No matter how big or small your business is, the launchpad for success is internal communications.
Get it right, and your engaged and motivated workforce will deliver on productivity. However, get it wrong, and workers will become disengaged, unmotivated and ultimately unproductive. Planning an internal communications strategy can be a challenge. Here we give your planning the best possible start by identifying some common mistakes to avoid.
Relying On Guesswork
Do you know the most effective communications channels in your company? How about which channels prompt the most action from staff? And do you know how workers like to receive information? You may think you know the answers, but there's only one way to be sure: ask your employees. Avoid guesswork by involving staff in the process. Gather views and invite feedback with focus groups, surveys, polls and pulse checks.
Making It Too Complicated
Try not to over-complicate your internal communications strategy. Instead, look to provide transparent information and keep it simple with a few overarching goals. Many a good plan failed to deliver because it tried to tick too many boxes. It’s better to set one or two overall objectives that you can really get stuck into. Whether it’s improving customer service or developing employee engagement, an overall goal provides a strong sense of direction.
Make sure you communicate with the workforce consistently and regularly. Establishing a set pattern of communication demonstrates the value and priority you have. And, in turn, it will increase employee engagement as well as participation and a sense of ownership. Use management planning tools like G Suite Calendars to plan, schedule and organise your communications. And if you have employees based around the globe, then schedule communications at a time that makes sense locally. A tailored update means your important messages don’t get lost among all the noise.
Two-way communications are essential. Traditional top-down communication leads to a sense of disconnection in the workforce. Poorly understood messages, lost information and a lack of trust are often the result. Rather than communicating with staff, all you are doing is sharing information. Excellent communication is all about a genuine dialogue that makes staff feel connected to executives.
Look to develop two-way conversations with activity feeds staff can share, comment or like. Blogs and forums are other possibilities, along with instant messaging apps and #channels like #employeevoice.
For maximum impact, internal communications need to be timely, consistent and above all relevant. Make sure you align your internal communications strategy with employees’ current workload and projects. Your staff are busy getting the job done, so be thoughtful and selective with your communications. If you have been charged with developing an internal communications strategy, then proper planning is essential. Get off to the best possible start by avoiding these common communication mistakes.