11 signs your company’s internal communication strategy is broken

Teams need to be free to collaborate the way that works for them, but many offices are drowning in email, instant messages and more

Multiple figures talking over one another

(Illustration by John Devolle)

Striking the right balance between keeping colleagues in the loop and inundating them with noise is difficult, and many companies are struggling to keep on the same page as communication technology multiplies. Do any of these trouble signs sound like your office?

1. Too many inboxes

We’re currently employing more than three separate communications platforms, but nobody really knows which one to use for what, because we have no company policies or guidelines governing them.

2. The inbox has become the in-joke box

There’s plenty of communication taking place on our company chat app, but from what I can see, it’s mostly just witty banter and in-jokes.

3. Too much channel surfing

Our collaboration platform has way too many channels for anyone to realistically keep up with.

4. Mission silos

We’ve got more than one team working on the same project, but no one seems to know what the other teams are doing or how the pieces fit together.

5. Blind spots

Key people are routinely omitted from group emails.

6. All email, all the time

Email is still our main form of communication.

7. Leading from behind

The person making decisions about new communications technology is our head of finance, whose tech prowess isn’t exactly what you’d call leading edge.

8. Hoping and wishing

I have no idea of whether—or how—our technology lines up with our strategic objectives.

9. Notification fatigue

I wake up in the morning to dozens of chat notifications waiting for me on my mobile device, and I have no easy way to tell which ones require my attention and which I can defer (or ignore outright).

10. Too much facetime

We have too many face-to-face meetings. There’s not enough time in the day to get real work done.

11. Not enough facetime

We never seem to have face-to-face meetings anymore. Everything has gone electronic.