Many corporate decision makers often overlook the importance of internal communications in an organization. However, numerous studies have shown that well-connected employees are more engaged with their work, and are thus more productive than their disengaged counterparts.
One survey conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute showed that productivity improves by as much as 25 percent in organizations with connected employees, with the potential for revenues estimated at $1.3 trillion annually.
And it’s not always about the money. A well-crafted and implemented internal communication system can build a strong bond within a unit or department. It can make workers confident and happy, to the point that they will exert more effort for the company.
If you think your internal communication system needs a lift, here are some tips that you can try to improve communications in the workplace:
1. Measure your internal communication system.
You’d think that most internal communicators have a system in place for measuring the effectiveness of their internal communications campaign. But studies reveal that this isn’t the case.
One survey conducted by two leading communications software provider showed that more than 60 percent of internal communicators are still not measuring their internal communication programs.
Simply put, without measuring your internal communication, there is no way for you to gauge how effective your programs are in connecting with the employees. Review your communication efforts so that you will know how to make improvements going forward.
There are several ways to do so. If you’re using employee surveys, look at the number of participants to determine if the polls are effective. If you have a company intranet, observe unique user logins to determine how engaged the employees are.
2. Allow employees to communicate through instant messaging apps.
Gone are the days when employees are expected to be busy working in their respective cubicles, unmindful of the happenings in their environment. With the emergence of instant messaging platforms, it is now time for businesses to allow their employees to exchange ideas, information, and questions in the workplace.
The National Federation of Independent Business cites several good reasons why employers should accede to the use of instant messaging in the office. One is that instant messaging can promote seamless collaboration with team members who are working in remote locations. Two, it can promote save companies in utility expenses as long-distance phone calls will be eliminated.
Moreover, instant messaging platforms facilitate archiving of group and individual chat messages that can be referenced at a later point. It can also aid in breaking down language barriers.
3. Open lines of communication.
In today’s digital age, an “open door policy” not only applies in the workplace. With an internal communication system in place, it should now be easier for anyone to get in touch with anyone in the organization. Thus, the lower ranked team member should be able to contact the group leader, and even the CEO thanks to the numerous communication tools employed in the corporate world.
Whether your company is a large, multinational firm or just starting out, opening the lines of communication can bridge gaps and help in building honest relationships between employees and managers.
4. Get more creative.
A corporate newsletter isn’t the only channel for announcing important company news and developments. There are now modern communication tools such as desktop alerts, which can be non-intrusive yet more effective in relaying important information to the rest of the workforce.
Even the use of digital signage to announce events or even show employees’ photos on Instagram would appeal to the younger workers. The use of short videos may also work well for announcing important, employee-related information.