Good internal communication is crucial for the success of your business. But exactly why is internal communication important?
The successful implementation of an idea in the workplace is only as good as how well it’s communicated between teams. Companies often work zealously to build strong communication with their clients, but place less emphasis on their internal communications.
Business performance is strongly tied to good internal communication, and companies should think twice before putting it on the backburner. This article covers why internal communication is important, and what you can do to improve yours.
Internal communication is the process put in place that enables people within a company to exchange information. It’s used as a blanket term for different types of information exchange happening within the company.
Communication within companies can occur across multiple channels. There are top-down memos, general announcements, peer-to-peer communication, information campaigns, and more. Each method of internal communication is designed for a specific audience with a definite purpose.
Without a well-defined communication strategy, your communication efforts can create chaos. Its effectiveness determines the quality of work produced, and unless everyone is on the same page, your business performance can take a significant blow.
There are a few common types of internal communication we see in the workplace.
Managers and senior leaders have two key tasks: defining the direction of the company, and setting the culture that facilitates it. Making both of these clear to the workforce is critical.
This type of communication encompasses updates, strategy overviews, performance, and formal announcements.
Research on employee engagement and satisfaction has shown that communication should be strong both ways.
It’s important to ensure every voice is heard, and it’s the task of internal communications to facilitate that with the right tools, channels, and support.
Feedback from employees, staff surveys, polls, and ideation for staff are all part of bottom-up communication. This is supported by a Bonusly Survey, which found 95% of engaged employees believed managers listened to their ideas, compared to 39% of disengaged employees.
Employees working in different teams need to be able to collaborate to share knowledge, solve problems, or simply network to make the workplace more productive.
Peer-to-peer communication is facilitated through instant messaging tools, project management platforms, and chat forums.
Information communication is meant to get the employees up to speed on a number of different things such as HR and IT information, policies and procedures, legal information, How-to resources, training tools and content, and company information.
Communication of essential information is critical during a crisis. Companies need to have a robust crisis communication plan to mitigate any unexpected surprises. A multi-channel approach is ideal for crisis communication.
Campaigns can involve things such as promotional activities, education drives, raising awareness, and generating participation for events. They are activities designed towards a specific outcome within a predefined time.
Campaign communication requires clever use of channels and message format to gain attention.
Here are 8 key reasons why internal communication is vital in a company.
Engagement is strongly associated with productivity and business success. Employee engagement can’t be overlooked in a company, yet only 33% of employees report being engaged at work.
Companies that have strong internal communication create a two-way dialogue between employees and management. When employees feel like they are important enough to be heard and valued by the company, they are more satisfied and engaged.
Internal communication can also be a catalyst for introducing other employee engagement ideas into the business.
A good internal communication system facilitates transparency. Transparency is at the heart of trust, which fosters a greater sense of security and accountability in a company.
Employees prefer to hear about major announcements through their trusted leaders over any other sources. They also want to be aware of how decisions are made at the upper level, as it affects everyone else.
Seamless internal communication opens up opportunities for different departments to make news or announcements which would otherwise be made by the marketing and HR departments.
This allows individual departments to express themselves more openly, rather than have HR dominate the narrative. News reporters and event coordinators then are more empowered to update the rest and give a complete perspective. This helps build greater trust in the employees.
Culture is what the image of a company is built upon. One of the primary goals of internal communication has always been to manifest the company culture.
When done right, communication can have everyone in sync with the culture, and even helps newcomers adapt quickly. If communication is executed poorly, it will leave employees confused and frustrated.
The company’s culture, values, and internal communication need to mesh perfectly for organisational and employee success. It’s more important now than ever as the pandemic lockdowns have fragmented teams, necessitating the need for a positive culture working from home.
A steady stream of information that flows from top-down and horizontally is necessary to get the message across to everyone in the organization. Employees need to be reminded of the company goals and objectives so they do not lose sight of the bigger picture.
The roadmap laid out for the objectives will be clear for everyone in the teams. The clarity then motivates employees to perform while instilling confidence.
Instant communication can significantly reduce the time to implementation from the ideation phase, leading to a more productive workplace.
Using a centralized system for internal communications can help with this (like the Empuls Social Intranet for example). Communication is made easier by keeping all communications on one platform. For example, work can be commenced on a project with instant approval from stakeholders in the form of likes on a shared post. Changes that need to be made or any other relevant information can be instantly shared and approved.
People are more likely to respond immediately if the task can be done in a step as simple as clicking on a like button, rather than drafting a whole email.
Collaborative efforts require two-way communication to reach business targets on time and within budget. Internal communication is important for teams to discuss their ideas, and also have the leadership in the loop so everybody is aware of the status of the project.
The other side of this communication is feedback. Soliciting periodic feedback from employees makes them feel that their opinions are important to the company. This can significantly improve motivation, engagement, and productivity.
Crisis can occur at any level and by its nature- unexpectedly. The dynamic business environments can sometimes compel companies to undergo restructuring, mergers, or acquisitions.
Internal communication is absolutely essential during these times to pass on accurate information. Being transparent about the changes, who it affects, who will be let go, and who will be reassigned gives employees a clear picture and eases tension.
Rumors and undue conflicts in the absence of such clear communication can also be avoided.
Here are a few tips on how to go about creating an internal communication strategy:
So that covers why internal communication is important. Having a strong internal communication strategy is just as important as having an external communication strategy.
Good communication boosts employee engagement, which is essential for productivity and business success. In a world that has seen a radical shift in the work culture in the form of hybrid work models, robust internal communication is more important than ever to bring the company together.
Interested in more ways you can create a great company culture? Watch our webinar on this topic.
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