Get Started with an Internal Communications Strategy

Internal communications can be an overlooked strategy for companies focused on growing their bottom line. It’s often not seen as a critical business initiative since it is difficult to put monetary value on good internal communications policy, and too often, companies assume that employees are satisfied with the communications they are receiving even though they never collect specific feedback. But as we move into the next decade, it’s important to revamp and realign your internal communications strategy (or start one if you don’t already have one). Here are some benefits of a successful strategy.

 

Build trust.

You’ll help foster trust between departments, offices, and individual employees. You’ll also help bridge any gaps that may exist between employees and senior leaders.

Provide clarity and direction.

With effective communication, you can deliver clear expectations for your company’s goals and objectives, ensuring that everyone is aligned and working in tandem to meet those goals.

Increase engagement.

When employees feel more connected to their colleagues and to the mission and goals of their organization, they will be more engaged in their work and more satisfied.

Improve employee retention.

One of the biggest losses to employers in this economy is the turnover of workers. Companies of all sizes and industries are losing qualified talent, costing them an exorbitant amount of time and money to identify, replace, onboard, and train new hires. If you are struggling to convince colleagues in your organization that an internal communications plan is worthy of their time and energy, mentioning the cost savings on employee retention should be a key selling point.

Once you are ready to start attacking your internal communications plan, start with these considerations to ensure it’s effective.

Collaborate.

Make sure that employees from all ranks of your company have a voice in assessing the current state of communications and suggesting improvements. Consider corporate workers, senior leaders, subject matter experts, field workers, and anyone who will be responsible for executing the strategies you develop.

Set specific goals.

Your internal communications strategy should be structured to meet certain goals. Depending on the current state of your internal communications and your company needs, goals could include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Distributing key information from your corporate teams to all employees consistently and effectively.
  • Increasing employee adoption of internal communications tools and platforms.
  • Reducing information overload that your employees may currently be experiencing.
  • Establishing avenues for your employees to provide feedback on their satisfaction with current communication strategy and tools.
  • Increasing the number of specific actions taken on internal campaign call to actions, such as internal webinar registrations, program registrations, or PDF downloads.
  • Supporting business or organizational goals.
Decide on your method of communication.

Once your internal communications plan is finalized, you need to determine the best method for sharing it with your key stakeholders. Remember that you need to communicate only the major highlights of your plan, not the minute details of strategy or tactics. Generally, PowerPoint works well, but Microsoft Word can also be considered for plans that contain lots of detail.

Identify strategies and tactics.

Think about the approaches you will take to reach your goals and make a list of as many as you can. Narrow them down to those that will most effectively and efficiently achieve your objectives. As you plan your tactics, describe the specific platforms and steps you will take to make your strategies a reality. Provide as many details as you can, including timelines, responsible parties, and strategies supported.

Decide how you’ll track key metrics and report success.

Don’t let all your efforts go to waste. If you’ve created and implemented a plan, make sure you know what you’re achieving. Take a careful look at all the technology platforms you’ll be using internally and make a list of the metrics that are trackable. If a platform doesn’t have the functionality to track particular metrics, you may want to consider using a new tool altogether. Remember, if certain stakeholders or senior leaders have been skeptical about an internal communications plan, you need to show them the value and ROI through concrete data. Add specific tactics for tracking and a plan for how you’ll share the results with specific stakeholders on a consistent basis. If you’re looking for ideas about what types of technology to implement, read this post.

By carefully considering the above before diving into your internal communications planning, you can set your organization up for success and reap the benefits of successful internal communications for years to come.