Enron’s collapse in 2001 is one of the biggest corporate scandals in the history of the United States. Enron Corporation was an energy company based in Houston, Texas, and filed for bankruptcy in November 2001. Enron was worth $63.4 billion and at that time, it was the largest corporate bankruptcy in North America.
Although fraudulent accounting practices and poor financial reporting were at the heart of this scandal, the collapse can also be related to reduced internal communication, which was virtually relegated to the back seat. The top executives at Enron failed to address this issue to the employees for a long time and were cited as a bad practice. Management at Enron didn’t maintain adequate communication that must be in place in any organization and tried to hide the truth about the malicious and fraudulent activities from the employees.
Enron is a classic example of what not to do when dealing with internal communication. And even after 18 years of the mishap, a detailed study can lead to several revelations that are hard to ignore. To stave off this kind of internal communications disaster, regular dialogue between top management and employees is critical.
The following are the top seven practical ways in which a company can accomplish this by ensuring employees are empowered to provide their feedback and can freely speak up.
Top Management to Show how it is Done
Open communication and transparency are two aspects that need to be taken care of at the top of the hierarchy in any company. Right from CEO to supervisors to junior officers, all need to work together to get the company going and develop an environment where employees are happy to share information and openly give their opinions. For making a culture of clear and transparent communication among all the employees, the top brass of any organization needs to show how it is done by keeping their chin up.
Surely, promoting such an open culture in any communication needs courage. That’s why managers need to set the tone for their communication regularly. They need to show how communication should be handled within their company, whether in written or conversation. Delivering both positive and negative information should be dealt with equal authority and responsibility by a manager because the action can have a bigger impact on any team.
A Great Tool for Every Department
After listening to the word “Internal Communication,” most of us refer it to the HR or PR department and don’t think it has anything to do with them. Internal communication within any company is important for its function and ensures transparency across the company. Lack of coordination can lead to dire consequences and scenarios where a situation can get out of control.
Lack of knowledge about what’s happening in a company deficit can be a major source of internal friction and embarrassment for an organization.
A Tool for Solving Problems and Generating Ideas
Through apt communications, solving issues and generating ideas are two aspects that helps any company to move forward. Platforms such as the intranet is a great way to encourage employees to collaborate to generate product ideas and come up with solutions for any problems or issues they are facing. It is also vital for helping employees understand the values and priorities that they must adhere to in any organization.
You can take help form a productivity and collaboration tool like TaskQue. It has all the features to make good use of interacting with the employees, also a remote team, and can solve many problems, like aptly managing deadlines and assigning or completing daily tasks.
An open-door policy that makes employees in a company feel comfortable is a necessary factor. Any company with effective internal communication will make this their priority. Managers and the top management need to encourage their team members to share ideas within the team and also with them. A true open-door policy improves the flow of information and helps management in shortlisting motivated employees who get engaged with them and can be a great asset for the organization in the future.
Full Control of the Proceedings
Employees learning about important and sensitive information of the company through external resources can turn fatal for it in the future. No news should be leaked out in this way. Nowadays, information is easily accessible at our fingertips in the form of smartphones and other handheld devices.
Scenarios mentioned above can make employees of a company looking for those sources in the future for more such information. That’s where official announcements through internal communication can put an end to all the rumors and negative news. And this is not just for adverse scenarios but also in daily operations.
In a time of Crisis, Internal Communication can be Valuable
If anything can go wrong, it will. Companies need to be ready for unforeseen circumstances and untoward events that can hit them hard. In these desperate times, there is a need to make internal communication perfect. According to the latest research, managers who communicate significantly less with employees when an issue arises are likely to see that small problems transform into a full-blown crisis.
Internal communication can support short and long-term crisis management aptly. Short-term management addresses the incident itself while long-term plans are for preserving the company’s reputation and on measures to prevent negative situations.
Word of mouth is the fastest communication medium and can make things possible for an organization without spending much. Internal communication can make things for a company and the employees to help them improve relationships between them.
Good internal communication can make things work for an organization. Rumor mill needs to be shut down as false information can spread like wildfire in this way. Frequent communication can make employees decipher information and instructions positively and quickly.
Transparency in their interactions is also another factor worth considering for employees. For top management too, this is amongst the top factor in determining employee’s happiness and satisfaction in the workplace. A rumor-free environment with complete transparency is the key to making employees fully satisfied with the policies of the organization.
Motivating Employees through Apt Communication
For any company, making their employees work diligently and with full honesty and commitment is the ultimate goal. Through internal communication, it can announce appreciation and recognition for the top performers. Creating a culture of appreciation and celebration within the organization can make employees rejoice and work with extra zeal.
There are several communication tools like email, newsletters, video, and chat/forums to help the management of any organization remain in touch with its employees. Internal communication can make employees feel close to the company, knowing that they are in the loop with all the proceedings of their company.
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