The days of internal communication being limited to general staff announcements made by management are long gone. Communication within organizations is increasingly multidirectional, both horizontally between departments, and vertically between the managers and their teams.
Companies doing there thing in a swiftly-moving global market know that effective internal communication is vital to be able to compete and react quickly enough.
The ability to achieve this capability to adapt and move toward more efficient internal communications can be boiled down into 6 basic steps:
1. Set goals
There is no successful path without a goal. Creating an adequate communication strategy supervised by the most relevant managers and other key positions in the organization is decisive. It is essential that the internal communication plan is approved by all of them, which thus keeps them involved.
This planning will entail the different communication types to implement to achieve the goals. It will also include the assignment of responsibilities, the tools that are expected to be used and the milestones that need to be reached progressively, in addition to indicators set for measuring the success of the plan.
2. Tune into the organization’s objectives
One of the typical pitfalls facing internal communication is that it fails to demonstrate its influence in achieving the overall objectives of the organization. In short, the objectives are usually not connected with those of the entire company.
One way to avoid this is to have the internal communication plan include some objective that supports another generic company objective. For example, if a business aims to increase its sales by 10%, it would not hurt to relate some of the objectives of internal communication to achieve this target. Simplifying the sales team’s access to the characteristics of the products and their sales arguments through an improved internal communication platform could illustrate this point.
Thus, the vision of internal communication will take on a more practical aspect for many levels of the company, and all of them will be more receptive with the measures proposed by that area.
3. Identify communication flow funnels
It is evident that to improve any process, it is necessary to point out what does not work in it. In a system where the goal is to achieve information flow, the greatest enemy is usually found in the points that interrupt that flow.
Those responsible for internal communication should investigate where these bottlenecks are located by asking the right questions to individuals and teams located at different levels of the company, without ruling out any area.
4. Take advantage of technology
In the midst of a fully digital 21st century, it may seem obvious, but often we need to be reminded about just how useful digital tools can be, also for improving an organization’s internal communication. The simplest and most cost-effective way is usually to commission a SaaS ( Software as a Service ) plan. These online platforms are usually designed in the same way as others we are used to interacting with such as social networks or tools for organizing and managing tasks.
The advantages of this type of platforms is that they can be scalable, if the number of users grows, their cost decreases, and they allow users to access from any device, including, of course, cell phones.
Sharing content of interest, generating internal communication campaigns and encouraging employee involvement are just some of the actions that this type of software simplifies. All this will make it easier to convince managers to make the decision to acquire this kind of tools.
5. Caring for and rewarding communication accomplices
Any initiative taken in an organization needs members to support and spread it. These individuals, either because of their involvement or because of their job position, are vital to the success of internal communication campaigns. They will be the ones who influence their coworkers and strengthen the dissemination of the action.
How to identify, maintain active and value or reward those members of the organization should no doubt be reflected in the internal communication plan.
6. Create attractive content
The internal communication consists, after all, in the dialogue between the components of the organization. Promoting and focusing this conversation is essential and, in order to do so, generating relevant and interesting content becomes essential.
Whether in the form of texts, images, videos or podcasts, the content created from the internal communication area must be in line with its objectives and, of course, attract the participation of the recipients to whom it is addressed. Among other reasons, because they are the ones who continue to provide data on the appropriateness or inadequacies of the communication process and will raise concerns or matters of interest to the organization, which would have otherwise surely remained hidden.
The possibility of launching small questionnaires or surveys is equally practical in this regard, in a more direct way. The ultimate goal is to find out what can make an organization more productive and efficient. In short, what makes its members happier.