Communication is the foundation of all human relationships. Yet, not everyone in your organisation will arrive with an adequate range of business communication skills. To build a successful brand, your business requires an effective internal communication strategy to ensure all people within your organisation are affected, engaged and working towards a common brand purpose.
Despite what business leaders may believe to be true for their organisation’s communication strategy, in fact today, as much as 44% of employees do not feel senior leaders are providing clear direction about where their organisation is headed (IBM and Globoforce 2017) and only 13% of employees strongly agree that their leaders are effectively communicating with the organisation (Gallup (2017).
Internal communication is essential in the pursuit of focused brand growth. An internal communication strategy will also ensure less crises management further down the line.
Let’s look at some key points for internal communication which underpin a purpose-built communication strategy for a brand.
Defining your purpose
Internal communication brings purpose to employees and bridges the gap between employers and employees. When you deliver a clearly defined brand purpose to your employees through clear internal communications of the “why?”, “what?” and “how?”, it makes them feel valued and keeps them more engaged.
For example, today’s Gen Z and Millennials like to work towards a common goal. They are adept at navigating the worldwide web which means they also require collaboration, openness and feedback to understand their goals and feel valued as part of the team. Internal communication empowers employees, helps their brains to visualise future actions and makes them want to reach goals together.
How to own your message with internal communication
The digital platform is many things to many people. Within business and social environments, online information can be accessed instantly from anywhere around the world and opinions often reach audiences before traditional newsrooms can report and broadcast the real facts on the ground. Sadly, this is what separates real news from gossip and fake news. Your organisation needs internal communication to support you in consistently communicating with your teams to engender trust. You also need internal communication to be fast and transparent. You do not want your teams to learn of news about the company they work for from an external source. Through a committed internal communication strategy, you ensure you match the speed and appeal of the internet to bring news and creative information to your teams first. A structured internal communication plan supported by a firm, yet flexible strategy guarantees you consistently deliver a professional and comprehensive brand voice, and not just in crises moments.
Filtering the bottlenecks with an internal communication strategy
This year, in 2019, the number of mobile phone users around the globe is expected to pass the five billion mark. An effective internal communication strategy ensures information reaches and includes everyone in your organisation in the fastest way possible and this requires the use of mobile and video communication systems. The days are gone where traditional staff memos were passed from the top down. Neither effective nor agile, one-way internal communication systems fall prey to bottlenecks, delays, misinterpretation and limited feedback systems leaving staff feeling unsure and unsettled regarding core brand purpose and strategy, seriously affecting their workplace engagement. Additional problems arise where managers are either ill-equipped to manage feedback, not supported with resources or adequately trained in internal communication strategy. Businesses only succeed when employees are happy and feel less like workers and more as shared contributors who are creating current and future value in the world.
Voice rather than opinion via internal communication
When you pay attention to internal communication trends and apply the correct tools for your organisation, you can start to realise the full potential of your company’s performance.
An internal communication audit with leadership on how they perceive the impact and effectiveness of communication within your organisation can offer you valuable insights on how to improve. A company-wide internal communication audit, where you measure communication effectiveness, impact and preference gives you opportunity to understand the work force, create a better working environment and train better for the job. By giving every person in your organisation a voice rather than an opinion you create greater transparency and a means for improved management models. For example, Millennials fear they lack soft skills such as conflict management, delegation and listening, how to relate to an older generation, and how to negotiate; all issues which are easily addressed with an internal communication strategy.
How employees communicate your brand voice strategy
Business author and successful entrepreneur, Stephen Covey, suggests you should “always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers”. When you use internal communication strategy to engage in the workplace, you are enriching your employees lives and engendering trust and loyalty that builds your brand voice from inside out. Internal communication equips staff to become ambassadors for the brand wherever they are.
Internal communication defines goals and sets future targets
The modern workplace is diverse across cultures and languages, requiring connection through internal communication more than ever. Human engagement works with trust and the personal touch. Poor attempts at outdated team building events often leave staff feeling alienated and misunderstood. A strategic internal communication strategy directs effective messaging to the right people to encourage and keep them focused for continual improvement and development without bombarding or pressurizing them. It uses strategy to tap into the individual’s personality and skills set to see where they perform most effectively and how they may further engage and contribute.
For employees to successfully embrace new tools and change their behaviours, your internal communication must use effective strategies that work along with a tailored, structured approach that removes barriers as much as creates incentives. Working with people and behaviours, a professional communication agency such as icandi CQ streamlines the internal communication process by working with your brand to get the experience right first time.
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