Developing an internal communications strategy can transform the way your company runs in many, many ways.
Understanding the business objectives of a solid internal communications strategy
When business leaders invest in developing an internal communications strategy, the core aim should be for a significant rise in employee engagement.
Employee engagement is the amount of enthusiasm and dedication an employee feels towards their role or organization. Engaged employees are more productive, perform better and stay in their roles longer.
Employees feel engaged when:
- Their employer is open and transparent about new developments within the organization
- They can make connections across the business to build skills and further their career
- They are given meaningful feedback on their work
- They feel welcomed into the wider organization, and can see their work contributing to something bigger
Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace Report suggests that only 21% of employees are engaged at work, and only 33% feel they are thriving in their overall wellbeing.
Alongside the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2020-2021, employers now have to deal with a rise in ‘quiet quitting’ – a term used to describe an employee’s quiet disengagement from work and doing the bare minimum to get by. According to one 2022 survey, a concerning 94% of employees saw themselves as quiet quitters.
Though challenging, this environment represents a huge commercial opportunity for organizations that invest in employee engagement. With the majority of businesses languishing in this area, organizations with a strong people strategy can dominate the market for talent, retain the best people for longer, and thereby generate a more productive, profitable business where people want to work.
An effective internal communication strategy provides the foundation for all of this – especially when coupled with customized intranets and other digital workplace tools.
Here’s how you can leverage your internal comms strategy for maximum effect.
1. Choose your communication channels carefully
Email has its place, but better options – including instant messaging, online forums, corporate social networks, blog posts, newsletters, learning management systems (LMSs) and more – are all available via a company intranet. If you don’t use them, you risk key messages getting lost, and potentially alienating sections of your workforce that aren’t desk-based.
If your organization is comprised of remote or hybrid workers, or people constantly on the move like medical professionals, tradespeople, or drivers, a traditional on-premise intranet won’t suit your working patterns, as it will be inaccessible to anyone not in the office.
Cloud-based intranets, on the other hand, are accessible on any device from anywhere with an internet connection. Such mobile-friendly solutions are vital for mobile workforces, either as a responsive website or downloadable app – and are, of course, equally suitable for desk-based workers.
According to a recent Deloitte survey, three-quarters (74%) of employees use their personal smartphone for work-related administrative tasks, including communication, calendar management and checking the company intranet. Giving them the option to log in on mobile is therefore likely to increase the success of your internal comms plan.
2. Don’t just give orders – start conversations
Of course, some facets of your internal communication strategy will be entirely operational. Your business runs on people knowing their shifts, their working hours and their approved vacation days, and being kept up to date with important company developments.
The best internal communications strategies, however, go much further. A two-way internal communications strategy allows you to create a better workplace culture, share insights, and refine best practices via continuous feedback loops.
One tip is to use your intranet to run quick, single-question surveys on a particular topic. Keeping focused on one specific matter at a time allows you to build gradual but noticeable improvements into your workplace. Your employees become more invested in their work life and culture as their suggestions help shape it.
3. Tap into the benefits of peer-to-peer communication
With the rise of remote and hybrid working, it’s easy for valuable operational knowledge to get siloed off into singular departments, teams, or even individuals.
Your internal communications strategy can help resolve this issue whilst still allowing your workforce to reap the flexibility benefits of home working. Investing in an intranet with a company directory and dedicated discussion spaces is a great way to facilitate knowledge flow. Employees can find topic experts quickly, share their knowledge across the organization, and start to break down unhelpful information silos.
Employees also benefit from this type of internal networking, which is vital for building the connections and knowledge they need to get promoted, progress their career and see a long-term future at your organization.
4. Celebrate as well as inform
Use your internal communication channels to engage employees by celebrating all the fantastic work they do. It’s easy for employees to feel the effort they put in each day isn’t recognized – your internal comms platforms are a great way to remedy this.
Today, the best intranets come with employee recognition tools that allow managers to reward employees with badges that showcase their achievements to the rest of the team.
Enabling line managers to share their teams’ successes via your chosen internal communications channels makes employees feel appreciated and visible – both to their peers and to valuable senior management contacts.
A good internal communications plan will ensure key information like company news and announcements, monthly rotas, essential meetings, and scheduled vacation days are shared effectively.
With job openings across many sectors running high and disengaged employees flatlining productivity by quiet quitting, organizations that invest in employee engagement can make significant gains on their competitors.
If you’re ready to take your Internal Comms strategy to the next level with a purpose-built cloud-based intranet, get in touch with Claromentis today.