Does your internal communication measure up?
Not to be taken for granted, internal comms is the lifeblood of your business and can have an impact on productivity, morale and ultimately, your bottom line.
Quick, answer these questions about your company;
- Is there executive communication to all staff at least once a month?
- Does your team meet socially at least once a quarter?
- Are you informed in advance of any major changes in the business?
- Do you know what your company stands for and what the strategy for the year is?
If you answered ‘no’ to most of these questions, your internal communication may need a tune up. Your organisation is certainly not alone. In a UK study, it was found that 44 percent of employees do not feel senior leaders are providing clear direction about where their organisation is headed, and only 13 percent of employees reported participating in their intranet daily – 31 percent said they never do. Twenty one percent of employees feel they’ve been kept in the dark during change. According to Snack Nation’s The Definitive Guide to Employee Engagement, in order to be effective, your internal communications must be:
- frequent and consistent
- a two-way street
- consistent with the brand and culture
- fully inclusive
Frequency and consistency
Employees need to feel valued and kept in the loop about changes or developments in the business. Even if there is nothing major to report, keeping communication consistent promotes stability and a feeling of transparency because the communication is reliable in its frequency. At least once a month, employees need to hear from the CEO, no matter how large the organisation is.
Organisations need to create opportunities for employees to express their views, whether it be in team meetings, by email or anonymously. This shows that you value their views and respect their input.
Consistency with brand and culture
As a business, what you project on the outside, should be what you project inside as well. Employees are your first customers, so it’s important that the tone of your messaging is consistent. If your brand is lighthearted, young and humorous, your internal communication should reflect that, likewise if your brand projects authority, expertise and trust.
While an e-mail from the CEO alone can do wonders for morale, a good internal communication strategy works best using as many tools at your disposal. Create incentives for employees to regularly engage with your communication, put up signs and posters around the office and create WhatsApp groups among teams. Make sure staff feel like they can walk into the CEO’s office anytime and don’t underestimate the power of the humble suggestion box. Its anonymity allows people to be honest about the issues they’re having, giving you real insights instead of the blank stares you may get in a team meeting when asking for input.
Support staff and remote workers often get left out of company status meetings or notifications. If your only mode of communication is via e-mail for example, this will exclude vital staff members like cleaners or receptionists who may not have e-mail accounts. Similarly if meetings are how you communicate, you’re excluding employees that work offsite. Make sure that all company-wide communication is fully inclusive so that your organisation in its entirety is on the same wavelength about the business.
According to BlueSource, productivity improves by 25 percent in organisations with connected employees. Before tuning up your internal communication, start by listening to what the needs are from your employees, assess the current methods you have, create dialogue and actively use the feedback you receive and most of all, be authentic and transparent.
Need help with your employment engagement strategy? TPP in partnership with global internal communication specialists Spoon can help.