The workplace environment has changed dramatically over the last two decades or so. The shift from all-analog to almost fully digital certainly didn’t happen overnight. Still, many companies struggle to keep up with the “new normal,” which is something our society is currently well aware of. But the fact is, the industry isn’t waiting for anyone.
In order to stay ahead of the curve and your direct competitors, you must follow the modern trends and always be up to date with how the leading players on the market are tackling them. This refers to both – how you handle your clients, as well as to how you manage internal mechanisms that are keeping your company afloat.
One of these in-house aspects of this notion is having an internal communications strategy.
This involves keeping a healthy workplace environment, while making sure all the important messages get across in a timely and organized manner, without any communication bottlenecks or unnecessary mishaps. The idea is to keep everyone happy and get the job done, with just the right amounts of transparency, value, focus and efficiency.
This is where Internal Communications come into play. With that said, here are 5 best practice tips for devising an effective IC strategy that will benefit both your business AND your employees.
Understand What the Overarching Goals of Your Internal Communications Strategy are
In order to come up with a successful strategy of any kind, one must have a bird’s eye view right from the beginning. If you want your IC plan to pan out the way you want it to, you need to first figure out what the goals are, and then build one from there on out.
The following questions should help you hit the ground running:
Do you understand what the specific communication needs of your business are?
Do you understand what the specific communication needs of your employees are?
Where do these needs coalesce, and where do they diverge?
What are all the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to get there?
Where do your internal communication levels stand right now?
What aspects of your IC are currently working? Where do you see room for improvement?
Once you have well-thought out answers to these questions, you can start formulating your own, custom-tailored internal communications strategy.
Maintain Consistency Across Internal & External Channels
When creating this type of system and data tracking, it is important to keep the similar levels of consistency for both internal and external channels and messages. This is especially true for large organizations that have decentralized information flows across numerous levels and departments.
Make sure that the ultimate plan, end-goal, and values of your IC strategy are communicated as clearly as possible to all employees. Keep optimal and consistent transparency across internal communication, and try to replicate this tactic as much as possible throughout your external channels.
Mind you, these are all extremely nuanced notions that will certainly vary, sometimes even significantly, from company to company, and from industry to industry. But the general idea is the same – communicate frequently, fairly, transparently, and consistently. Only then can you build organic, long-term trust among all employee and executive levels.
Monitor Internal Employee-based Communication
Though this type of employee tracking and monitoring is always a tricky subject, it is possible to find the optimal balance between internal correspondence monitoring and low intrusiveness. Make sure that you do it for all the right reasons, which include:
Working toward employee productivity boosts
Tracking down potential legal-based hazards
Recognizing harmful internal micro-environments
Tracking down potential mobbing, sexual harassment, etc
For these purposes we recommend practicing email archiving and incorporating your own email retention policy. These practices can help organizations on at least two separate levels: tracking the aforementioned harmful behaviour, as well as making sure your company’s sensitive data is being safely archived and easily accessible.
Provide Channels for Constructive Feedback-Loops
The very word communication implies there’s a two-way channel at play. With this in mind, providing feedback loops where all the internal communications points can have an equal and fair say and make suggestions is a very important component of this type of program.
There are numerous ways to make this happen including one-on-one conversation, as well as online tools that help build and encourage open and transparent conversation among the teams and team members.
Two-way feedback and idea exchange will keep the conversation flowing and allow for a healthy work environment, especially if the end goals are aligned across all departments.
Obviate Communication Overloads
On the other hand, you should also be careful to not overdo it and create a communication overload that overwhelms your employees. This can easily backfire and be counter-effective, especially within large corporations, enterprises, as well as small businesses that are experiencing rapid growth.
Being parsimonious is crucial for creating an effective Internal Communication strategy. Be concise, consistent, keep your communication simple and straight to the point.
Over To You
The modern business landscape involves a lot of moving parts, and each must be approached strategically and tactfully. The clients come and go, but great employees are your biggest assets. It is up to you not to lose them, and establishing a healthy communication with them is a crucial part of it.