When was the last time you reviewed your corporate internal communications strategy?The most successful companies are the ones who adapt rapidly to external forces. And one of the most crucial elements that must keep pace is your approach to internal communication. Moreover, no strategy is perfect. The only way to improve your internal communication is to revise and update it from time to time.
Here are five smart tips for updating your corporate internal communications strategy:
1. Review Business Goals
A truly effective internal communications strategy needs to be in line with business goals.
These goals might change every quarter, in response to market forces or in sync with corporate strategy. Therefore your internal communications plan should be modified accordingly.
For instance, if your new quarterly goal is to acquire 50% more leads through social selling, your updated internal communications plan should focus on promoting a habit of knowledge sharing. Accordingly, you should ask your managers to share one useful article a day on your internal communications platform.
Aligning the internal communications strategy to business goals is the easiest way to get everyone in the company excited about it.
2. Review Company Culture
Peter Drucker rightly said, "Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.” Your business goals will fall flat unless they succeed in addressing company culture.
Thankfully, internal communication has the power to shape company culture. Begin by identifying cultural bottlenecks that might hinder your business goals.
For example, your attempts to initiate social selling will completely fail, unless your sales team is culturally inclined to become thought leaders, and prepared to develop a far better understanding of customer needs. An excellent way to do so is to have regular conversations with the support team. This can only be achieved if there is a culture of inter-departmental collaboration in your company.
If you want this collaboration to improve, give your employees a better platform to communicate with each other. Improving cross-functional collaboration could also be made part of your managers’ performance KRAs.
Moreover, increased communication and knowledge sharing will also encourage your salespeople to create content - which is an essential aspect of thought leadership and social selling.
3. Update Your Technology
Updating your corporate internal communications strategy will be incomplete without a technology review.
Technology can transform how effectively your employees communicate internally. If your internal communications strategy is dependent on an intranet, or email threads, don’t be surprised if people are not engaging with your messages.
Rather, you should use specialized internal communication platforms like Smarp, which has social-media based features for encouraging participation. Features like posting updates, commenting, sharing and leaderboards will stimulate discussions – about customer experiences, ideas for new products, a new marketing strategy and so on.
Smarp is also available on mobile, allowing your people to have these conversations wherever they might be. If your team is becoming increasingly distributed across several locations, that's another reason to ditch the intranet and use a mobile-ready SaaS tool for communication.
The right technology will catapult your internal communication from a one-way to a two-way activity.
4. Redefine Stakeholders
Are your internal communication efforts getting sufficient engagement and responses from your employees? If not, you should review who is responsible for internal communication.
In most companies, the HR team owns internal communication. However, the most successful companies create stakeholders throughout the company to spark communication – top management, managers across all levels as well as influential high performers who are not managers. These influencers take the lead to initiate conversations and respond to posts.
The success of any new internal communications plan depends on how well people are invested in it.
5. Execute Systematically
Any corporate initiative that involves change requires systematic execution. Here are the key guidelines to follow:
Survey people across the company about the existing internal communication mechanisms. What works and what doesn’t? What changes do they want to see?
- Internal Communication Plan
Have a formal document outlining what you want to achieve with your updated internal communication plan. These goals should be derived from business goals, possible cultural bottlenecks, and current internal communication problems. The plan should also lay out tasks and milestones and assign clear responsibilities.
- Measure Your Progress
When you begin executing the plan, measure the success of every step of the new initiative by setting KPIs, assessing content, running more surveys, etc.
Every aspect of a business – strategy, technology, skills – need to be constantly updated to keep up with market dynamics. Updating your corporate internal communications strategy is the key to making sure that all of the other revisions and upgrades can and will be executed successfully.