Who doesn’t want to be heard? The demographics at every workplace is changing at a rapid place, and collaboration, transparency and feedback is all that matters in today’s corporate space. Therefore, internal communication plays the most important role in aligning employees with their goals.
Why is it important to have strong internal communication?
While internal communication can be segmented into vertical communication and horizontal communication, vertical communication deals with communicating up or down the formal hierarchy in a corporate office. On the other hand, horizontal communication is about communicating among people of the same level in an organization. It is also called lateral communication. Both these types of communication are considered important, as they deal with the communication patterns among people of the same designation or job profile.
Here are 10 tips for organizations to improve your internal communications in a commendable way:
1. Make every employee thoroughly familiar with the internal communication system used in the company. By doing this, the organization can be sure that every employee, new or old, captures the way the company goes about things. Making this topic a part of the training process or induction process will ingrain the methodology in every employee’s thought process.
2. Employee engagement is the next big tip. Create online collaboration platforms for your employees and this will rapidly improve employee engagement. For instance, you could create a website or an internal portal, which can be updated with the latest industry news, projects’ progress, achievements of team members etc.—employees do not like to know about the latest company news from other channels; they like to be informed before the news looms around the world—respect this! Such platforms also pave the way for information sharing.
3. Adopt an internal communication tool for your company. There are a plenty of communication messengers and tools available in the market—Microsoft offers Lync and Skype, and so do the other competitors. Adopt one that will suit the needs of your company and budget. There are also many free communication channels, which the startups can take advantage of. Sharing a screen, inviting people for meeting, communicating about the moments of the meeting etc. can all be shared through a single communication platform.
4. Empower the middle management—in most companies, information cascades down from the higher management to the lower management. The middle management staff are the messengers who ensure that the info reaches their teams. There is no guarantee that all the information is taken across to all levels of employees. Therefore, if the middle management staff are given access to a central communication channel, the higher-ups can be sure that all the information they give out reaches all cadres of staff.
5. Train the millennials in your organization—according to a recent survey from famous companies, the millennials lacks the necessary soft skills. They do not feel comfortable enough to indulge in convincing the team to go about a work process as they instruct, to resolve conflicts and misunderstanding with the team members, and to express their points of concern about the workflow of a particular project, for example. Therefore, if the organization spends minimal talent and budget on training the millennials on soft skills, the higher management can relax, while the millennials solve every conflict that comes their way!
6. Strengthen your internal communication with frontline employees. In easier terms, keep communicating with your frontline employees and ensure that their happy, so that they will deliver the same promise to your customers as does your brand.
7. Empower your remote workforce: Every company today believes in remote working conditions. Many surveys reveal that remote workers are more productive than the in-house staff. That being said, ensure that your remote workforce is looped in all the latest updates of the company or the project that they are involved in. Though the workforce is remote, the communication is internal—and this cannot be stressed enough!
8. A picture is worth a thousand words—sounds familiar? This adage stands true for your internal communications as well. Make your employees your content creators. Make periodic videos about your working culture and let your employees speak their hearts out. This will not only give your organization a stage to advertise on famous social media channels like Facebook and YouTube, but will invoke the interest of other candidates to wish to join your organization! Doesn’t that sound like shooting two birds with a single stone? Go for it!
9. Measure the impact: It does not matter what kind of internal communication tool you’ve adopted; measuring the impact is the most important phase of improving your internal communications. Conduct periodic surveys on employees’ happiness and assure them that their feedback will be considered anonymous; this will let you know the real status of how your internal communication strategy is performing.
10. Go mobile with your internal communication strategy: Who doesn’t download an app these days? Smartphones have made life much fancier—launch communication tools as mobile apps and this will encourage your employees to stay active and communicate.
Both technological advancements and face-to-face meetings with your employees will enhance the optimal internal communications. For the modern technological innovations, don’t give up your facetime with employees, and at the same time, just don’t trust the traditional method of interacting with your employees; explore technology too. Bring the right blend of both to boost the internal communications within your organization!
Hiya Chakrabarti is the co-founder of Impals