Internal Communication ~ 10 min

4 easy ways to break down communication silos at the workplace

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

Communication silos are common within companies that are growing quickly. In this article, discover the mistakes to avoid and the solutions you can put in place to ensure that communication flows smoothly for everyone.

What are communication silos in the workplace?

When a company is small, and sharing a single common office space, keeping everyone on the same page is easy for a very simple reason: everyone is almost literally on the same page.

But as a company expands, and new experts are brought in, and new offices are opened, communication silos begin to form. Employees don’t always understand what’s happening in different offices and in different departments, and they use specialized tools that are understood by fewer and fewer people.

Redundancies may emerge, along with other problems with miscommunication, and as different time zones and languages are introduced, the potential for communication silos to form becomes even more pronounced.

Communication silos

What are examples of communication silos at work?

So we know what communication silos are in the general sense. But what specifically will they look like at the workplace when they form? Well, communication silos can occur within a company when different departments or teams within the organization have limited or no communication with one another. This can lead to a lack of collaboration and coordination, which in turn can hinder the effectiveness of the organization as a whole.

Some examples of communication silos in a company may include:

  • Different departments or teams that do not share information or collaborate on projects.
  • Employees who are not aware of the goals, objectives, or plans of other departments or teams within the organization.
  • Lack of communication between management and frontline employees, leading to misunderstandings and a lack of alignment on priorities.
  • A lack of communication between different levels of management, leading to confusion and a lack of coordination.
  • Inadequate or ineffective channels of communication, such as outdated or inefficient communication technologies, or a lack of communication training for employees.

To avoid communication silo problems and improve collaboration within an organization, it’s important for management to establish clear communication channels and policies, encourage open communication and dialogue, and provide training and resources to help employees communicate effectively.

When the information flows smoothly and in all relevant directions, awareness and engagement stay at peak levels, and all employees are involved in company life.  

What are the risks for a business of working in silos?

The next obvious question is what kinds of hurdles will the formation of silos cause? Why are they so problematic for organizations? Well, there are a number of risks that a business may face if it operates in silos, including:

Decreased efficiency and productivity

When departments or teams do not communicate or collaborate effectively, it can lead to the duplication of efforts, miscommunication, and a lack of coordination, which can result in a decrease in efficiency and productivity.

Decreased innovation and creativity

A silo mentality can hinder the exchange of ideas and information, leading to a lack of creativity and innovation initiatives within the organization.

Decreased customer satisfaction

Poor communication between departments can lead to delays, errors, and misunderstandings, which can negatively impact customer satisfaction.

Decreased employee engagement and morale

Employees who feel isolated or disconnected from the rest of the organization may be less motivated and engaged in their work.

Increased risk of errors and mistakes

When different departments or teams do not communicate effectively, it can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes that can have serious consequences for the business as a whole.

Increased risk of negative effects on company culture

When teams do not communicate effectively between themselves, conflicts may emerge, and team spirit can disappear. This can lead to a silo mindset without a common and unified vision, that puts the specific team’s limited goals first, rather than the company’s common goals and objectives.

To minimize these risks, it’s important for businesses to encourage open and effective communication and collaboration within the organization. This may involve establishing clear communication channels, providing training and resources to help employees communicate effectively, and promoting a culture of transparency and collaboration.

How to overcome communication organizational silos

So how can such situations be avoided? How can you be sure that information isn’t confined to one team, office, or department? In order to break down communication silos, and possibly even keep them from forming, fine tuning your communication strategy and backing it up with the tools to facilitate multi-lingual communication can make a huge difference.

Here are 4 ideas that represent some effective ways to accomplish this:

Make sure everyone is informed in the right way

Opening of new countries, changes in the organization of a department or managerial position, the launch of new projects or products—all of this is relevant. Key results and achievements should not be overlooked, either. There is always a lot of information that can be shared with employees; the issue here, however, is to share it in a way that engages them.

The most effective way to do this is with visual content and photos to make it feel more human; you can also send alerts (email or mobile alerts) for important announcements. But in the end, you need to define audiences at your company and decide what type of announcements these audiences should be aware of.

This will prevent employees from becoming overwhelmed, and keep them aware of the information that’s actually relevant across the board.

Targeting ensures that universal information reaches a universal audience, and specific updates only reach the relevant target.

With the Sociabble, the employee communication platform, for example, you can target a specific audience, country, department, hierarchical level (like managers or frontline workers), and send them the relevant content that will interest them. This segmentation capability is critical because when employees receive relevant information from leadership that actually concerns them, they naturally become more informed and engaged in company life.

Bridge cultural diversity across departments and subs

With the digital workplace and remote office scenarios, it’s possible these days to work in the same company and never actually meet. A key issue facing offices today is to build team spirit despite physical distance.

