If you want to serve your customers better, improve productivity, and ultimately enhance your bottom line, you should begin by reshaping your internal communication strategy. In doing so, you’ll transform the way your business processes information and creates value.
The Need for Better Internal Communication
Internal communications is something that doesn’t get discussed nearly enough. It involves the processes, systems, and execution of delivering messages, transmitting information, and facilitating dialogue between upper management, employees, and all stakeholders in and around the organization.
A good internal communication strategy matters for a few specific reasons, including:
- It keeps people informed so they feel engaged and equipped with what’s happening in the organization.
- It helps people feel calmer in moments of crisis. They know exactly what to do, rather than scrambling around to figure out a course of action.
- It helps people have a more holistic view of the organization, rather than just a single snapshot of the portion of the business they’re responsible for.
- It helps establish a culture where people feel respected and understood.
Unless you’ve previously paid specific attention to internal communications and developed an actionable strategy that you’re currently executing on, it’s likely that this all-important piece of your business is being neglected. Let’s change that!
4 Tips for Enhancing Your Internal Communications Strategy
You can’t develop an internal communications strategy overnight. And you certainly can’t put one into action without considerable forethought. However, the following tips will put you on the right path:
- Eliminate Distractions
Nothing kills good communication quite like distractions. They put a chokehold on your strategy and make it difficult to initiate a free exchange of information to the right people at the right time.
Within a communication strategy, a distraction is anything that doesn’t make communication faster or more efficient. Email, for example, might seem like a good platform for sharing ideas, but it’s actually distracting. People get lost in their inboxes and then have a hard time focusing. Look for bottlenecks like this and call them out for what they are: distractions.
- Involve Your Team
Don’t attempt to develop a communication strategy on your own. It needs to be something that everyone in your organization is involved with – not just upper management.
When you involve your entire team – including hourly workers – in the planning of the strategy, they’re much more likely to follow through on the execution side of things. It helps to develop a cohesive team mentality.
- Use a Social Intranet
There are dozens of tools and software solutions that promise to improve communication and eliminate the friction that comes from sharing files and organizing messages. However, most of them have such limited capabilities that they actually end up hurting the end goal of streamlining communication. What you need is an intuitive, all-in-one option. And a social intranet is about as close as you’ll get.
“A social intranet is more than just a desktop publishing platform — as an internal communications channel, it enables discussion and two-way communications, collaboration on projects, and streamlined productivity,” Happeo explains. “Where a social intranet really comes into its own is not just as the disseminator of news, but as the go-to source for all internal processes and questions.”
Centralization is the key to a good communication strategy. The more you can do away with data sprawl and fragmented messaging, the better your results will be.
- Develop Clear Feedback Loops
As the name suggests, a feedback loop is an approach to internal communication by which information effortlessly flows from one point to the next. While it can take some time to set up, a feedback loop eventually works (somewhat) on autopilot.
“Feedback loops help teams to have more coordinated, collaborative, and committed deliverables,” Kanbanize mentions. “They can also encourage more proactive and shared ownership within the team, improved team performance, and agility.”
If you don’t already have a feedback loop in place, take the time to develop your own system. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Get something in place and you can optimize it over time.
Ready, Set, Go
Your internal communication strategy is going to look different than the next organization’s – and that’s fine! The critical thing is that you get started. There’s no better time than the present to implement a plan and instigate positive change.