There are huge advantages to designing and implementing an effective internal communication
strategy for your organisation. Employee communication best practices prove that if your message
and your channels are interactive, authentic, accurate and relevant, you set the stage for greater
productivity, profits and a more engaged workforce. While good internal communication gets the
message out, great internal communication helps employees understand how their role helps
deliver the overarching business strategy.
In this post, we share some employee communication best practices and tips on how to improve
your own efforts.
Five employee communication best practices
1. Don’t overload your employees with too many messages
Before you begin implementing employee communication best practices, do an audit of your
existing digital communication channels and your digital assets. In simple terms, any strategy is
about outlining a roadmap between where you are and where you want to be.
To assess where you are and where you want to be, start by distinguishing between:
- Your known communication – for example your public financial reports and overarching
messages. These are the messages that most employees may have been exposed to in some
form. They more than likely will need to be reinforced and employees also want the inside
- Your training awareness communication – this includes training in health and safety, fraud
and cybercrime, and regulatory and legal compliance. These kinds of communications need
constant updating and require a multi-channel strategy.
- Your culture awareness communication – these kinds of messages are about embedding a
distinct and productive workplace culture that needs to be reinforced constantly.
Once you’ve outlined these different types of communication, it’s easier to segment your messaging
to avoid information overload. Before you send a particular a message for delivery across the
organisation, ask yourself, “Do they need to see this message right now?”
2. Content is king. But so is delivery
The content of your message is central to an employee communication best practices approach. But
whether that message actually penetrates into the hearts and minds of your employees, changing
their behaviours and attitudes, has a lot to do with delivery.
Ask yourself what tools you are using to communicate with your employees. You should be using
more than simply email for this. In fact, you should always be customising the delivery, content and
tone of each message according to an employee’s location, limitations and preferences.
For example: remote workers may respond best to a SMS, call centre agents to a desktop alert, and
shop-floor employees to a poster.
3. Measure your impact. And adjust where necessary
It’s important to measure the impact that your internal communication is having. While it is best
practice to tailor the message and channel according to your audience and desired impact, it is
equally best practice to adjust and tweak every variable according to what’s working and what isn’t.
There are many ways to measure the reach and impact of your internal messages. These may
include quizzes, surveys and dipstick tests to capture staff sentiment and opinion (qualitative); and
message open-rates and click-through links to gauge reach and exposure.
4. Face to face is part of employee communication best practices
Human contact and face to face conversations are still important in our high-tech age. Even as more
employees work remotely or on flexible time schedules, events like weekly team meetings, town hall
meetings, a conference for the entire business, or one on one chats with supervisors and managers
add an essential human face to your business and help your staff connect.
5. Consider working with a specialist in employee communication best practices
Leading brands across the globe choose to partner with a specialist internal communication agency
rather than their external agencies (ATL, BTL or PR). They understand that for the best results they
need to partner with an agency that has a deep understanding of employee audiences – which is not
a core focus of generalist agencies.
By partnering with a specialist in employee communication best practices you get:
- cost-effective capacity with specialist skills and talents;
- a fully independent partner to audit and improve your communication, to partner with and
support an in-house resource who may be too immersed in their workplace culture to
recognise potential blind spots in the communication chain; and
- a true best practice agency which can benchmark your company against your peers.
Many companies assume that an external agency can fulfil an internal communication role.
However, it is only the specialist internal agency that has one audience in mind: the employee. And
it is often the employee who is the last audience to be included when landing business messages.
Is your internal communication strategy leveraging these best practices? Are your internal
communication tactics hitting the sweet spot? Let us help you.