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The positive impacts of an internal communications strategy.

14th March 2017

The modern workplace is continuing to change, through shifts in work cultures, increased global offices, adjustments to office and huddle space environments, not to mention ongoing technological advancements.

Ask any CIO, Facilities Manager, Head of AV how they think the workplace has changed over the last 10-15 years and you’ll more likely get puffed out cheeks, some considered silence and a response to say that it has changed beyond all recognition: people don’t come into the office, when they do they’ll move from space to space frequently, 70% of jobs can be done with a super computer that fits in your pocket and distance is no barrier for colleagues interacting.

With these seismic cultural and technological shifts, companies, no matter how large or small, are seeking new ways to collaborate and communicate across teams, departments and geographical locations. A by-product of all of this is, is the growth of internal communications departments in enterprises.

Internal communications is when employers, employees and colleagues share information and talk to each other to ensure there is a mutual understanding between leadership, management and staff.

Communication is delivered through an appropriate channel and should result in employees knowing exactly how their role contributes to achieving company goals.

An effective internal communications strategy plays a key role in motivating and engaging employees resulting in the overall success of many businesses.

But why? What are the positive impacts of an internal communications strategy?

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1. Achieving goals.

To achieve organisational goals, co-ordination and communication among various departments is essential. Effective internal communications will help to co-ordinate projects and tasks amongst different departments.

2. Motivation.

Effective internal communications can help to motivate employees. It can bridge the gap between what’s decided at an upper management level and how these decisions are implemented right across the company. Without a sound strategy, communication can get lost in translation or watered down resulting in a disengaged and demotivated work force.

3. Employees understand the bigger picture, vision of the company and how they fit in and contribute to this vision.

According to Gallup 24% of employees worldwide are ‘actively disengaged’

With an effective internal communications strategy employees will feel valued, listened to, and like an important part of the team and the organisation.

4. Employees are more productive.

When an employee is fully aware of their contribution to organisation goals they contribute more and feel better about the value they add so they stay on the job and help move the business forward.

5. Knowledge is power.

Let’s take the example of competitor information. Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses is necessary for high performance in a competitive market place. With an effective internal communications strategy, this information can be shared with the right people at relevant times. Accessibility of the right information is also important when it comes to agility, internal communications can help with making everyone aware of where to find the right information. Many companies make use of company websites, internal blogs, SharePoint, Yammer and other tools to share information or links to stored information.

6. Better leadership.

Leaders are better able to understand employee needs and how to meet those needs to motivate, inspire and engage them in the overall goal of the business.

7. Managers have a greater understanding of their workforce.

Sourcing the best employees for your organisation can be difficult so when these employees exist in your organisation it is important to retain them. According to a survey from SHRM 46% of HR pros say retention is their greatest concern, followed by employee engagement at 36%.

Building the trust and credibility to keep employees engaged requires effort. Internal communications can help to build this trust and credibility by proactively listening to employees and providing ways to give feedback.

Real life example:

We at DisplayNote Technologies recently utilised our own team communications tool to include all staff members in an exercise of naming a new product we are due to release to the market later this year. We (the marketing department) set up a group within our team communications tool and invited all staff members, we asked them for feedback on the top 10 names that the marketing department had already shortlisted, and then asked staff to reply to the group with their favourite name. This method was highly effective as, we collaborated and made the decision within 24 hours of starting the exercise, all staff members were engaged and the majority vote won! All staff members now love new name for the new product and are eagerly waiting its release.

8. Exchange and generation of ideas.

Engaged employees who understand the bigger picture and overall vision of the company tend to feel encouraged to give more feedback and offer new ideas. By providing an effective way of communicating these ideas and brainstorming, an organisation can benefit from increased creativity among employees, encouraging overall innovation.

What does a good internal communications strategy consist of?

According to Staff Motivation Matters good internal communications consist of the following;

  • Open and objective communication
  • Clear, jargon-free, succinct language
  • Consistent and regular communication
  • Two-way dialogue
  • Understanding the audience and what appeals to them
  • Using good verbal, non-verbal and written communicators
  • A communication identity that people recognise and use
  • An accessible medium.

“The power of communication lies in keeping your audience involved in its evolution, because it is their interaction and interest that will mean the difference between communication that goes nowhere and is read by no one, and communication that can motivate entire workforces.”

In summary

Great communication must be a continuous process which is more difficult than is seems. You must work every day to ensure you communicate openly and honestly with employees and colleagues.

By making the effort to provide an effective way of communicating and providing information, you are encouraging employees and colleagues to give positive feedback and contribute to overall success by doing their jobs better.

There are many team communication tools as well as ‘sync and share’ document storage solutions like SharePoint and DropBox, all of which can have a positive effect on communications across organisations.

The overall impact of providing a good internal communications plan is a positive one! Good communications can only result in higher levels of motivation, engagement, performance and business results.

At DisplayNote our mission is to provide ways in which organisations can work more effectively together, we like to think we are doing our best to break the barriers to great ideas through providing team communication and collaboration solutions.

Next Steps…

Looking for a collaborative tool to help with your internal communications strategy?

Try Montage today

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