The #1 Misconception in Employee Comms: "We Already Have a Tool for This"

Employees confused by scattered info? "We already have a tool for this!" is the #1 misconception standing in your way to successful internal communications. Learn why a central platform is key for clear communication & a happy workforce. 

Do you ever feel like you’re throwing money at communication tools, yet employees still seem confused and  constantly ask you for information that they could find in one of the tools themselves? In fact, the  #1 myth plaguing internal communication  is the very belief that a plethora of tools equals a communication solution. It's the constant refrain: "We already have a tool for this!"

Hold on. Before you dismiss the need for a better communication strategy, let's explore why this seemingly logical response actually creates a communication nightmare for employees. 

This blog post dives into the myth of "We already have a tool for this," and why it leads to disjointed messages, frustrated employees, and ultimately, communication silos. We'll expose the hidden costs of this fragmented approach and unveil the  real solution  to fostering a truly connected and informed workforce. Ready to dive in?

The misconception: “we already have a tool for this”

"We already have a tool for this." 

With U.S. employers already spending a staggering $5 trillion on HR tech in 2023 alone (and 74% planning to invest even more), it's easy to fall into this trap.

From one perspective, it seems logical – every base is covered, right? Information can be disseminated through HR systems, tasks assigned via project management software, and company-wide updates sent via email or group chats. There is already a tool in place for any aspect imaginable. 

The information is out there, readily available... somewhere.

Here's the thing: a plethora of communication tools – HR systems, task managers, digital signage – doesn't automatically translate to clear and consistent messaging.  Instead it creates a messy situation where valuable investments your organization has made when it comes to having the best tech for each need, ultimately hinder communication and frustrate your workforce. 

That is precisely where the disconnect lies. We think having a tool for everything = effective communication, but  what we forget about is that those are separate tools and as a result what we've created is a communication silo graveyard. 🪦

The reality: no, you don’t have a tool for this & here’s why

These technologies, while valuable for their intended purposes, frequently prioritize their own functions over ensuring effective and clear communication and operate in isolation from one another.  And that’s completely fine. After all they are each created to serve their own purpose.

Here’s the thing though, employees consistently point to the lack of communications being a problem.  They want more information, communication, clarity, leadership visibility.  However - and this is the paradox - the majority of employees do not actively seek out this information even when it exists.  Especially when it's buried as an afterthought in other tools.  They simply expect the information to be presented to them passively or while they're doing their work.

Suppose your LMS has a communications component and leaders say "we have communications covered in our LMS, so we don't need a dedicated comms tool."  In practice, employees go to their LMS to conduct mandatory training on an ad hoc basis.  It's not embedded into their daily work like email is for desk workers.  Therefore they miss the benefit of consistent, varied, and frequent internal communications that are required to realize the benefits.

Furthermore, each standalone tool that does one unique thing leads to what the Harvard Business Review calls the toggling tax.  Employees don't necessarily know where to go to take action or get info.  Is it in the LMS, HR system?  Group chat? Email? A message in WhatsApp?  With workers toggling between apps and websites nearly 1,200 times daily, amounting to 9% of their annual work time, information gets siloed, updates get lost, employees end up frustrated and disengaged. 

This also means that you’re the one responsible for managing all this tech stack, ensuring any relevant communications are being shared to every channel where an employee might be. Not only does this make the job of internal comms more inefficient for already smaller under-sourced team, but it also created the possibility of outdated and conflicting information ending up in the hands of employees.

And you’re left cleaning up all the mess.  

The hidden costs of fragmented communications

However, the number of tools employees are expected to not only know exist, but use, can leave them feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and disengaged. Tech overload is real and it’s frustrating your employees and limiting their productivity:

  • 70% of employees need up to 7 apps to complete a single HR task.
  • 60% find their HR tools disjointed, difficult, or outdated.
  • On average, 30% of employees' weekly time is spent searching for information.

Some research even states that poor internal communications to and between employees can cost businesses up to $62.4 million per year. 🤯

The real solution: a central employee experience platform

So, what's the real solution? It's time to flip the script. Communication shouldn’t be an afterthought, but the cornerstone of your entire employee experience moving forward.

This means investing in a central employee experience platform as a starting point for everything your workforce needs. Here's how this "flip the script" approach works:

  • Invest in a central employee communications hub that acts as the starting point for your entire employee experience. This hub won't just be another siloed tool; it will be the cornerstone of a truly connected workforce. 
  • Instead of information being scattered across various platforms, your central hub becomes the single source of truth. Announcements, updates, company news – everything resides here, readily accessible and prioritized.
  • Don't throw away your existing tools - the beauty of a central hub lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate with the tools you already have. This eliminates app-hopping, saving time and reducing frustration.
  • Employees may not actively seek out information hidden within other tools. The central hub solves this by presenting vital internal communications messages right alongside the actions employees are trying to take. For example, if an employee needs to swap a shift with a colleague, they can do this directly from the employee app through the integration of a shift management software.  But before they do, the timeline within the employee app will present vital internal communications messages.  This ensures employees are exposed to critical information at the exact moment they need it most without having to actively seek it out themselves.

Ready to experience firsthand the benefits a dedicated communication platform can bring to your organization? 

We understand every organization has unique communication challenges. That's why we want to help you craft the perfect solution.

Let's talk!  Schedule a free demo to explore how Speakap, an employee experience platform, can help you create a central employee communications hub tailored to your specific needs. Speakap doesn't just improve communication efficiency, it empowers you to build a communication hub that works for you and your organization.