One way to break down communication silos is to encourage employees from different regions/departments to share their stories at work by publishing short form videos and photos of their daily lives. People can ask questions, leave comments, and interact in order to build relationships.

With a platform like Sociabble, different offices and countries are connected within the same digital space, for seamless communication between employees. Language is not a barrier, thanks to the instant and integrated translation feature: employees have the ability to translate any content into the language they speak, with just one click, empowering them to understand and create content regardless of their native tongue, in their own words.

In effect: make language a bridge in the first place, not a barrier. Issues of misunderstanding quickly fade away.  

Communication silos

 With an instant translation feature, language barriers no longer create silos.  

Encourage open communication among employees

Encourage employees to speak up and share their thoughts and ideas. This can be done through regular team meetings, suggestion boxes, or by creating a culture of open communication and transparency.

This will also foster a culture where information is shared openly and transparently, building trust and helping to foster a sense of openness and inclusivity—which can help break down communication silos.

Open communication also encourages employees to network and build relationships with their colleagues in other departments or teams. This can help break down silos by creating a sense of community and fostering a culture of collaboration.

One way to encourage this kind of sharing is by creating a learning series about subs and departments around the world, in an interactive format. It can include targeted quizzes (via Sociabble’s special survey and quiz feature, for example) for people in a specific department to test their knowledge of other departments and offices.

Employees can interact, and spread the word regarding the projects they are working on, encouraging new synergies to appear in the process.

communications silos

With a platform like Sociabble, different offices and countries are connected, for seamless communication.   

Use technology to facilitate communication

The right digital tool helps facilitate communication and collaboration across teams. In effect, the top priority of a digital communication platform is to inform and engage all employees—even frontline workers, in retail locations or the field, who may not have a workstation or a company email.

Their involvement is just as important, and their on-the-ground feedback can be critical. They need to be reached, kept informed, and given the chance to share their thoughts.

Sociabble achieves this via its easy-to-use and branded mobile app, complete with alerts and push notifications, so that every frontline employee will still have direct access to important company information, right in their pocket.

For some employees, especially frontline workers who rely on their mobile devices, it’s easier to share a video than write out a long content piece. Thanks to Sociabble Enterprise Video, creating, editing, and posting videos is easier than ever.

Employees and managers alike can record and tailor their video to their liking with just a few clicks, before posting it to the platform. Training seminars, guided tours, fun recaps of company events—with Sociabble Enterprise Video, it’s simple as can be.

Real-world example: Sidetrade

Sidetrade is a fast-growing international SaaS company with teams now located in seven cities around the world.

With new employees joining the teams in locations across the globe, it has been crucial for them to have a strong internal communication tool, to bring employees together, make information more accessible, and to break down any potential communication silos that might form. And for that communication tool, they chose Sociabble, with its easy-to-use newsletter and poll/survey features.


  1. Defining the Sidetrade mission for creating a sense of belonging
  2. Getting employees engaged & excited across the organization
  3. Connecting the Sidetrade community, impacting company growth


With the Sociabble the employee platform, they were able to take advantage of special features and implement programs to address the challenges described above.

These included:

  1. Providing a road map for success (messages on all stages of the employee lifecycle, culture, core values) sent to relevant employees using Sociabble’s targeting capabilities
  2. Developing B-Side activities to spread the word, advertised via content created on Sociabble
  3. Giving kudos and saying thanks (recognition, rewards) on a reoccurring basis with Sociabble’s unique peer-to-peer praise feature
  4. Giving the power of informed, engaged, and influential employees via newsletters built with Sociabble’s newsletter engine
  5. Planning leadership sessions (live chats, fireside chats, etc.) that utilized Sociabble’s Live and chat capabilities  

The result? Communication silos were broken, and employees were engaged

By using Sociabble to create targeted channels designed to extend across offices and departments, and by encouraging sharing and communication on a company-wide basis, Sidetrade was able to avoid the negative effects of communication silos and boost employee engagement across the board. 

Communication silos

Specific results

  • 82% of employees are newsletter subscribers
  • 84% were engaged users the last 3 months of 2021
  • Employee Engagement in 2021 – 10K likes, 2K comments, 1.5K pieces of content created, 3K shares  

Sociabble for breaking communication silos

When it comes to putting all of this into practice, to break communication silos or to keep them from forming, a comprehensive employee communication platform can make all the difference.

Sociabble comes with a host of features to ensure information flows smoothly at any company, including alerts and notifications, a newsletter engine, targeted and customized news channels, a real-time translation feature, and an integrated chat module, to name a few.

In fact, we’ve put together a white paper explaining how the right communication strategies and tools can help fast-growing companies avoid common problems.

And receive a free Sociabble demo here.

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