Ensuring that employees are engaged, invested in, and included is crucial for retaining talent and driving company growth. When it comes to internal communications, implementing the right tools and strategies can be an important factor for employee engagement — and overall business success.
Well, according to Gallup, only one-third of U.S. employees are engaged at work. And this jarring statistic might stem from poor communication from the top. The same study revealed that only 13% of employees think that their leadership team communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.
So how do you get leadership and your team to listen, respond, and care about what’s happening internally? Here are our top 5 strategies to help you successfully approach internal communications.
1. Take inventory of your communications
As with any strategic plan, the first step is to survey your surroundings and get a lay of the land. Are too many emails being sent when a meeting could quickly solve the issue? Or is the opposite happening and meeting rooms are overbooked even though projects could be discussed via internal chat? By taking a clear account of what works and what doesn’t work, leadership can gain a better grasp on what needs to be tackled, and in which priority.
2. Improve digital channels
How are your current channels — like email, intranet, internal chat, and feedback forms — being used? Are they used across the board or heavily by one department? Are specific teams using certain tools more efficiently than others? Improving the use of digital communication can be a peer-led initiative in many companies. For example, if the Marketing Team is effectively using LinkedIn to drive traffic to new job openings, perhaps a member of the team can host a lunch and learn for the rest of the company on best practices for leveraging social media to share company news.
3. Universally adopt new technologies
When it comes to implementing new technology in the workplace, sometimes it can become a hindrance rather than a help. Before plugging in a new tech, set some goals for what you want it to accomplish. It might be using internal chat to reduce time spent in email. It might be utilizing an app to keep employees connected via mobile devices. Whatever the technology is, having a plan in place helps with implementation, as well as universal adoption that allows new technology to be used to its fullest potential.
4. Mobile-friendly communication
A study by the Pew Research Center found that 77% of American adults now own a smartphone — an increase of more than 40% in merely seven years. Leveraging mobile in your internal communications plan can offer increased flexibility and higher levels of employee engagement. For example, remote employees can be easier to access via a mobile app or tool resulting in improved overall team communication. If your team is utilizing mobile, make sure to consider visual aspects of the platform like responsive content, scroll length, and image resolution.
5. Have clear policies in place
In our ever-increasing digital world, it can be easy for private or proprietary information to be divulged rather quickly and even on accident. To protect your employees, clients, customers, and company, it’s important to have internal communication policies in place. From employee issues to shared files to customer data, all employees should have a clear understanding of what is acceptable and expected.
“The key to an organization's growth has been -- and always will be -- its workforce.” - Gallup
Communication is at the heart of everything that happens at your workplace. By employing the strategies above, your leadership team can make internal communications a priority initiative that encourages employees to listen, engage, and care. At the end of the workday, incorporating internal communications into your company culture can create a feeling of unity and help develop interpersonal relationships across the team.