Quick, name the first thing that comes to mind when you are asked the question, “What makes a business successful?” You and most other people would probably say hard work and determination, good leadership, employee engagement, excellent customer service, customer loyalty, and other similar answers. You are correct, of course, as all these factors contribute to the success of any business. However, most people would miss to name another factor that belongs to this list: effective internal communication.
While internal communication does not seem to be an obvious answer to the question, it is clearly a vital tool that lies in the heart of business operations. If this statement seems a bit vague to you, then imagine the state of your business if none of your employees communicates with you or with one another. No one would follow company policies for the simple reason that they do not know what these policies are. Each worker would do his own thing (or probably not do anything), having been left in the dark without directions or instructions. As a result, teams and departments would be clashing with each other, productivity and efficiency would go down, and none of your goals for the business would be met. It is only proper that you build an internal communication plan for your business.
What is an Internal Communication Plan?
Before you set out building a plan, you first need to know what internal communication is. As the name implies, internal communication refers to communication within the organization. In your case, this refers to the sharing of information between and among the management and staff. The internal communication plan involves the use of structured, intentional and carefully planned communications. Unlike much of the informal communication that occurs in your company, the thrust of the internal communication plan is to set in place channels that facilitate effective communication to increase employee engagement, raise productivity levels and boost profits.
Specifically, a good internal communication strategy can help drive business success through:
- Facilitating full understanding of the organization’s mission-vision, values and work culture.
- Transforming employees from mere workers into company ambassadors who take accountability and ownership of the company.
- Building a culture grounded on honesty, integrity and trust.
- Improving employee engagement and productivity and decreasing turnover.
- Providing quick and easy access to information pertinent to everyday operations.
Developing Your Internal Communication Plan
Many questions surround the development of an internal communication strategy. How do I start? What do I need to do? How will I know it is effective? These are just some of the questions that make internal communication seem difficult. However, here are some steps you can follow in developing your plan:
- Map your present situation. Where is your organization now? How do your processes function? What are the current issues that surround the organization? Do a company-wide audit to see your communication issues. As such, the audit should provide insights into the accuracy and consistency of the information employees receive and whether or not employees understand the goal of these communications.
- Share your vision. What kind of changes do you wish to bring to the way the organization communicates? In return, how does the rest of the organization see your company a year from now, after the plan has been implemented? Through this, your company will have a better understanding of what will happen and what they can do to ensure success.
- Determine your approach. The most common problem in internal communication planning is the failure to communicate why there is a need for such a plan. Merely letting your employees know that there will be changes in the way you drive communications does not have the same impact as making them understand the reasons behind the changes. This way, your workers can see the connection between internal communication and its effects on the current issues that your organization is facing.
- Prepare for contingencies. One of the best ways to prepare for contingencies in internal communications is appointing a communications manager who has extensive knowledge and understanding of the company’s system and people. This manager will be responsible for collecting, maintaining and updating all contact information from employees and other stakeholders. This information will then be used to cascade information in times of crisis.
- Make a list of your methods of communication. There are multiple ways of disseminating information. List all these down, and determine the method that would work best for particular situations.
DeskAlerts: Your Partner in Internal Communication
Say goodbye to difficult to implement internal communication strategies. With DeskAlerts, you can be sure that your messages, sent through multiple channels, are received by your intended recipients. You can also access reports to see which employees have received the information with DeskAlerts’ tracking feature. Easy to deploy, DeskAlerts is sure to improve communication, increase employee engagement and help you achieve your business goals.