How to Build an Effective Internal Communication Strategy?
Communicating effectively with employees is an important part of any business. A well-defined communication strategy is key to a successful business. However, as per Gallagher’s research report, 60% of businesses do not have an internal communication strategy. And of those who do have one, around 12% do not understand its effectiveness.
If there is no internal communication strategy, it is bound to fail. But why should a lack of internal communication strategy be so negative for your business? And how can you build one to help your business? Here’s a quick guide.
Why Do You Need an Internal Communication Strategy?
There is a lot of information that needs to be shared throughout the organization, and it has to be distributed in a way that everyone can reach it, and understand it. An effective internal communication strategy helps an organization navigate this challenge with ease. Here’s why you need an internal communication strategy:
- Improve employee productivity: As per a Trade Press Services report, employees feel 85% more motivated towards work when the internal communication strategy is efficient. If they are not well-connected, they end up spending more time looking for information needed for task completion, which has a negative impact on their productivity.
- Easy execution: With a clear internal communication strategy, you can quickly execute your goals, encourage employee participation, measure success, plan out resources and software you need.
- Helps with organizational ailments: A well-documented internal communication strategy helps the organization understand business benefits in terms of budget, personal participation, and implementation. It creates a good workplace environment for employees and reduces employee frustration.
Challenges Faced While Implementing an Internal Communication Strategy
Following challenges are faced by companies when implementing internal communication strategy:
- Top-down information flow and inter-departmental information flow
- Employee feedback collection and solutions implementation
- Employee engagement
- Frequent measurement of their progress
Measures to Build an Effective Internal Communication Strategy
Every company has a unique culture and style of communication. But, the key to successful communication in a company is to be consistent and authentic. Here is a guide to launching an effective internal communication strategy-
1. Revise your current strategies: You must already have some employee communication, so it is best to access it. Check your current performance and goals for the communication program. Evaluate what type of strategy will resonate with your staff and how you will streamline your internal communication team. Once you understand these questions, you can visualize your strategies with tactical details.
2. Set your goals, objectives, and timelines: Your strategies won’t affect your employee communication overnight. You need to make smart goals and set internal benchmarks to notice its impact. You can also plan a survey for employee feedback.
While setting up goals, keep in mind that they must be clear, specific, easily measurable through milestones, realistic, and manageable. It is best to create a timeline for each goal to maintain its accountability and measure the performance. Also, the concerned team should connect with the goals, objectives, and timelines you set.
3. Choose core metrics: The core metrics will show whether the strategy is working or not. It will also show whether employees are using the set communication or not. You can work on areas that need more attention and modify strategies accordingly. Here are some metrics to be considered:
- Anecdotal feedback: Anecdotal feedback will help you understand employee experience with data.
- Employee engagement metrics: Do your employees comment, share, like or start a discussion after reading the internal content? Or do they engage proactively in related meetings? This data will give you significant insights.
- Project management: Because of remote and hybrid work modes, project management has gone digital. Keeping remote workers in the loop and establishing standard communication through tools and platforms is essential.
4. Map out the audience: It is crucial to determine the target audience for corporate communications. It helps deliver relevant information to the right audience at the right time. You don’t need to overwhelm employees with too much information causing them to ignore the valuable details. Strategize your approach to communicate and discuss valuable content with teams rather than sending everything to everyone.
5. Approval process: Create an approval process for your content to prevent errors and confidential news from accidentally being published to the wrong team. There can be role-based access levels created for content creation, moderation, approval, and publishing. The Internal Communications team can create a set of guidelines for the employees to post content to ensure alignment with the organization’s brand and values.
6. Internal communication tools: Choose specific channels for certain messages. Some messages are best suited for an email update, while a few announcements need an internal messaging platform, like PeopleOne, a SharePoint-based intranet solution. Best-in-class technology will have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction.
7. Optimize your progress: After tracking progress from performance indicators, frequently optimize your efforts for better results. Conduct quarterly, monthly or yearly evaluations of your communication strategies. Leave space for open feedback so anyone can candidly share their thoughts. Let people know that you listen to them and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Future-proof your communication
Internal communication is the backbone of successful businesses and can be mastered by building an effective internal communication strategy. But when it comes to future-proofing your internal communications strategy, the work is never done. Just remember that all your efforts should serve to help you connect with your employees authentically, and provide a better employee experience.