It's Time to Rethink Your Internal Communications Strategy
“Customers come first.” It’s the golden rule of marketing and it’s probably something your manager tells you every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
But is it true? In many ways, yes. Customers can make or break your brand in seconds. They have social media. They have review sites. They have blogs. If you help them, they’ll give you money and keep your business running. If you don’t, they’ll let you know about it (and loudly, too). It’s an iffy outlook on paper, but there’s no better learning experience than trial and error.
Customers are important, sure, but putting them first isn’t on every company’s agenda these days. And that’s a good thing.
The problem with putting customers first is that you put employees second. And that’s a big no-no. On average, Americans spend around 30% of their day working and communicating with each other. Lots of companies put so much focus on talking to their customers at the expense of their workers. We all know how ugly things can get when employees and management don’t connect. Fortunately, many top-level managers are now challenging the notion of customer centricity and shifting their focus to internal, or corporate, communications
What is internal communication?
Internal communication is the process of transmitting information between different members or parts of an organization. It’s inclusive and involves all levels within a business. Some examples include company emails shared between staff members, office get-togethers, in-person meetings, Intranet, social media channels, flyers posted on office walls, and internal messaging tools like Slack (which we’re big fans of ourselves).
Internal comms flow in 3 unique directions: upward (from subordinates to superiors), downward (from superiors to subordinates), and horizontal (between employees of the same rank). In some cases it’s formal; in others, informal. Either way, it’s objective is to ensure that every employee is empowered with information and working towards a common goal.
According to HRZone, good internal communication consists of…
Open and objective communication
Clear, jargon-free, succinct language
Consistent and regular communication
Understanding the audience and what appeals to them
Using good verbal, non-verbal and written communicators
A communication identity that people recognize and use
An accessible medium.
Why is internal communication so important?
Communication between employees and management should be open and effective. Employees must have a firm understanding of their company’s values to stay motivated and know how their work impacts the overall organization. If those aren’t good enough reasons to rethink your internal comms strategy, here are 10 more:
1. Strong internal communications systems can bind teams together. Today’s workforce is diverse with employees situated in different parts of the world. They’ll need to stay connected and on the same page, regardless of their background.
2. It aligns different departments and ensures transparency between them. Miscommunication ensues when internal information isn’t coordinated.
3. Employees are widely considered the most important stakeholders of any organization. Armed with the right information, they can evolve into brand ambassadors and keep the wheels of business turning.
4. Employees who communicate and collaborate with each other have a much easier time achieving organisational goals.
5. Gallup says that 24% of employees worldwide are “actively disengaged.” Businesses can combat the issue with an effective internal comms strategy. Employees will see the bigger picture, internalize company values, and understand how they contribute to the brand’s vision.
6. There’s a mutual understanding between management and staff because both parties share information and talk to each other.
7. Managers who understand their employees (what drives and motivates them, for example) can lead them more effectively.
8. Employees who are engaged are more likely to suggest new ideas and provide feedback. With a proper internal comms strategy in place, they’ll be able to communicate those ideas and brainstorm new ones. Managers can develop internal think tanks by encouraging employees to innovate.
9. Communication channels can be leveraged to celebrate employee achievements. A workplace that thrives on appreciation attracts the best talent.
10. It can improve the customer experience. The Institute of Internal Communication posits that “a disconnect can quickly occur between the promises of promotional activity and what is actually experienced by customers if employees are not clear about what they are supposed to be doing or completely behind it.”
Joomag: the corporate communications platform for everyone
Healthy internal communication is conducive to a productive work environment. With it, team building gets a lot easier, everyone’s on the same page, and things just “click.” What’s more, workplace conflicts are quickly resolved and projects are completed on time. Everybody wins.
It’s a world we all want to live in. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t exist.
Most workplaces are prone to contention, destructive arguments, and missed deadlines. Add them up and things can get pretty stressful for everyone involved. But there’s good news. The future of internal communication is changing before our very eyes, and it’s looking very bright.
Internal comms software is breaking the mold and ensuring up-to date knowledge is always available to employees who need it. Take Joomag, for example. It’s the all-in-one corporate communications platform trusted by more than 700,000 brands today. With it, any business can...
Create all kinds of interactive content, including internal documents, presentations, newsletters, reports, and more. Start from scratch, upload a PDF file, or choose from over 300 predesigned templates.
Leverage deep collaboration tools to get everyone involved and complete large-scale projects on time. Add multiple users under your account and assign advanced rights and roles to different employees.
Order custom branded apps and keep colleagues in the loop at all times.
There’s plenty more. We’ve created a landing page that gives you a full breakdown of every feature our platform offers. Check it out by clicking here, or visit our website and sign up if you’re ready to get started.
Here are some examples from comms-centric businesses who really practice what they preach!