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The Five Symptoms of SICS (Sluggish Internal Communications Syndrome)

June 16, 2009

Employee communications is a lot like personal health:  it tends to be ignored until it’s weak and dysfunctional, and by then, a lot of time has been wasted operating at less than optimal performance. 

Has your employee communications turned into a bad cold that you just can’t shake?  Here are a few symptoms that you should look out for:

  1.  Communications vehicles are not being maintained.  Like a diet poor in essential nutrients, the health of the organization will eventually suffer if the means of communicating (newsletters, intranet, bulletins, meetings) aren’t maintained.
  2. Employees can’t name the strategic customers. If they don’t know who the customers are, how will they care as much about keeping them loyal and satisfied?
  3. Employees don’t know how the customer uses their products or services.  Without this information, employees aren’t able to be proactive in identifying improvements or troubleshooting potential issues – crucial to building customer loyalty.
  4. Employees can’t identify competitors.  Ignorance is bliss, unless it involves business.  Understanding who can potentially take customers away and how they could do it helps to sharpen the competitive edge.
  5. Leadership is invisible.  This results in the dreaded domino effect of poor employee communications: lack of accurate information creates a communications vacuum, which inevitably fills with inaccurate rumors and speculation, which then fuels misalignment to company goals, mistrust of leadership, and poor morale – all topped off with lower production, lower quality, and talent flight.  Once started out as a cold has now turned into full-blown pneumonia.

Stay tuned for future therapeutic tips to keep your employee communications healthy and in shape to support top performance.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2009 3:15 pm


    You have a great blog going here. You’ve managed to fill it with good and useful information. It’s a pleasure to read, job well done.


  2. June 16, 2009 8:58 pm

    Has your employee communications turned into a bad cold that you just can’t shake?
    Have your employee communications turned into a bad cold that you just can’t shake?

    I have a funny (by”funny” I mean incredibly frustrating) example of client-agency communications gone wrong. I forgot to tell you about it earlier….

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