When it comes to running an effective business and having informed employees, you need to have an internal communication plan in place. This will ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them. Without proper corporate communication, this can lead to reduced productivity, confusion and a lack of employee engagement.
Why Is Internal Communication Important?
Could you imagine walking into an office building and being greeted with complete silence? How would you or your employees know what needed to be done or what their job entailed? Corporate communication is important because it allows people to work together collaboratively for the success of the company. It also boosts employee engagement, builds a company culture, ensures that you have an informed workforce and creates pathways for feedback.
If your employees didn’t communicate with one another, they would never get anything done. They wouldn’t know which assignments needed to be completed or who was supposed to do them. Internal communication keeps your business running, so it’s beneficial to have an internal communication plan template.
What Is an Internal Communication Plan?
In essence, this is a plan that outlines how communication in your company will be used. It also lays out strategies, metrics, and objectives so that employees know what is expected of them so that they can achieve company and personal goals.
Developing an internal communication plan template may sound like an easy task, but there are a lot of things to consider. You want to ensure that you are putting a plan in place that is effective but also flexible. Working collaboratively with employees and managers in your company may help you create effective communication strategies that will encourage everyone to be on the same page and help the business succeed.
Developing a Communication Plan
Below are some of the steps you might consider taking to develop effective internal communication.
Step 1: Look at Your Current Situation
Before you can develop effective communication strategies, you have to know where you are and where you want to be. More often than not, the need to develop this plan stems from not reaching current goals. Thus, you need to consider how your employees are currently engaging with one another and determine how you prefer them to interact.
Some ways to determine where you currently are with communication include running an audit. You might consider hiring an outside consultant to come in and look at your current strategies. This will give you an unbiased and fresh look at what is working and what isn’t working.
You might also consider giving your employees a survey to see how they feel about current communication strategies. This can be anonymous so that employees feel more comfortable talking about what they think is the current plan’s shortcomings. You may also consider having group interviews as another way to figure out the current communication issues.
Make sure to document the current communication situation and any issues you perceive, as this will give you a baseline to compare your results to. This is important so that you can see if your new plan is working or if it needs further tweaks.
Step 2: Determine Your Company’s Goals
Where do you want to take your business in the next year? How do you plan on getting there? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you develop effective communication for your office. Once you have some goals to strive for, you have the ability to see if you are achieving those tasks.
Once you have the overarching goals for your business, you’ll then need to break your strategy down into team goals. How will they reach those milestones?
Step 3: Determine How the Goals Will be Met
After you have developed your company and team goals, you will then need to determine how each team will meet those goals. What will they contribute to making sure the business is a success? How will they contribute? What time frame does this need to occur?
When it comes to sharing this information with your employees, you need to be very clear about the steps needed to achieve these goals. If this includes having team meetings once a week, let them know that. If they need to send progress reports at the end of each day through email, let them know that as well.
If the teams need to stay in contact with others throughout the office, you need to let them know how this will be handled. At some point in time, everyone will need to get together so they can see how each part is contributing to the whole. If this is something that will happen once a month, let everyone know the expectation. It’s also a good idea to let them know if they have to create a presentation for this company meeting.
Communicating these expectations to each team and the company as a whole will ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. This will also let them know who they need to talk to and collaborate with.
Step 4: Put Your Plan Into Place
Once you have developed your plan and everyone is informed and aware of your expectations, it’s time to put your plan into place.
Step 5: Evaluate the Plan
To ensure that your communication plan is working, you’ll need to evaluate it. This should be done after enough time has passed, and that will be determined by your specific goals. If you want to evaluate after 2 weeks and you have enough information to do that, you can. Should you need more time, such as a few months, you have that option as well.
When you sit down to look at how the plan is working, you need to consider if the specific goal you set was met or if you achieved something else. It’s also a good idea to determine if the measurable results were reached and if those results are relevant to the objectives of the business.
You can also ask your employees for feedback and what they thought about the new communication strategy, whether it was something that was easy for them to incorporate or if they had issues with any steps in the process.
Step 6: Make Changes, If Necessary
After your evaluation of your communication plan, you can then determine if it was successful or if it needs a few tweaks. Remember, the point of putting this plan into place was to achieve company goals. If you did that, then you probably did something right. If not, then you might need to make some modifications.
Developing an internal communication plan template is essential so that your employees know their role within the business and can help you achieve your goals. It may take some trial and error to find one that will work for you, but if you keep working, you will eventually find a plan that will lead to success.