One of the key elements of growth within any business is the effectiveness of its communication. It is often an area which is mentioned in workshops that Lumien perform with employees – but often an area which companies find difficult to address. Therefore, this blog aims to introduce some actionable steps which can be taken to address the issue.
A key point to remember up front though – communications can be improved in its own right, which is the purpose of this article – however, it could also be down to other factors within an organisations culture.
Internal communications play a key role in this. It is the process of connecting with employees, stakeholders, and other people within a business to ensure the exchange of information, ideas, and opinions. Internal communications are a crucial tool used to ensure the growth of a company.
What are Internal Communications?
Internal communications are the process of sharing information, ideas, and opinions between people within a business. It is important to ensure that employees can have access to the information they need at the right time. It can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals (remembering that there are other cultural elements that could come into play here as well).
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Internal communications can take many forms, including newsletters, emails, intranets, social media, blogs, and other digital platforms. The goal of internal communications is to ensure that everyone is informed and up to date on the latest information. It helps to strengthen relationships within the organisation, build trust, and promote a sense of unity. It also helps to ensure that employees are aware of the company’s purpose, mission, vision, and values – it can also help drive daily behaviour.
Benefits of Internal Communications
Internal communications offer a variety of benefits to businesses. It helps to keep everyone in the organisation informed and up to date on the latest news and developments. Here are some of the key benefits of internal communications:
- Improved connectivity: ensures that each employee can access the same information simultaneously. This guarantees that everyone is on the same wavelength and is aiming for the same objectives.
- Increased productivity: assists in motivating cooperation and makes sure that the personnel are informed and informed on the newest updates, resulting in higher rate of productivity and effectiveness.
- Improved morale: assists in developing a feeling of unity and cultivates a more positive work atmosphere. This can lead to higher morale and more employee satisfaction.
- Enhanced engagement: helps to involve employees and promotes them to take part actively in the organisation, creating a stronger sense of ownership.
- Better customer service: helps to ensure that all employees are informed and up to date on the latest customer service information, leading to an improved customer service experience.
Best Practices for Internal Communications
Internal communications require a strategy in order to be effective. Here are some best practices to help ensure that your internal communications are successful:
- Set clear objectives: it is important to set clear objectives for your internal communications. This will help to ensure that your message is clear and that everyone is on the same page – it will also help to make it measurable in the long run.
- Use different channels: using different channels for internal communications will help with inclusivity and help individuals who prefer to receive information in different formats.
- Consider multiple or alternating formats: individuals like to receive information in different formats, so consider multiple formats (e.g. Audio, Video, Text), or even just mixing it up from time to time.
- Make it interactive: internal communications should be interactive and engaging. In line with the point above about individuals preferring to receive information in different formats, this will also help to encourage participation and foster collaboration.
- Measure and evaluate: constantly measuring and evaluating your internal communications can be critical to its success. This will help to ensure that your message is effective and that it is reaching the intended audience, with the right interaction.
- Be timely: internal communications should be timely, making sure that everyone is informed and up to date on the latest news and developments, but also being sensitive to ongoing timelines within the organisation. Internal comms can be a powerful tool when utilised correctly.
Challenges of Internal Communications
Internal communications can be challenging and here are some of those key challenges that businesses can face:
- Lack of engagement: employees may find it hard to be involved in internal communications if the message does not appear attractive or applicable.
- Lack of trust: creating trust between staff can be a challenge if communication is scarce. Thus, it is significant to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and openness to have successful internal communications.
- Resistance to Change: it could be complicated to encourage staff to accept changes. To create acceptance, it is critical to guarantee that workers are aware of and comprehend the explanations behind the shift. You need to bring your employees on a journey with you – not after you. However, it is important to note that there is a whole area here in change management (which isn’t be addressed in this article).
- Lack of technology: keeping up with the current technology may be difficult if the company does not invest in the essential tools and assets.
- Insufficient Resources: managing internal communications can be a challenge if there are not enough resources available. It is essential to assign enough resources to guarantee effective internal communications.
The Role of Technology in Internal Communications
Technology plays an important role in internal communications. It helps to ensure that everyone is informed and up to date on the latest news and developments. Here are some ways that technology can be utilised:
- Automation: ever missed some individuals, or a team when communicating some news? Automation can be used to streamline the internal communications process. This can help to ensure that you don’t miss anyone out, and everyone is informed and up to date on the latest news and developments in a timely manner.
