Internal communication is a highly underrated tool that is well is within everyone’s reach. Internal communication is the way information is shared throughout an organisation. Through working with clients that are struggling to reach their goals, a common challenge is often disengagement, often through a lack of employee engagement and internal communication. In many of the businesses that we partner with, internal communication is either severely lacking or totally misused.
Companies can often see the value of marketing their brand externally, but all to often fail to see the value of marketing to their internal stakeholders, their employees. The stronger your brand perception internally, the more chance it has of achieving success externally. Your internal stakeholders are your brand ambassadors, they speak to customer’s every day and when everyone is bought in and aligned to the same message this can be a powerful tool for your business’s growth. Marketing to your internal stakeholders through internal communications is just as important as your external marketing campaigns.
Internal communication is about crafting and communicating a shared understanding and meaning to their work. Effective internal communication results in team members becoming aligned to the overall goal and vision of the business and means that every member of the team knows how they play their part.
Internal Communication Methods
There are lots of different methods and technologies that you can use to improve your internal communications. Here at ClarityVM Consulting, we have found that visibility and simplicity are key. If employees have to go looking for information, then they are less likely to. Whatever method or methods that you pick, it is important to pick the right method for your company and your employees.
Here are just a few options that could work for you:
- Internal presentations
- Training programmes
- Staff morning meetings
- Visual Management Boards
- Social Media/Blogs
- Direct Mailings
- Emails /SMS
- Annual Reports
- Ideas / Suggestion Boxes
If you are undertaking an internal communications plan for your company it is important to set objectives to ensure your communications have a functional purpose.
Here are a few popular internal communication objectives to help you set off on the right track:
- Update staff and keep them informed
- Inform of company changes
- Increase trust in management
- Aid crisis management
- Employee engagement
- Staying in control of your message
- Empower and support middle management
- Better work environment
- Limit the rumour mill
- Celebrate success
Update Staff and Keep Everyone Informed
This is the most obvious objective for your internal communication campaign and will most likely form the basis of everyone’s strategy. It is important to keep your employees informed of activity, results and targets. This is particularly important in companies with multiple departments and locations. Employees that are ill-informed are more likely to make poor decisions, especially if they are working without all the information. Inform your team and have fully transparent communication information in order to succeed.
Inform the Business of Changes
“I don’t know, nobody has told me”
There is no doubt that if you’ve not said those words yourself you have heard someone else say it to you. It’s basic respect to your team that the first they hear of large company changes is not via external communications. It’s important that changes and updates to your business are communicated to internal stakeholders first. The use of internal communications is a fantastic way to inform and excite your internal team to new initiatives within the organisation.
Increase the Trust of Your Management Team
Trust in an organisation works both ways. The management team trusts in their employees and employees trust the management team – that’s how it should be anyway! Open door policies, transparent information sharing and trusting your employees with both the good and the bad information will all build up to trust in management. Trust is vital in any organisation. Employers need to trust their employees to do the job well and employees need to trust the management to provide job security.
Getting Ahead in a Crisis
Internal communication is a vital tool when it comes to crisis management. During a crisis, your team needs to pull together in order to get through whatever challenges the business is facing. Transparent communication and visual management are essential for team alignment, nothing will see you through a crisis like your entire team pulling together toward a solution.
Engaged teams perform better. It really is as simple as that.
If your team are engaged then they are more likely to be more effective in their job role and staff turnover is considerably lower. Do your staff know the score and how they can affect it? Functional internal communications, such as interactive target dashboards, help to increase employee engagement with the company goals. How do you expect your staff to stay on target if they do not know what it is, or how close they are to reaching it?
Supporting and Empowering Middle Management
An additional issue with the filter from the top down information approach means it puts a lot of pressure on the middle management teams. They may have left the management meeting with all the information to pass on but when the whirlwind takes over that message can become blurred, delayed or in some cases forgotten. This approach is not effective and certainly not Lean. Why deliver the same message over and over again when it could be displayed clearly the first time?
Use your managers to reinforce and champion the message and empower them to achieve more!
Create a Better Work Environment
Happy staff lead to happy customers, it’s a well-known fact.
Happy staff also lead to a much lower employee turnover rate and will attract new talent to your company. Staff that are informed, valued and engaged through effective internal communications will create a happier and more productive work environment. Investing in internal communications is always worth the effort.
Mitigate and Eliminate the Rumour Mill
In the absence of information, employees will fill in the gaps themselves and not always necessarily with the correct information. Rumours will not only spread internally but also externally. Do not assume that because management is not communicating, staff also aren’t. The only way to stop the rumour mill is with the correct information.
Using internal communication to share the successes achieved by employees and departments will not only allow staff to feel valued but inspire them to be the next success story.
Better Internal Communications
Better Work Environment
Higher Employee Engagement
Higher Productivity and Efficiency
Need support with your internal communication…?
Here at ClarityVM Consulting, we coach clients both far and wide about how they can use a Lean programme and visual management to achieve their goals, exceed their targets and make financial savings which would otherwise be lost to waste. We work with our clients to create a bespoke strategy that ensures Lean is set up for success before providing specific, high-quality visual management products to sustain the initiative and make Lean work in the organisation long-term.
You can read more about the work we’ve undertaken with our clients by browsing through our Visual Management Case Studies
Further reading on the Clarity Blog:
- Developing an Effective Standard Operating Procedure
- Assessing Goals and Auditing Strategies
- Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station – Saving Lives With Lean Thinking
- A Visual Management Definition You Can Rely On
- Kaizen Events: Clarity Consulting’s Secret Weapon
- Why Your Workplace Communication Fails (…and How To Improve It)
- Why Lean Programmes Fail
- 6 Simple Solutions to Battle Workplace Stress
- How To Make Your Process Improvements Stick Around
- How To Create A Culture Of Improvement In Your Workplace
- 6 Challenges For Effective Business Leadership
- Our Favourite Lean Quotes…
- Beat Procrastination and get Motivated
- How to improve the morale in your workplace