Any organization, no matter the size or industry, needs an internal communication strategy in order to make sure that communication ebbs through it as smoothly as possible. Smooth flowing communication then results in an increase in productivity, engagement, morale and transparency.
When coming up with an internal communication plan, remember to try and avoid these mistakes:
1. Looking only at short term plans.
A good number of organizations often focus merely on the “here and now”, and fail to look further than two years ahead. However, what companies need to do is to create plans that will positively affect the company even ten years down the line.
An internal communication plan should have a consistent effect on the organization, and should be revisited time and time again just in case alterations need to be made. When assessing your communication efforts, make sure to recognize and pinpoint what worked and what didn’t work so that you can even better your plans in the future.
2. No digitization of communication.
Many businesses still continue to stick to traditional forms of communication when interacting with their staff members. These forms of communication include meetings, telephone calls, bulletin board notices, printed memos, and others. While these continue to be useful and important, an internal communication plan will fail if business leaders and managers do not make use of digital channels when communicating with their employees. Remember that the workforce is constantly getting younger, and while older and more traditional means of communication still prove to be effective, today’s workforce requires more efficient and convenient efforts which only result from the digitization of communication.
3. Disregarding what employees have to say.
The messages that management wants to relay to its employees are, of course, important. However, remember that communication is not one-way. In order for communication to be dynamic and effective, it has to involve both the speaker and the receiver, with each one taking turns in the mentioned roles.
Communication is much about talking as it is about listening. While management may want to let its employees know something, leaders should also allow staff members to be heard and to have a voice. Organizations that encourage their employees to speak up and to give their ideas are at an advantage – not only are they able to increase productivity and engagement, they benefit from the utilization of the creativity being offered by employees.
4. Implementing the goals of management, and ignoring the goals of employees.
The goals of employees should be prioritized as much as the goals of management. While obtaining the goals of management certainly propels a company forward, disregarding the goals of employees leave staff members feeling undervalued and ignored. When this occurs, staff members are less likely to feel engaged and committed to their work and to the company they work for.
Remember that both the goals of management and employees should not only be focused on, but should also contribute and move towards the overall objectives of the company. When everyone in the organization are working towards the same goals, the company is able to progress more effectively and efficiently.
5. Discounting the usefulness of tools for the user.
Even if an internal communication plan is the most thought out strategy a company has ever concocted, it will fail if management fails to take the user-experience into account. A communication tool will only be able to fulfil its function to the fullest if it is easy to use and understand, and it is convenient to access. Remember that the method and tool you utilize is as important as the message you want to relay.