In order to motivate your people to bring their best efforts to the workplace, your organization must first start by looking inward at your internal communications plan.
Internal communications is an essential part of your corporate brand, company culture, and employee experience. Giving your people 20/20 vision into what’s happening at your organization is the best way to provide an exceptional workplace.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind with regards to your internal communications plan.
1. Choosing the right mediums of internal communications
Internal communications process refers to the methods of communicating messages between teams within an organization. This spectrum includes a range of corporate communication mediums, including but not limited to email communications, instant messaging services (like Slack), intranet systems, and internal meetings.
Think about your company’s current communication preferences in the workplace. How do your employees currently receive news and updates? Through Slack, Skype or Zoom conferences calls, or email? And how effective are these channels? This will inform which communication tools will work best for optimal interaction with your team members.
2. Resolving communications gaps within the company
A mass volume of information is communicated to your team throughout the work day. With the different varieties of communication at work, from flooded email inboxes and Slack channels to an endless stream of face-to-face meetings, there is a lot that becomes lost in the midst.
Poor communication could refer to a lack of clear direction from management, poor company-wide communication, or constant change that is not well communicated.
How can you ensure your messages are coming across effectively and are bridging silos in between departments?
To remove obstacles to information flow, commit to providing ongoing feedback and updates to employees at a regular and predictable cadence. Maintaining a frequency of when things will be communicated sets expectation and creates anticipation.
3. Utilizing in-person communication effectively
Email and text messaging provides an easy way to maintain internal communication. That said, in-person communication still plays a big role, particularly when the information is sensitive. Meetings and planned interactions are great for giving feedback, resolving conflict, collaborating, setting business goals, or making decisions.
4. Taking ownership of internal communication
There are key leaders within your organization who interact with that team daily to keep the lines of communication open within your teams.
Managers and supervisors are responsible for modelling the accessibility and transparency you wish to see in your internal communications. They are the conductors for sharing information and instructions, encouraging and receiving ideas and input from employees. Their interactions provide insight about our employees’ individual strengths, where their abilities are best suited at the company, and where they can be challenged to grow. This takes regular one-on-one conversations and open communications.
5. Thinking about tone
What resonates with your people is not just what is being communicated to them, but in what voice and what communication style. A conversational, friendly tone will resonate with your employees, so be personable and don’t be afraid to inject some light humour.
6. Fostering a culture of recognition
Through your internal communications, your team can share and celebrate the individual and team milestones and successes with the company. Whether done through internal newsletters or company meetings, a practice of employee recognition enhances communication, collaboration, innovation, and engagement. Even employee appreciation gestures, as a part of the communication strategy, including thank you cards and a gratitude wall serve well to connect team members to your greater purpose and mission.
7. Developing employee resource groups
Internal committees centered on specific topics and initiatives relevant to your workforce provide a space for improving the employee experience. When employees participate, they can collaborate to support each other, to widen and strengthen their networks within your organization, and to work together to further your company goals.
Some examples include a health and safety committee, a social committee for people and culture initiatives, and a women’s development network for professional growth. These employees will take the lead on internal communications on certain sectors and interest groups.
Over to you
The link between internal communications and employee engagement is clear. By improving your internal communications, your people will have transparent insight into your company’s purpose and progress, and in turn, you will earn their trust, loyalty, and increase in productivity.
The key to an effective and exceptional workplace is one that communicates with transparency and intention. Optimizing the efficiency of delivering your message and the effectiveness of how your message is received by your people is part of a strategic internal communications plan that will improve engagement across the organization and drive your business performance.