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4 Things to Consider for an Internal Communication Strategy

Internalcommunication.jpg January 06, 2017 / Annika Rautakoura

Internal communication is crucial to any company culture. Solid communication supports business, helps to see through shared company objectives, and boosts employees’ well-being at work.

Communication matters for unifying staff and seriously boosting employee engagement. Good internal communication also supports a solid company culture based on loyalty and collaboration. Companies with engaged employees outperform competition with no engagement by up to 202 per cent, Dale Carnegie finds.  

Internal communication strategies rely largely on the individual company’s overall mission and values. But consider the importance of these components for all internal communication.

1) Content is Here to Stay

Content marketing has found its way into internal communication. An internal content strategy can help educate employees, assist them in solving problems, and help in building the brand. Content also sparks discussion and boosts interaction in a way that one-sided announcements and messages do not. Using content for internal communication adds diversity and depth to your internal communication strategy.

Related: Effective Internal Communication Relies on Company Culture

Articles and rich-media posts allows for discussion to take place around an array of diverse content. The content doesn’t have to be just the company’s own content, it can be relevant third-party content, specific the company’s industry. Using storytelling in content is great for building emotional connections and engaging readers. 

Tip: Measure the ROI of an internal content strategy by using employee communication tools that give insight on what content topics and sources work best. Also encourage employees to actively produce their own content for internal as well as external purposes.

2) The Right Technology can Engage

Any internal communication strategy must rely on the right technology. Technology can help re-engage employees, but it will not do the trick by itself – it needs to be used with purpose and around a strategy. Providing training for and aligning employees around shared communication technology unifies staff and centralizes communication.

The intended communication technology should be easy to use, with a positive user experience and mobile optimization. Technology usability doesn’t really matter, though, if employees do not feel compelled to use the tool available. Communicating the purposes of shared technology to employees is key for seeing it used across the organization.

Tip: Consider technology that includes social media and mobile features for engaging employees effectively. Don't forget the importance of face-to-face communication.

3) Reach Employees (Online and Offline)

Management needs a way to get important company messages to their employees. Emails have become inefficient due to abuse and dependence, and intranets are often clumsy and inaccessible outside of desktop. Optimized reach is about company messages effectively finding the right people, even when they are not at the office or scrolling through their email. 

Web and mobile apps make sure that employees can be reached while working remotely and on the go. Insight into the number of active readers of company messages help adjust strategies for increasing reach, and analytics also give valuable information on employees’ content consuming habits  for example, whether they prefer desktop or mobile.

Tip: Ensure effective reach wIthout being too spammy with company messages. Remember targeting; tailor messages to each audience.

4) Transparency is Key

Any internal communication strategy needs to be built on transparency. Transparent communication fosters trust between the employees and employer, and boosts engagement. When employees feel trusted and well-informed, they are motivated to do their best and communicate their needs to the employer. It's also important to actively find out any pain points employees may have and what they would like to see improved.

Tip: Be transparent in communicating the good news and the bad. Survey any needs or problems employees may have through questionnaires and votes.

Investing in internal communication pays off. A solid company culture based on effective and open internal communication doesn’t happen overnight, but with a strategy based on the core of the organization’s goals and values, implementation is much easier.

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by Annika Rautakoura