Company success happens in many ways. We often hear how it happens through a laser focus on developing significant relationships with customers and partners. However, there’s also an often-overlooked path to success – when organizations develop rich, deep connections with employees first. Improving internal communication must be a top priority for any business. Employees are your best brand advocates. They are a company’s MVPs. Creating a work environment and culture where your employees feel informed, heard and respected is essential in solidifying a strong foundation that leads to higher productivity and profitability.
However, communicating effectively and efficiently can be difficult with today’s modern workforce. Traditional methods such as using a company-wide intranet, are starting to do more harm than help when it comes to employee engagement. Today, workers are feeling more disengaged than ever, and cost companies billions of dollars in lower productivity and employee performance.
So, how do organizations build tighter connects with employees that leave them feeling more empowered and motivated?
There are many ways. But the first, and most crucial, step is improving internal communication.
If employees feel that they are not heard, or if they are not provided with the relevant and necessary information to do their jobs, they may not have the opportunity to shine. They won’t get the chance to demonstrate a ‘team player’ mentality – let alone become engaged employees and advocates for your company.
Ensuring that your employees are 100 percent invested in your company and that critical information gets disseminated quickly and efficiently is crucial. A clear line of communication needs to be established and maintained.
By following these simple steps, an organization can vastly improve employee engagement.
Set a Goal for your Internal Communication
The first step is always setting goals. Coming up with a clear and concise goal is essential in all aspects of life, especially communication. Figuring out where you want to go is key to the process. Document the baseline metrics for your company. Then set measurable and achievable goals.
Choose a Method
Take into consideration the needs of your business and your employees.
How do managers to communicate? How do HR personnel want to communicate? How do your employees want to communicate? With so many different parts of an organization with so many different expectations, it can be hard to optimize your communication methods and channels to best serve everyone. So, once you’ve set a communication goal, the next step is to decide how you’re going to accomplish it. Different departments have different needs.
You’ll need to make sure that the internal communication methods used by your company also align with the way your employees work. Not every employee needs to be included on each memo. And not every employee is tied to a desk all day.
This means that not only do you have to make your sure communication is succinct and relevant to employees, but also that they can even receive those messages. You’ll probably find that most employees (especially the ones whom you would count as part of the “Millennial” generation) prefer to get their information on their smartphones, rather than by logging into the company intranet. The problem is that most organizations have been slow to realize this. Even fewer have the means to engage their employees on mobile devices.
Connect with Your Employees
Give your employees the tools and ability they need to know what is going on in their place of work. Got great news? Encourage them to share it. Want to notify your employees of a significant change? Find them and let them know, don’t make them hunt around for the information.
In determining your method of internal communication, you are finding your voice as a company. Engage your workforce with push notifications and immediate feedback through a mobile intranet platform. If they feel they’re “in the know,” they will feel respected and connected to the company. Also, that has been shown to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
Don’t rely on just one method, however. With the rise of a more mobile and remote workforce, the old intranet model has become obsolete. Reaching your employees where they are and with information pertinent to them is critical to business success today.
Engage Your Employees
Once you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to excite your employees. Allow them to engage with your company’s internal communication. If you make your employees feel like they have a ‘voice,’ morale and their sense of engagement will improve. You will gain their trust. Don’t just push out information to staff members. Create a conversation by encouraging feedback and collaboration. You want to hear their ideas. Make them feel like they have ownership of this platform. It’s not meant to be one-sided. It’s a dialogue, not a lecture. Employees should feel like they have an important part to play in the company’s progress and success.
Keep It Professional
Staying on message is essential for an organization. So is making sure that the message is professional. A communication platform is not like a social media platform. This is not a case of “anything goes.” It is a work channel that’s crucial to achieving organizational objectives. By maintaining an open and professional line of communication, employees can learn from each other. Make sure your employees understand what is expected and that they need to maintain a high standard of conduct.
Excellent internal communication can lead to a fantastic company culture. However, make sure you don’t overload your employees with an excessive amount of communication. Limit yourself and your staff to only the necessary items that need to be communicated. If too much information is shared too often, it may start to become white noise for employees. Find the right balance between what they need to know and excessive information. The best way to do this is by allowing your employees to opt into the news and announcements they want to hear or feel is relevant to their jobs.
If you follow these steps, you will see an improvement in your internal communication, the engagement of your employees, and your company will flourish. Companies of all sizes need to ensure they have the best possible internal communication to manage and guide their employees effectively. Once employees have the trust and respect of their employers, they will run through walls for the organization. In today’s rapidly changing technological landscape, improving internal communication with state-of-the-art tools and platforms is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity.