district level (P&L, service exceptions, more admin control, etc.)
- We always find out after the fact when new procedures or changes have been made and some directly affect our daily job duties.
- It seems as if the Customer Service Center is on a different page than the Branch Sales Offices.
- As we have merged companies, communication has gotten progressively worse. There used to be company initiatives within sales and service from the corporate level and all departments were aware and involved in following the initiatives. Now there seems to be nothing to follow and confusion about the direction we are going as a company.
- Politics, power struggles and infighting between the various departments results in less effectiveness.
- Our company operates departmentally more separate than any corporation that I've worked with. In fact there's a distinct "us" and "them" feel about our company.
It seems that sometimes service, operations, procurement, billing, etc... don't communicate effectively with each other. I had to pull teeth last week just to get my customer an expected delivery date... we almost lost the deal because nobody seemed to KNOW anything... they just passed me along to another person, who would recommend talking to the previous person.
- Since the Oracle implementation, some processes have not been completely re-engineered causing confusion at times.
- Although my personal feelings for our VP is favorable, I feel strongly they are a terrible communicator and it appears that they only communicate to those "favored" by them. The VP is a very poor leader.
- Sales and Service operate as separate silos with different and sometimes competing objectives.
- The change in our business due to Oracle is so drastic, that customers place orders and their requested overnight shipping is done days and weeks later. Oracle is taking the cooperative efforts of every employee and displacing it with dead ended policies, leaving the customer out!!!
- Half of my job is cleaning up the mess because departments do not communicate with each other. i.e. A customer will tell me that they no longer have the machine and that the lease was canceled yet the service contract remains intact. This happens a lot.
- People do not return calls or emails. I don't think it is out of not caring, I think it is out of inability to locate the answers to the questions. But they should at least return the emails and calls. This is most irritating and unprofessional.
I have observed little collaboration between sales and marketing. These are two business units that should be closely tied together and are not.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howard Deutsch is the CEO of Quantisoft, a full service survey company. Contact Howard Deutsch at (609) 409-9945 or hdeutsch @ quantisoftdotcom ···