The success of your business depends on the achievement of your business goals – but just how do you do this? By writing an internal communications strategy that works. How do you make it work? By making sure that your strategy is focused on delivering strategic business outcomes. In this article we present an outline in creating an effective internal communications strategy – and since effective communication is closely tied with employee engagement, we will include that in the outline as well.
What to Consider in Creating an Internal Communications Strategy
Creating a strategy out of scratch is very challenging, if not impossible. This is why we are proposing an outline you can follow, in the hopes of helping you build a strategy that is truly your own.
1. The Current State of Things. This section refers to how your business is, as of the moment. How are your processes? How do your employees view the communication initiatives and efforts of the organization? Do your employees feel valued and, therefore, engaged at work? To do this, you must conduct observations and surveys that pertain to the following aspects of the business:
- Composition of the organization. How many people do you have in your company? How many managers are there, and how many employees do these managers handle? The numbers are important because you would need to measure your survey results against your business outcomes.
- Leadership indicators. How do business leaders inform the staff about matters pertinent to the business? Are employees able to contribute to the decisions made by the leaders? How are changes within the organization managed in terms of their relevance to the company’s goals? All these need to be measured as well.
- Performance of the management team. Through surveys, you should also measure how management is performing. How does the staff feel about how they are managed? Do they feel relevant to the organization through their daily tasks? Does the management make them feel them inspired and motivated? This section needs a totally different set of surveys and measurements in order to come up with the numbers.
- Channels used in communicating internally. Is your company using the appropriate channels of communication? Do you have an Intranet system that is leveraged to bring out optimal outcomes? How are issued discussed and resolved? Do you have an effective mass notification system in place?
2. The Direction You Want Your Organization to Take. Where do you want to be? This section deals with the goals you have set for the organization.
- Your vision and values. What are your goals for the company? Are these goals properly communicated to everyone? Do your employees share the same values as the management?
- Your yearly business plan. This contains your updated initiatives toward reaching your long-term goals. This must be focused on how your internal communication tools support the implementation of the plan.
- The management’s role in overcoming the organization’s challenges. Leaders must take the lead in overcoming challenges, which they can do by increasing employee engagement through different initiatives, which must be carefully planned based on employee engagement survey results and other observations.
3. Getting to Your Target Destination. Succeeding in business means achieving your goals, which you can do through implementing changes based on your observations and the general pulse of your staff. As such, your internal communications strategy must be created by improving the way things are, with your long-term goals as your guide. That also includes delivering the strategy effectively through:
- Targeted and timely information.
- Simple and concise, yet meaningful communication.
- Continuous search fro creating dialogue between management and employees.
- Constant testing of initiatives to make sure that they are working, and changing tack if they are not effective.
Devising an internal communications strategy may be challenging, but it can be done. By focusing on your business objectives and the contributions of your employees to achieving your goals, you can develop an effective strategy that will surely work for your company.