The importance of having an internal communications strategy

Lots of different people connected by lines of communication

Internal communications are just as important as external communications for any organisation. Your employees are potentially brand ambassadors, representing your company, so they should be totally up to speed with your ethos, objectives and the direction of future travel. Engage positively with your employees and they in turn will help to market your organisation in keeping with your aims. Read on to discover more about the importance of having an internal communications strategy.

What is an internal communications strategy?

An internal communications strategy is a document which sets out a company or organisation’s approach to the way it communicates internally with its employees. It defines what type of information can and should be shared, and what form that communication should take. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are still using outdated communication methods and practices that are no longer appropriate or effective. This has a negative effect on workplace culture, confidence in management and productivity. In terms of setting goals, a healthy internal communication system is instrumental not only in identifying realistic goals, but also in recognising any potential barriers to achieving them. This supports a cohesive strategy going forwards

The benefits of an effective internal comms strategy

An effective internal communications policy will ensure that you are quicker and better at responding to problems as, or before, they arise. It also helps employees to feel more valued and increases their productivity. As such they are more likely to be engaged and make valuable contributions to their project, team and company. Another key benefit is the reduction in staff retention issues. As many employers are aware, the recruitment process can be both time consuming and expensive. 

The effective distribution of information, in both directions, results in better informed, more capable management. Those who use modern team communication methods are much more in tune with what their staff are thinking and how they are working. They are able to quickly identify any strengths and weaknesses and implement the appropriate training and support, which helps to eradicate any gaps generated by poor communication.

What evidence is there that engagement leads to increased productivity

In 2020, Gallup published its State of the American Workplace Report. The results of their survey show that only 33% of employees are engaged in their work. Gallup CEO Jim Clifton states that, “…16% of employees are actively disengaged, they are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build. The remaining 51% of employees are not engaged, they’re just there.” Furthermore, as revealed in a collaborative piece of research with British Telecom, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School showed that employees who are engaged are more likely to make valuable contributions to their project, team and company. This sort of employee engagement is sometimes referred to as discretionary investment and harnessing it is fundamental to driving growth and brand positivity.

What does an effective internal comms strategy look like?

A well functioning internal communication system won’t happen overnight, so take your time and develop a strategy for the whole year. The main goal is to ensure that official company information reaches employees promptly and that the message is clear and consistent so that everyone remains on the same page. It is essential to utilise omnichannel workplace communications in order to reach your employees in the place where they spend the majority of their time, whether that is by text message, email, social media platforms, WhatsApp or similar. Do however ensure that you don’t encroach on their personal time or contact them during anti-social hours though. Nobody wants to hear their employers’ ideas at 7.30pm on a Tuesday night when they’re settling down with a cup of tea to watch Coronation Street.

Key takeaways:

  • Communicate and always be transparent and relevant to the objective – Don’t spam your employees, keep comms concise and avoid out of hours.
  • Use incentives – highlight and reward effort and results to help incentivise other employees, for example for sharing products or services on their social media accounts.
  • Measure your results – Undertake an employee satisfaction survey and analyse the results. Use them to actively inform your practice.
  • Create the opportunity for, and be open to, receiving feedback – look for the areas that you can improve and build on 
  • Encourage employees to buy in to your value proposition

If you would like to know more about how to create and implement an internal communications strategy in your workplace, do contact us here at Bishop Communications and we will be only to happy to assist you.