By 2025 millennial’s will make up 75% of the U.S workforce. 84% of these millennial’s seek a sense of purpose in their work, 50% of these said that they would take a pay cut for a job that aligns more closely with their values.
It’s the job of the internal communications professional to help employees find value and purpose within a company. In fact, more and more businesses are putting together dedicated internal communication teams in order to promote synergy across businesses and increase employee satisfaction whilst increasing the bottom line.
Whether your internal communications department is a mix of your best PR and HR people, a single employee, or a number of dedicated communications professionals, the tips below will help to enhance your internal communications offering.
Truly Understand Your Organization
Make sure you are clear on the vision and values of your organization and understand the priorities, opportunities, challenges and threats facing it over the coming weeks, months and years. If you are not clear where your organization is heading, it will be impossible to communicate its vision to staff and motivate them to action.
Create and Deliver Content That Employees Crave
Prioritize short, visual content that can be quickly consumed. Filter and segment content based on relevance and importance to specific employees and job functions. Of course, the content is important, but also consider the way it’s delivered. Video is among the most engaging, easily digestible formats, and it should be incorporated into your internal communication.
Build Strong Relationships That Last
As well as getting to know your employees it is important to build strong, collaborative relationships with them. You will need colleagues from across your organization to help deliver your internal communications with you and they will need you to raise issues on their behalf, so it is important that you spend time fostering that collaboration. Pay particular attention to developing relationships with departments you will need to work closely with including HR, strategy, real estate, and your corporate teams.
Utilize an Internal Social Network
Internal communication platforms can facilitate communication and collaboration. Internal networks can also house master calendars of company events and streamline communication channels in the workplace. If your employees are spread across many locations and offices, an internal social network helps connect them and enhances accountability, awareness and teamwork.
Research Your Audience
Invest time and effort into researching your audiences’ internal communication needs. Conduct satisfaction surveys, explore the cost benefits of new channels, and look at your demographics to better target your information. Quantitative and qualitative data and insight will give you a fuller picture of your organization and help you to deliver messages and make recommendations based on tangible evidence.
Strategically Target Different Groups of Employees
As with your marketing messages to customers, communication should be tailored to meet the different needs of various groups. Segment communication to ensure your messaging is relevant and well received. You wouldn’t send out the same messages to groups of managers as you would to part time or weekend staff. Tailor your messages to compliment the needs of your audience. Give everyone information that will inform, educate and engage them. Internal communications is as much about disseminating information as it is about adding value to employees and giving them a sense of purpose.
Advise and Challenge
Use your knowledge of your organization and communications best practice to help your organizations craft messages with real impact that will motivate and engage staff into action. Make sure that you are also using your knowledge to help colleagues understand the importance of communications from the top down, bottom up and across your organization and where suggestions or advice is needed, speak up. Do not be afraid to challenge colleagues, including those at a senior level. As a communications professional your knowledge and experience is critical to improving the success of your organization, and that includes being honest when things have not worked.
Seek Support Where and When It’s Needed
Although you may be responsible for overseeing or leading the function, effective internal communication needs everyone’s input so do not be afraid to seek out support from colleagues throughout the organization. Do not forget to share best practice and seek support from colleagues outside of your organization, perhaps from internal communications experts from other authorities, professional bodies or through training.
Make Objectives and Goals Public
On average, half of companies fail to effectively communicate business strategies to employees in a way they could live it in their daily jobs. It’s quite difficult to execute a strategy that you don't have a full picture of. To make your employees work easier and more meaningful, publish company, team and personal goals. Make them clear and visible to everyone.
Use Mobile Tools
People are accustomed to consuming information on the go. They are spoiled with the choice of getting the exact answer wherever they are. More and more employees are working from different parts of the globe and therefore need the information as they move around. Provide tools for internal work-related sharing on phones and tablets. You can also try out Redflag.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun
One of the best aspects of internal communications is that you get the chance to celebrate the work of your staff as people, not just employees. Look for opportunities to communicate some lighter aspects of work, from cake sales, fun runs and social events and encourage colleagues to also have fun with their communications. The more enthusiastic you are about making internal communication enjoyable as well as informative, the better your chance of engaging and influencing your colleagues.
Internal communication encourages, educates and uplifts workers. That leads to higher employee engagement, which can improve morale, boost productivity and lead to a better working environment. That’s how you build a stronger, better business. Can you think of any other pointers on how to lead a great internal communications department?