An internal communications strategy is a blueprint that establishes different ways by which you can improve communication with your staff and plan goals more effectively. Smooth internal communication can improve satisfaction for both employees and customers.
Following internal communications best practices will allow you to communicate with your employees more efficiently. Devise strategies that will drive engagement and help your employees achieve the goals of the company. You can opt for different communication tools like Bites to improve internal communication.
The Top Benefits of Internal Communication
The importance of better internal communication cannot be underestimated. Effective communications will strengthen the cultural foundation and work ethic of your company. With the help of the correct communications strategy, the team will be able to foresee and tackle issues more efficiently. Internal communication can also boost employee engagement and retention.
Increased employee engagement
Internal communications best practices will help you increase employee engagement, crucial to the employee retention process. A shared vision, friendly dialogue and inclusive values can enhance team performance.
Communication makes employees feel validated, and they will be more likely to deliver high value products if they feel that they are respected and included. Gallup found that highly engaged employees can boost sales by 20% and profitability by 21% overall.
Make your employees feel heard
Internal communication techniques can help to set up a safe space for people to share their ideas without feeling conscious. Your employees will feel valued when they notice that you are respecting their ideas, and they will be more likely to improve their contribution.
Better response time during emergencies
An internal communication system will allow staff to connect to the right information at the right time to resolve problems. The whole team can move quickly and respond to the issue.
According to Forbes, internal communications is an important tool for company growth. Devoting time and effort to creating a technologically advanced and thoughtful internal communications plan will pay off in the short and long term.
Best internal communications tools
There are a variety of internal communications tools that you can use as part of your plan in 2021.
● Social media
Your employees can develop a healthy team spirit as they communicate virtually. LinkedIn is the ideal place for employees to come together and aspire for professional growth. Connecting with co-workers and team members on personal social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can also help them find a common purpose and common ground. As they get to know each other, they can share the pride in the company they work for and share that with the world.
● Messaging and chat
Instant messaging channels provide a quick way of contacting your employees. Team members can send messages amongst themselves to ask questions or discuss important topics. Instant messaging platforms are especially important for remote workers so they can reach their team members instantly when they need to consult, share progress, or just have a friendly chat. . WhatsApp, Messenger and Google Hangouts are popular choices. You can also use the chat feature of business communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
● Online training platforms
Providing online training resources is a cost-effective and convenient way of training your employees. Online training platforms can be helpful for internal communication as they become the company’s centralized location for corporate knowledge. You can create an accessible database of relevant material and share it with your employees so they can use it as a shared communication resource.
For example, Bites allows you to create short and effective videos which you can compile into a playlist and share with your employees. At the end of every video or Bite, there is a discussion feature that allows the team to discuss the training, encourage others and share feedback. The learners can directly communicate their questions and doubts with the community, and have them resolved.
● Virtual forums and feedback channels
Your employees have to establish more meaningful relationships with each other. The more often they communicate, the more likely they are to find common ground and shared interests. Consider letting employees give their feedback about the company’s current plans and strategies to ensure they feel part of the overall company vision.
Creating a virtual forum for your company with separate channels will allow your employees to engage in healthy discussions and know each other better. You can also use their feedback to make your strategies more effective.
● Collaboration tools
Online collaboration tools allow employees to form connections and improve their professional network. Encouraging your employees to work together as a team through collaboration platforms like Trello and ProofHub is an effective way of ensuring a seamless workday. Employees from different time zones and departments can work simultaneously on a project and track their progress.
● Video chatting platforms
With remote work becoming more popular by the day, video chatting platforms became a common tool, used daily in many organizations. Virtual meetings and webinars that accommodate employees from across the world are a daily occurrence.
Video chatting platforms like Zoom and Google Meet are important tools for effective internal communications that goes beyond the physical boundaries of the workplace.
Internal communications best practices
Ark Group surveyed CEO-s to find that about 95% of them cited ‘effective internal communication’ as a crucial tool for improving engagement. However, only 22% of them thought that companies were doing enough in that regard.
The following internal communications best practices will help you increase employee engagement and boost performance in 2021 and beyond.
● Plan and strategize about communications
In order to devise and execute an effective internal communications plan, it is important for you to plan and strategize in advance to ensure it covers all the company’s needs. Assess your current employees and their needs, and tailor your plan accordingly. Implementing an effective company communication strategy can be your key to success, according to Gallup.
● Use the correct tools
With the evolution of technology, there is no lack of tools for effective communication within the workplace. Combining project management software, instant messaging platforms and learning platforms like Bites will help you craft a technologically forward plan that is sustainable and cost-effective.
60% of professionals do not monitor the performance of their internal communication strategies, according to Poppulo. Quantifying the performance of your team and the company overall is an excellent way to check if your internal communications plan is effective.
The right metrics provide employees with concrete information about their performance trends and the areas in which they require improvement.
● Cross-departmental collaboration
Employees in different departments benefit from knowing about each other’s professional duties and responsibilities. Regular communication will help them develop a friendly rapport and improve their collaborative efforts since they will have valuable insights into the working of the organization.
● Appreciate and acknowledge your employees
Once you have established convenient and impactful internal communication channels, do not forget to acknowledge your employees’ achievements and appreciate them periodically. A survey by Workhuman Research Institute found that 70% of employees feel more emotionally connected to their peers when they receive recognition for their work. A whopping 79% of the respondents reported that recognition and appreciation made them work harder.
Internal communications tips
The following internal communications tips will help you perfect your plan.
Align your internal communications plan with the long-term and short-term goals of your company.
Share light-hearted virtual moments with your employees from time to time so that they stay engaged. You need to strike the right balance between sharing work-related information and entertaining content.
Conveying your expectations clearly through direct and simple language is the way to go. Employees who are buried in work might not pay enough attention otherwise.
Relying on clunky and cluttered inboxes to deliver information is not the most efficient way to work nowadays. A modern intranet will be much more effective when it comes to reaching your employees instantly.
Refresh your employees’ daily tasks and remind them of company values periodically to keep them motivated.
Most importantly, you should focus on developing a personal connection with your employees, especially those who work remotely.
To reap all the advantages of a smooth internal communication system, you should combine the best communication practices and the best tools. A well-knit workforce will be more productive and engaged. Effective communication will allow your employees to fulfill their goals and reach milestones together.