Internal communications, the messaging delivered to employees, is one of the most critical components of an organization’s overall communication strategy.
While communicating to staff is a fundamental aspect of any business, many companies fail to realize the importance of doing so with a focused, relevant, intentional and timely approach. There are effective and ineffective ways to communicate to employees, and discerning the difference can be a game-changer.
Understanding the employee’s perspective should be one of the first steps in any internal communications strategy. Too many organizations talk to employees without truly understanding what it’s like to work for the company. The disconnect between management and staff becomes apparent, and employees immediately discount the communications. Messaging should align with the culture and be relevant and practical in its delivery. Prior to developing communications, the C-suite should be advised on the current employee moral, the chief complaints and the perceived benefits of working for the organization.
Secondly, messages should align with the organization’s overall goals. The communications need to be intentional and clearly relatable to the broader, top-level objectives of the company. By leveraging a key message platform across your organization, you will drive higher employee engagement and enterprise-wide alignment of the organization’s mission, vision, values and strategic direction.
Honest and timely communication is a third aspect of effective internal messaging. Often, employees learn of company information through the “grapevine” or through an outside source. Organizations delay communicating with staff, rather than addressing potentially negative situations immediately. It is important for companies to admit challenges and communicate aspirations. It is okay to have goal-oriented messaging, as long as employees know you are striving to get there. If the communications are both realistic and inspiring, they will foster a positive work environment and a team-focused mentality. An outside communications consultant can assist in tailoring your messaging, while providing a fresh perspective.
Effective internal communications is vital to the success of a company. It makes a workforce more engaged, productive and helps support a more competitive employer brand.