- Social media: multi-channel approaches are now critical in external comms, and internal comms should follow suit – You can use social to share news and updates and foster a sense of community.
- Video conferencing: video conferencing is an effective way to communicate with remote employees and stakeholders. This can also help with delivering information in a different format, that isn’t just written text, and can possibly be used to shake things up every now and again.
- AI & Chatbots: ChatGPT is really pushing things forwards in this area, with the use of AI to make things more interactive. Like video conferencing, this can be a way of making information accessible in a different format.
- Intranets: intranets are a great way to share information and foster collaboration. They can be used to share documents, news, and other resources in a secure and organized way.
Social Media and Internal Communications
Social media can be a powerful tool for internal communications – if handled with a lot of care. It helps to engage employees and encourage participation. Here are some tips on how to use social media for internal communications:
- Use multiple channels: using multiple channels when communicating with employees can help in addressing different demographics, as well as different communication styles – the same as external marketing.
- Encourage participation: it is important to encourage employees to participate in social media conversations – There are numerous ways to achieve this, such as asking for responses on LinkedIn or creating internal groups on Facebook.
- Be timely: it is important to be timely when communicating on social media, be aware of what else is happening in the world and be wary of your hashtags!
- Monitor conversations: keep tabs on your social media conversations in order to ensure that your message is effective and that it is reaching the intended audience.
- Measure and evaluate: it is critical to measure and evaluate your social media campaigns in order to ensure that they are effective and you’re getting what you need from them.
How to Utilize Internal Communications to Effectively Communicate Your Company Culture
When it comes to company culture – it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Here are some tips on how to utilize internal comms to effectively communicate your culture:
- Underpin all communications with you mission, vision, and values: your mission, vision and values are what will harness a sense of trust and collaboration, it is important to make sure these shine through when communicating with employees.
- Be clear and concise: it is important to be clear and concise when communicating your company culture. Make sure to communicate your values and mission in a way that is easy for everyone to understand.
- Emphasize collaboration: internal communications should emphasize collaboration and teamwork. This will help to foster a sense of unity and a positive work environment.
- Encourage feedback: getting employees to provide feedback and express their opinions is critical in understanding effectiveness. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
- Use storytelling: stories are a great way to engage employees and communicate your company culture. Use stories to illustrate your values and mission in a way that is interesting and engaging. It is aways possible here to highlight where certain employees have gone some way to helping achieve your mission, or clearly demonstrated your values.
- Foster a culture of transparency: it is important to foster a culture of transparency in order to ensure effective internal communications. Encourage open dialogue and be willing to listen to feedback.
Leveraging Internal Communications for Employee Engagement
Internal communications are an effective way to engage employees and foster collaboration. Here are some tips on how to leverage internal comms for employee engagement:
- Make it personal: everybody loves a story. Internal comms should be personalized and tailored, with the mention of people where possible – this will help to ensure that the message is relevant and engaging.
- Promote dialogue: asking employees to engage in open and honest dialogue can help to foster a sense of unity and collaboration – but also give you the feedback you need.
- Encourage feedback: it is important to get your employees to give feedback where possible and express their own opinions. It is possible to begin to investigate communication types here and keep these in mind.
- Be transparent: being transparent and open when communicating with employees makes all the difference – keep level as people will always see through things and question things later on if you aren’t.
- Use visuals: visuals are a great way to engage employees and communicate your message. Using visuals to illustrate your values and mission in a way that is interesting and engaging can be particularly effective.
Internal communications are an essential tool for any business to succeed. It helps to ensure that everyone is informed and up to date on the latest news and developments. It also helps to foster collaboration and promote a sense of community within the organisation. Utilizing internal communications to effectively communicate your company culture is an important part of any growing business. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that your internal communications are effective and successful.
Once you begin to implement items from the above, and then track your data around internal comms, you may notice some improvement, but as mentioned at the start of this article – remember that there are other underlying cultural factors which may be affecting your internal comms, and it is important to take this into account.
Internal communications are a powerful tool for any business. If utilized correctly, it can help to ensure that everyone is informed and up to date on the latest news and developments. It can help to foster collaboration and promote a sense of unity within the organisation. By leveraging internal communications to effectively communicate your company culture, you can help create a high-growth, high-performing business.
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