If you think poor communication among your employees isn't costing your business money, it's time to think again.
A survey published in "The Cost of Poor Communications" surveyed 400 companies (all of which had at least 100,000 employees) and it was found each company lost at an average of more than $62 million each year due to issues relating to inadequate communication among employees.
But my company doesn't have 100,000 employees. I barely have 100 employees, so this loss per year doesn't apply to me, right? Hold your horses for just a second.
The average loss per year for small businesses due to poor internal communication is still high according to Debra Hamilton, writer of an in-depth article titled "Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money." She states even minimal poor communication among companies with only 100 employees can result in a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Her exact quote was an average annual loss of $420,000.
How does poor communication result in such huge losses?
The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (2016) states the success of your company largely depends on your HR department's "ability to understand business functions and metrics within the organization and industry." But even with the most highly-competent HR department in the world, these HR professionals must be able to effectively interact and communicate with the entire workforce, including line managers, outside stakeholders, the board, and more.
When the HR department can effectively communicate with the all other employees, it becomes possible to make informed decisions that propel the business toward the accomplishment of achieving strategic objectives. Whether it be communicating up to superiors, horizontally to same-level co-workers, or downward to subordinates, clear communication is vital to the overall success of the enterprise. A single incident of poor communication can result in long-term monetary losses. And as we outlined above, these monetary losses can easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even in the millions.
Knowing how to overcome communication barriers
To ensure optimal communication is being maintained throughout the entire organization, especially in and through the HR department, a unified communications system must be implemented. When shopping for communication tools, you are instantly going to notice there are literally thousands to choose from. Regardless of the tools you choose, it is pertinent they integrate seamlessly with one another to create a flow of communication that optimizes uptime and eliminates downtime. Here is a quick look at features you should look for when creating a unified communication system.
A unified communication system is going to include a cloud-based phone system that can integrate with your CRM and other databases. This will simplify your ability to carry out communications while simultaneously accessing pertinent data. Think about it. When your HR department is on the phone with a vendor trying to resolve an invoice issue, they will need to perform the call in a manner that gives them the ability to view the invoice at the same time. With seamless integration, this becomes possible.
If you have a team working on a project from multiple locations, document sharing is of the utmost importance. With built-in collaboration tools, a unified communication system makes it easy to collaborate and share documents with one another without having to pay third-party document sharing application fees.
Secure Instant Messaging
Your business is likely already using a tool to support instant messaging among your employees. Is this tool secure and properly managed? When managing instant messaging with unified communications, it becomes possible to ensure worker-to-worker communications are taking place via a secure and well-managed channel.
Precise Call Routing
When calls can be forwarded according to precise call routing rules that are user-defined, this makes it easier to prioritize and manage calls, ensuring each customer, vendor, and distributor you work with is being handled in a timely and effective manner. When building a unified communication system, make sure to choose tools that allow you to route specific calls in a manner that exceed standard call forwarding. Ideally, you will want to design call routing rules that send calls to the right department without having to engage with multiple workers.
At the core of your enterprise is communication. When your employees can work with clear communication, productivity is boosted and sales revenue is increased. A unified communication system eliminates roadblocks and communication barriers and gives you the ability to carry out your operations with the utmost efficiency and effectiveness.