Internal communication is an area often overlooked by many companies, but it is fundamental to the success of any evolving business. In an ideal world, your employees should feel passionate and empowered by your brand and vision. In fact, employees should be advocates and pioneers for your brand story.
However, with never-ending to-do lists and personal and team goals to work towards, it’s sometimes difficult to focus on business-wide goals too.
We believe that effective internal communication can greatly impact business success. Your staff need to be behind your company mission, vision and values and be confident in demonstrating this through everything they do. Internal comms is a great way to remind people ‘why they are here’, and to refocus everyone on the customer needs instead of internal politics.
Many studies have shown that productivity has significantly improved by including and empowering your staff through internal communication. As a matter of fact, there are many ways to build an effective internal comms strategy. Today we will discuss a few ideas to help get you started and inspired!
1. Establish channels that work for everyone
Our customers have different needs and preferences regarding how they prefer to access information and learn. Your staff are just the same!
Depending on the type of company you work for, not everyone will be desk-based. In fact, some staff may not be confident with technology, and some might be visual learners or prefer face-to-face discussions.
For starters, we encourage you to think carefully about your channels and establish a variety of mediums. This will enable everyone to embrace the news and feel part of the conversation. As with marketing, it’s also very beneficial to reach your audience across different channels to further reinforce the message.
Some great channels to consider are:
- Internal newsletters (both printed and online)
- Face-to-face meetings (for example, town hall events)
- Team meetings and group workshops
- Intranet articles and discussion boards
- Survey software for regular feedback
- Internal videos, podcasts and webinars
- Physical literature (posters, desk postcards and branded merchandise)
2. Ensure all managers are communicating with their teams
A huge part of effective internal communication is having exceptional management skills. This is especially important when sharing big or challenging news. Most employees will trust their boss and will go to them for advice and guidance.
In fact, all people managers should be thoroughly briefed on big company news and be given support regarding communicating this effectively to their team members.
We encourage managers to have regular team meetings AND one-to-ones so that staff can feel they can share their concerns or ideas at a group and individual level.
3. Create spaces for staff to feel comfortable to feedback
We really believe in the power of empowering and energising your staff to enable business success. Your staff should support your brand development and be excited by your evolving story. But to ensure they are genuinely excited by this, you must listen to them and get them involved. This will also help enrich your plans whilst inspiring advocacy and generating positive feedback.
Some ideas for creating a space for feedback could be:
- Small team or cross-team workshops
- Open Q&A sessions with management
- Intranet forums
- Physical staff feedback boxes
- Feedback email address
We encourage you to create spaces that are both open AND confidential, as not everyone will feel confident sharing all their thoughts and feedback in a public forum. This is especially relevant when you are communicating challenging news.
4. Recruit internal champions
Everyone has their own jobs to do, and internal communication can often be easily forgotten and removed by other priorities. We urge you to prioritise it though! Your staff must be kept informed and in the loop regarding business decisions, development and any impactful changes.
For example, one way to ensure you keep momentum is to recruit internal champions. Perhaps you can have one per team or department or a few individuals if you’re a small company. In effect, this is a great way to get staff from all levels and backgrounds involved in your company’s development. This may also help if staff don’t wish to speak to their boss about a topic.
5. Ensure management is actively listening to staff
Do you encourage active listening across your company?
Does your senior management really know about all the issues affecting your staff?
Are there individuals that care about profit rather than staff empowerment?
This is important to get right! Managers at all levels should ask open questions to their staff and regularly provide space to share feedback. There should be processes to ensure these views are actioned and escalated appropriately.
Simple examples could be a senior manager having a coffee with a junior staff member. Or a manager encouraging and enabling cross-team mingling at a company event.
Another great idea is to provide open drop-in sessions with senior management. Through an open-door policy, you’ll learn a lot about your staff, help them feel valued, and probably get some great insights to help improve your business too.
There you go! Our 5 top tips for effective internal communication.
Your internal comms strategy is a very tricky thing to get right, but it’s essential to try!
Company culture is exceedingly tricky to change overnight. We encourage you to create a positive internal communication environment from the outset so that both you and your staff feel listened to and excited by your brand and company development.
Looking for more tips related to content marketing and communication? Check out our top copywriting tips for beginners and watch our 16 tips for creating your own video content.