Internal communications is something most decision makers like the chief executive officer could overlook given the many responsibilities he has. After all, focus can be given to other facets of a company’s operation that can affect the bottom line. Yet studies having a well thought-of internal communication strategy can have a big impact on a company’s performance.
One of those studies commissioned by Tower Watsons in 2010 revealed that firms with highly effective internal communication practices can benefit from up to 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders compared to companies which are least effective at communicating with their employees.
Internal communication can have a direct effect on the level of engagement of employees. Workers in companies that employ good internal communication practices can feel more valued by the organization. In turn, they can become more motivated at work, driving innovation and contributing more to the fulfillment of corporate goals.
That said, here are some of the ways to improve internal communication strategy in any business:
1. Promote information sharing
Companies should provide their employees with a platform for knowledge sharing. One popular platform is the intranet, where employees can share information such as industry news and trends. By having a venue for information sharing, employees will become more informed and empowered. It can also create more synergy in the workplace.
2. Reduce dependence on email
While email is arguably the most widely used communication tool in the business world, reducing dependence on it can do wonders for a company’s internal communication strategy.
Employees spend so much time checking and replying their email that the tool itself has become counterproductive. One report suggests that 90 billion business emails are sent out on a daily basis. Another study shows that a typical employee will spend four hours just using the email.
Instead of sending emails, corporate communications executives can think of other ways to communicate with the rest of the organization. For smaller companies, it can be more practical to simply gather people together and start talking to them.
In bigger companies or in instances when messages are to be conveyed to a wider audience, new breed of communication tools like desktop alerts can be tapped. These tools are not only more accepted by end users, but also facilitate feedback and conversation.
In cases when sending emails are completely unavoidable, corporate communicators can group the emails together in some sort of newsletter. Another way is to include a searchable archive on the corporate Intranet. The point is to lessen the number of emails received by a typical office worker.
3. Set regular meetings
With the availability of various communication platforms like online messaging and video conferencing, many business leaders have tend to overlook the importance of setting regular meetings.
But this age-old approach should not be forgotten. Instead, decision makers should institute regular meetings so they can report to their subordinates about things that directly affect the business. Meetings can present the venue for leaders to share major company updates, important announcements, progress on initiatives, celebratory news, and even in-person acknowledgments of employees who have done well.
4. Plan external events
External events present opportunities for employees to meet outside of the workplace. Simple events like a happy hour after work, or a weekend retreat can give employees something to look forward to. These events can also provide a venue for workers to get to know their colleagues better, while improving employee engagement and facilitating stronger communication.
These are just four ways to improve the internal communication strategy of any business, whether it’s a start-up or one that has been in the industry for many years.