New thinking requires a robust internal communications strategy
7 ways you can strengthen your internal communications in a modern world
Your business markets itself by communicating with the outside world. However, an often overlooked way of boosting your business performance and culture is by implementing a solid internal communications strategy.
The goal of creating a strong organisation, with a unified workforce, engaged in a common mission, can only be achieved when a quality two-way internal communications plan is executed.
People are more likely to be passionate, proactive and contribute to their jobs if they understand how their work contributes to the business performance and bottom line. Employees should be listened to and should be given “a voice” within their businesses – specifically, line manager discourse with employees about key concerns or ideas promotes a more valuable relationship. The employee feels like his/her opinion matters and is valued. In turn, line managers tap into a valuable think tank and source of ideation.
Here are a 7 ways tips on using internal communications to your advantage:
1. Visualising with video
Including video in your internal communication strategy is a more personable and memorable way to share information, irrespective of the site and geographical location of your team. Video brings ideas to life, can live on multiple platforms, and be used in a range of forums. With the innovative advances in technology like Augmented Reality, video is finding new life in content-driven application.
2. Going mobile
Embracing a mobile communication strategy has many benefits, as it allows employees to access messages quickly and easily and consume content wherever they may be, at their own leisure. This is a particularly useful tool for employees who do not have regular access to email, for example sales people on the road, or factory workers in a manufacturing facility.
3. Embracing social media
Social media is a huge opportunity for internal communication, collaboration, and innovation. Internal social networks can help employees innovate new ideas faster and share them across the organisation with ease. Nowadays we are seeing the blurring of the lines between internal communication and external marketing. Employers are realising that their employees are their number 1 brand ambassadors and consume much of the same information their customers do; hence, social media has taken over as a platform that appeals to both groups.
4. Becoming more human
Adding a face to internal communications quickly moves away from often stagnant “push communications” to an actual conversation with a real person. A great example of this is the CEO who takes the time to walk around the office once in a while to chat to employees about what they are working on, or makes him/herself available to address an important concern of theirs.
5. Ensure consistency
For employees to have trust in internal communications, the message must be consistent in terms of tone and focus. The information and ‘message’ they receive should, when possible, tie back to the business strategy driving the communication. Employees want one version of the truth so they can make informed decisions and convey their opinion or ideas with confidence.
6. Cater for two-way communications
An internal communication plan should not just consider management. Ensure people know how they can communicate, that they are free to express their opinion and that they can tell it like it is, not as they believe management want to see it. A company culture of open and constructive feedback is a good start. We often implement structured surveys for our clients, thereby creating a “feedback loop”. Encourage feedback, then work on improvement.
7. Ensure your internal communications plan is inclusive
To be truly effective, your internal communications plan must include everyone, allowing them to respond on a level they are comfortable with. There should be no part of the organisation that is ignored, although there may be areas that require different tools to enable involvement in the communication plans.
The world of employee communications is changing fast. As new technologies are developed and employers become even more focused on engaging their employees as primary brand ambassadors, so too does the investment in Internal Communication increase. There is also a definite shift towards a more engaging approach towards internal communications, encouraging dialogue and feedback.