In today’s changing working environment, prioritising Internal Communications is pivotal to success
With advances in technology and more people working from home, how does your current internal communications strategy stack up to this rapidly changing working environment?
One of the main issues employees cite as a barrier to them achieving their work targets or enjoying their role in an organisation is poor communication. This can be attributed to a particular line manager or a systematic issue that is part of the overall culture. If this issue is not remedied, it can have detrimental effects on morale, efficiency and ultimately the profitability of your business.
The world has moved on. Internal Communications is more important than ever as businesses grapple with communicating to and engaging employees. Internal Communications is now an important business discipline for all companies from SME’s to large corporates. In a world where we are continually bombarded with messages, internal communications is the structure you need to retain focus on your common goals.
Some organisations go to the trouble and expense of developing an internal communications strategy but like crisis communications, if it is not embedded into the culture of an organisation and led by the CEO, it will not be effective. It is simply not enough to expect HR or the Communications Department or in some cases, a sole person, to drive and implement a successful internal communications strategy without the buy in from the Senior Management team and the entire organisation. No one can communicate effectively in a vacuum.
Most people will have worked in an organisation at some stage in their lives where communication was poor or sporadic, at best. The main impacts of ineffective internal communications on an organisation include:
- Duplication of work outputs across the organisation leading to inefficiency and delayed or poor customer service
- A silo mentality with employees restricted to their own departments with no transferability or understanding of the overarching goals of the organisation
- A well fed rumour mill leading to disenfranchised employees
- A them and us scenario between management and employees
- Irregular and impersonal communication from the CEO and management including town hall meetings and formal emails.
I think we would all agree that how you communicate to your staff matters. Your people are your best asset and also your best advocates. Communication is an integral part of all of our jobs. It drives efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement and a positive culture. A well thought out tailored internal communications strategy that is championed by the CEO can deliver long term rewards including the following:
- Greater productivity and efficiency
- Faster response times to issues and crisis scenarios
- Empowered and valued employees, less rumours and complaints to HR
- Knowledgeable employees with a holistic understanding of the organisation and its goals.
- Opportunities for employees to contribute ideas leading to greater creativity and insights
- Regular and approachable communications from the CEO through face to face and using platforms that best fit with the organisations make up.
- A more flexible workforce willing to take on new roles, technology to play their part in achieving organisational goals.
Internal communications can only succeed if leaders are using their role as key communicators effectively. Working with an external agency specialising in this area can assist leadership to understand their role and provide the training required to communicate to their teams in a meaningful, authentic and passionate way.
Communication is a two way street. As you plan ahead, take the time to listen, evaluate and invest your time, energy and commitment into driving an internal communications strategy that will bring your team together to achieve your collective goals.