Internal communications is the glue that binds employees, management, and stakeholders together. It helps keep employees of an organization informed, loyal, and engaged. Well-executed internal communications increases employee job satisfaction, improves business turnover, and helps to decrease staff turnover.
With that being said, only 32% of U.S employees currently feel engaged with their companies, with 51% considering a new job. However, each employee that crosses from disengaged to engaged adds and estimated $13,000 to their company’s bottom line each year. A business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours each week clarifying communication. That amounts to an annual loss of $528,443.
An internal communications professional must harbor several skills and qualities in order to successfully engage, educate, and motivate employees. Below is a list of some of the skills and qualities that are favorable for a successful internal communications professional.
Have The Courage To Disagree
If you don’t have the courage to stand up at an important meeting and tell the boss they’re wrong, then don’t take on the job. Having the guts to go against the grain and say “no”, whilst everybody else is saying “yes” (even if they don’t mean it!) is the most obvious hallmark of an effective Internal Communication Manager. Very often you are the only one in the room who is truly aware of what the real understanding and perception of the staff is and it is up to you to make everyone else aware of this.
Have The Confidence To Build Effective Relationships
Part of the internal communications role is to developing and maintain relationships that inspire trust and respect. Building a network and being able to influence others to make things happen is paramount to inspiring confidence and growth across employees and departments.
Listen To The Staff
An effective internal communications professional will be able to sit and listen to the worries and queries of both individuals and teams within a business. By listening to and digesting any problems that may arise, the professional can then deal with any problems appropriately and with a level of professionalism that gains respect and trust from all parties concerned.
Know The Business Inside Out
This doesn’t mean reading all the head office blurb and communication: I mean that you need to get under the skin of the organization. You need to visit depots and departments, meet managers – and most important of all, mix with people at every point of business– the real people who make the business tick! If you can understand the needs of each and every department and member of staff, you can help to create equilibrium across management levels, inspire staff, and create an atmosphere that breed’s positivity across the board.
Develop Communication Skills In Others
Helping other people in the business team develop their communication skills and build their confidence is a core skill of the internal communications professional. When you help others to communicate successfully, you instill confidence in them. This confidence can strengthen their work ethic and help to shape their professional personality. Personal development leads to stronger engagement and happier staff.
Know The Audience Inside Out
Understand who they are, their perceptions, needs and opinions. Write copy, create events and shoot videos with your audience always top of mind; what do you want them to think, feel, or do as a result of your communication? If you’re not sure yourself what the answer to that is, don’t send the communication! Are you talking to them via social media? In that case, know the tone and best practice communication for each social network. Are you writing a press release? Brush up on your PR skills in order to successfully communicate your message without blatantly advertising to people.
Make Sure You Stay ‘On Message’ All The Time
Although you may have communicated the same message a thousand times in different ways, it’s still fresh to the latest employee. The business will still want all employees to understand and adhere to the brand values and KPI’s that have been set in stone. Therefore, it’s crucial that this message is successfully communicated in a way that is easy to understand and retain for employees old and new.
Understand The Importance Of Cross-Functional Awareness
Understanding the different contributions from other disciplines and working with colleagues from across the organization to achieve better results. Furthermore, promoting cross-functional collaborations and using this to enhance communications, workflow, and staff morale makes for a perfect synergy between employees across the board.
Be consistent and become the trusted supplier of fresh, regular information presented in a manner that is easy to consume: nice, attractive bite-sized chunks of appetizing information. Consistency will help employees engage with, digest, and retain information. They key is to educate employees without causing confusion or overloading them with too much information, which can be derogatory to them as it increases their workload and can add to stress.
Look To Collaborate Where Possible
Be collaborative and recruit around you a virtual army of colleagues, suppliers and friends who are as passionate about helping you achieve your communication objectives as you are. This will make employees feel more valued and will also decrease the pressure on your individual workload whilst gaining trust and confidence of other staff members.
We built Redflag as a platform to enhance internal communications for all businesses. From emergency notifications, through to internal messaging, analytics and flexible audience management across all devices, Redflag was built for internal communications.
Redflag has an easy to use interface that allows any member of staff to streamline communication and message all other staff, customers, and stakeholders at the push of a button. It's simplicity, ease of use, and functionality are making it popular with SME's and larger businesses across the globe.
You can schedule your 15 minute custom Redflag demo here now, and start enhancing and improving your internal communications today.