Internal Communication Best PracticesMarch 10, 2021 - 11 minutes read - Business Management, Contributed Posts
Today, internal communications play a critical role in engaging employees and customers.
However, there is more to this than just setting up an internal communication channel. Instead, it requires a well-thought-out strategy.
Research shows that less than 30% of employees feel engaged at work. This means more than half of employees do not feel productive or aligned with the business goals. And as a result, best-in-class organizations are now working on their internal communication to boost workplace productivity and employee engagement.
If your company is looking to improve internal communication among employees, stakeholders, and customers, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve highlighted some internal communication tips and best practices that will help create a more interconnected network of staff.
Internal Communication Challenges
60% of businesses don’t have a long-term internal communications strategy in place. In other words, several companies struggle to keep communication flowing across departments. This leads to communication silos, where rumors, frustration, and confusion become the norm.
From a business perspective, four key challenges are affecting internal communication in every industry.
- Enhancing a two-way, horizontal communication – where employees don’t need to always wait for updates from the top management.
- Barriers in using employees’ feedback to improve internal communication; as a result, the human resource team collects valuable data and insights but fails to use them.
- Complex organizational structures in the highly- remote world pause communicational challenges. Therefore, it becomes challenging for companies to reach out to employees with informative content.
- Challenges in measuring results from internal communication efforts, so it becomes impossible to monitor progress.
Without an effective internal communication strategy, employee communications suffer. Misalignment and low employee morale mean there’s no drive to push employees in line with the company’s mission and vision.
In addition to solving these problems, it’s worth noting that adopting technology without a solid strategy can be counterproductive. So, the focus should be aligning your frontline employees and top management with the company culture to drive real results.
Benefits of a Great Internal Communications Strategy
At the heart of a great internal communications strategy is a proper understanding of the business, employees, and customer needs. Moreover, effective communications can help boost employee transparency, productivity, and advocacy.
Below are the other reasons why internal communication should be your top priority.
It Improves Employee Engagement
When a company communicates with its employees and makes them feel valued, they are more likely to feel engaged. That said, there are several ways you can engage your employees. For instance, have open communication with employees at all levels and encourage them to collaborate.
Boost Teamwork and Collaboration
If your team members and colleagues communicate freely and know the company cares about them, they become motivated. As a result, teamwork and collaboration become even better, and achieving business goals becomes easier.
Boost Employee Experience
Improving your internal communication is one sure way of boosting workplace productivity,
reducing turnover, and driving profitability. Meanwhile, there are three key areas your company can focus on to promote employee experience. These are:
- Cultural environment – a solid corporate culture can help attract and retain your best employees.
- Physical environment – a great working environment such as a spacious office can boost employee experience.
- Technological environment – ensuring your employees have access to the most effective and convenient technologies to streamline their work.
Of all the three aspects above, internal communication still plays a critical role in shaping the unique experience your employees enjoy inside the work environment.
Also, building on employee-employer interaction makes it easy to turn your employees into brand ambassadors. This is because your employees are already the face of your company.
How to Build an Internal Communications strategy
The secret to building a successful internal communication strategy is to involve everyone within the organization. The current workforce is very diverse, with several companies seeing more millennials join the workforce. This means the internal communication department should create a workable strategy with everyone in mind.
For example, deploy social media or newer technologies carefully deployed to ensure everyone is on board.
Below are some steps you can use to create a corporate communications strategy to keep everyone in the loop.
Access Your Current Strategy
Like many companies out there, you definitely have an internal communication strategy in place. What you want to do is check if your current plan is effective. And whether you should keep up with it, modify or start afresh.
Identify the Performance Metrics to Track
To know if your internal communication efforts are paying off, you need to identify some KPIs. For example, track social shares on social media platforms, employee referrals, and other employee engagement metrics.
Set Your Internal Communication Goals
After identifying the KPIs, you should proceed to set your company’s internal communication goals. These goals should be realistic, measurable, and time-based.
Set Up a Clear Communication Pathway
Your international communication channel needs a content approval system in place. In other words, what you communicate throughout your organization, either through social media or office tools, should speak one language.
Choose Your Internal Communication Tools
There are several communication tools and software in the market. So choosing the best tools for your internal communication needs should be your top priority.
Track and Improve Your Progress
Monitoring your internal communication efforts will help you improve your strategy and ensure better engagement within the organization.
Internal Communication Tips
As far as keeping your entire organization aligned through proper internal communication, there are some things to keep in mind. Remember, your employees are only going to follow the steps of their leaders. So the company leaders should walk the talk.
Firstly, you need to make the conversation as simple as possible. This means people can communicate through various channels, and their views will be heard. Also, communication should be more of a conversation and not a one-way process.
Below are a few other tactics you can use to boost your organization’s internal communication.
Be Open with Your Employees
Transparency plays a crucial role in building a successful internal communication strategy. The extent to which the employees are open with the employer tells a lot about the company culture.
Proper communication with your employees can help build a culture of trust. This means that employees can share their challenges with the managers, and the top management will help where appropriate.
That said, the information should be coherent, right from the source to the audience. For example, if you are passing some important announcements, inform all the participants. That is, from the company stakeholders down to the frontline workers. You don’t want your employees taking all the information as rumors when they are actually facts.
Empower your Employees
By empowering your employees, you are making them feel like part of the company. Hence, they will be more willing to go the extra mile to represent and sell the brand.
However, empowering your employees isn’t all about giving them titles within the various departments. Instead, giving them a chance to be part of the decision-making process and making sure their voices are heard. You can also go-ahead to implement some of their best ideas within the organizational or business strategy.
This way, employees will feel more aligned with the company culture, and as a result, they become your brand advocates.
Technology has the power to make communication easier, faster, and more convenient. When working on your internal communication strategy, pay attention to those technologies that offer more value to your organization.
For instance, encourage your employees to take surveys using the available digital tools. You can also tell them how providing accurate information will help the organization serve them better.
Whether you want to revamp your internal or external communication, the above tips will guide your way to success. By equipping your communications department with the right tools and embracing the information we’ve highlighted above, you’ll be on the right track. Remember, technology alone isn’t the silver bullet. So you’ll need a strategy to accompany your tools for the best results.
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