5 Tips for Better Internal Communication
We’re consistently talking about the importance of being open, honest and transparent with your employees, and that is dependent on strong communication between leaders and employees, but how do you create that strong communication?
Internal communications can add value to your organization in a number of ways from making employees feel more secure in their positions, to helping them understand their place in the greater goals of your organization.
But what happens when your employees simply aren’t reading your company’s internal communication?
As with any type of communication, whether it’s designed for your employees or your customers, it needs to be content that’s compelling and serves a true purpose.
You spend a significant amount of resources designing communication for the outside world, so why not do the same for your internal efforts?
If you’re just getting started with a comprehensive internal communication strategy, or you’re just ready to refresh your current content, consider these tips:
- Be considerate of everyone’s time. Yes, you want to have a strong line of communication between your organizational leaders and your employees, but everyone in today’s fast-paced world is in a time crunch. Keep your internal communication short, concise and to the point. Give them information in a way that’s direct and meaningful and isn’t wasting their time. If you can say it in a paragraph, why instead say it in a page?
- Use your internal communication as a way to show appreciation for your employees. In today’s workforce, employees often say they value being appreciated over even a higher salary, and internal communications are a great opportunity to put employees in the spotlight, congratulate them on a job well done and just really show that you do value everything they do for your organization.
- Internal communication is as much about a strategy as external communication. It’s important that before you begin disseminating communications to your employees, you have goals and metrics in place to track the progress of how effective the information you’re sending out truly is. For example, if your goal is to improve transparency in your organization, you can take assessments of employees throughout the year to see how comfortable they feel with the level of honesty they think is being demonstrated. If your goal is to get employees enrolled in a wellness program, obviously your goals can be related to sign-ups. If you’re not able to track how your message is faring amongst employees, you’re not going to have an idea of whether or not you should be shifting or altering your delivery.
- Internal communication, just like external communication, often isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. You may need to identify different segments in your workplace, particularly if your workforce is large, and then target your communication to these specific groups. Yes, you may want to have one monthly or quarterly newsletter that goes to every employee and offers a general overview of what’s happening in your organization, but you may also consider different types of communication and varying strategy based on department or other segments.
- Encourage two-way communication through social media. If you want to gauge how effective your communication is, and how well you’re reaching your employees with your intended message, utilize social media on an internal level. This will allow you to have another channel of communication, and social media is also a valuable and inexpensive way to let your employees feel like they’re being heard, they’re “in the loop” and they’re part of important conversations happening.
Internal communication can strengthen the entire foundation of your organization when you’re willing to put in the time to develop a strategy, adjust it when necessary and go through multiple channels to reach your employees. Today’s internal communication goes far beyond the printed employee newsletter, and employers have more avenues than ever to reach their employees.
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