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11 Simple Tips to Improve Internal Communication
The importance of internal communications can not be overstated. A good internal communication function can boost engagement and productivity in your workforce.
Amazingly, 60% of companies don’t have a long term strategy for their internal communications.
However, implementing a plan and improving internal communications needn't be an arduous task.
This guide on how to improve your internal communication includes:
- Internal Communication Definition
- What is Effective Internal Communication
- What is the Goal of Internal Communication
- 11 Tips to Improve Communication
- Tools to Improve Internal Communication
Internal Communication Definition
Internal communications is how information is shared in an organisation. This applies to the processes and tools that facilitate communication.
Internal communication in its true form will keep employees connected and informed. Engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers. Effective communication is vital to future success.
What is Effective Internal Communication?
Effective internal communication can take many forms depending on the business. What it will always entail is communicating with employees sufficiently at all levels.
Oak’s Head of New Business & Marketing, Rachel Davison, believes that effective internal communication must start from the top.
“With internal communication it is key to set an example from leadership first and foremost. This will establish the tone, culture you want to create and set a precedent for the rest of the business.”
Rachel Davison, Head of New Business & Marketing for Oak Engage
“You also have to learn how people within the business want to communicate and share to create a two-way dialogue. This will help you understand what an effective internal comms strategy will look like.”
Recommended Reading 📖: How to Improve Employee: Engagement 10 Simple Steps
What is the Goal of Internal Communications?
Ultimately, internal communications should provide an effective flow of information throughout the organisation. It will ensure employees have the tools that they need to do their job to the very best of their ability.
However, there are several goals underneath the overarching aim that also must be met. For example:
- Ensure employee understanding of company policy and procedure
- Align workforce with organisation brand, vision and values
- Streamline and standardise company processes
- Develop a collaborative culture in teams and across departments
- Make employees feel engaged and happy in their role
11 Tips to Improve Internal Communications in the Workplace
Meeting your internal communications goals will help your business in a myriad of ways.
What journey do you need to take to get to that stage? Without defined tactics it will be very difficult to realise any of your objectives.
Here are 11 tips to help improve internal communication in your workplace:
Evaluate Your Current Internal Comms
Albert Einstein famously said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
Many businesses haven’t heeded those words.
A Bambu report found that 29% of internal communication plans aren't working.
So why not make changes?
Being honest about your own failings and being open to change can help mould a plan that does work. Before devising a strategy that’s right for your business, first pinpoint what is and what isn't currently working.
It will help shape an effective internal communications plan.
Identify Aims & Objectives
How do you measure success? When implementing an internal communications strategy, you must establish what it is you are aiming to do.
You must define SMART objectives in order to evaluate and measure this. As you map out your aims, establish specific metrics and measurable targets within timeframes.
This can be applied to assess how successful your internal comms plan is on an ongoing basis, making changes where necessary.
Recommended Reading 📖: Internal Communication Plan: A Step by Step Guide
The 2020 State of Remote Working report found that 20% of remote workers experience loneliness. This makes it increasingly important to regularly check in.
A simple message can make a world of difference and shows the organisation cares about connecting with its employees.
Whilst many of the social aspects of work can be lost, you can keep it alive.
Share Important Updates and News
To create a culture of transparency the business must be forthcoming when it comes to sharing news.
Your intranet news feed provides the opportunity to champion successes and announce major changes. It also gives you a chance to convey potentially negative stories before the rumour mill goes into overdrive.
The average employee receives 121 work emails per day. Intranet timelines are a great way of sharing information in a more engaging manner.
Encourage Employee Feedback
Two-way communication with employees is absolutely key, otherwise you may never comprehend how your workers actually feel about their role.
Encouraging employees to give feedback not only helps to improve engagement, it gives the business insight . This will contribute to continuous improvement of internal communication strategy.
Pulse Surveys are a simple way to do this and integrated analytics dashboards will also visualise the data you collect.
Encourage Social Interactions in the Workplace
Facilitating non-work related communication can lead to higher engagement.
A Future Workspace study found that 70% of employees say having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life.
Of course this is harder to engineer in modern working environments. Social tools like instant messaging and community hubs can be an invaluable asset. They provide the opportunity for employees to chat about things outside of work.
Celebrate Employee Achievements
When employees feel appreciated it leads to improved happiness, higher productivity and loyalty to the organisation.
Companies who recognise their workforce’s achievements regularly have on average a 31% lower turnover rate than those that don’t. A congratulatory message or a post to your intranet news feed are simple but effective methods of displaying your gratitude.
Make Information Easily Accessible
Internal communication is down to information as much as it is down to dialogue itself. One common issue of poor internal processes is the lack of coordination relating to document storage.
McKinsey reports that workers spend on average 19% of their day searching for information. Don’t let your employees fall into this trap, establish central knowledge bases for each department.
This will allow for more collaboration across departments, uniformed processes and higher productivity.
Define Clear Mission Statement
How do you know if your employees are on the same page as the company, if they don’t know what the company stands for?
Too many businesses expect their workforce to be aligned with vision and values. But 52% of UK employees aren’t aware of their company’s vision at all. This would suggest that vision and values are generally poorly communicated, if at all.
Make sure your mission statement is front and centre of your intranet homepage and get your workforce reading off the same page .
Arrange Virtual Events
Engagement goes further than the role itself, it is also general morale. Keeping the camaraderie in your team is essential to energising employees.
If you have remote workers in your department, get some events into the calendar to keep open the lines of face-to-face communication.
Even something like a weekly team quiz can help boost team morale and maintain working relationships in the remote world.
Accommodate All of Your Workforce
Managing different generations in your organisation poses challenges in itself. How do you communicate with them all? What tools should your business use?
It is important that you offer a variety of tools that accommodate the diversity of your workforce and not leave anyone behind.
Recommended Reading 📖: 11 Internal Communications Tools For 2021 & Beyond