Building a successful internal culture is similar to building a house - without a strong foundation, it will collapse. Effective communications can make your cultural foundation stronger - with the right communications strategy, the team’s ability to foresee and respond to problems can be vastly improved. Employee engagement and retention also increases. These are just a few reasons why a brand should consider implementing clearly planned and structured internal communication strategies.
Faster Response Time to Problems and Emergencies
Here’s an experience most of us can relate to. You’re working on a big project when something goes wrong. You rush into a co-worker’s office and begin talking excitedly, in detail, about what needs to be done. The response on your co-worker’s face isn’t one of approval or disapproval. It’s something far worse: “Huh?”
Having a clear process for connecting staff to the right information at the right time helps stops issues from becoming problems. When something inevitably goes wrong, the whole team can respond quickly. No one has to be caught up on the issue. Often, the worst time to get an employee up to speed is when something goes awry. There’s high tension, and moving parts are moving too quickly. Effective internal communication stops this problem before it starts.
Make Employees Feel Valued
One-way flows of information can only get a team halfway to its goals. Feedback loops need to be embraced. And feedback can take many forms. 360 reviews, where someone reviews (and is reviewed by) a co-worker, manager, and a reporting employee, are just one example out of the many resources available. Internal communication techniques create safe, encouraging environments in which people feel free to share their ideas.
A great communications strategy can help make employees feel valued and show them that their ideas matter. Their bosses are listening; they have attention and respect. And since their ideas matter, they break out of thinking that they’re just a cog in a machine. They become much happier for it, and happy employees are 12% more productive.
Increase Employee Contribution
In 2015, only 32% of employees were engaged at work. The Harvard Business Review discusses how improving employee engagement affects productivity, increasing it by as much as 22%. Employees who feel more valued are more likely to be engaged and to contribute more to the project, team, and company as a whole.
Reduce Retention Issues
The Harvard Business Review also reports that employees who were more engaged are much less likely to look somewhere else for employment. When companies with high turnover problems took steps to increase engagement, turnover dropped by 25%. In low turnover companies, the reduction was 65%. More engagement and reduced turnover lead to a more experienced team and fewer precious resources being spent on rehiring and retraining employees.
Better Informed, More Capable Leaders
Internal communication accomplishes much more than improving the flow of information. Leaders who utilize modern internal communication techniques have their finger on the pulse of what their employees are thinking and working on. This provides strong situational awareness and a keen grasp of employees’ strengths and weaknesses. And it puts a manager in a better position to respond to current and future problems, or even to head problems off before they occur.
Improved Ability to Set and Achieve Goals
A goal must be identified before it can be reached. As any team progresses towards its goals, it will inevitably make mistakes and learn. As a result, those goals will evolve and change. Without proper identification and continuous adaptation, we’re trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded. Solid internal communication means everyone knows what they are working towards at any given moment.
Fluid communication between employees, managers, and executives results in increased productivity and builds a stronger and in-sync team. Does your company have an internal communications strategy in place?
In our next communications essentials edition, I'll take a closer look at some of the main communication tolls being used in modern workplaces to connect their teams and enhance productivity. Stay tuned!