Internal communications should form a critical part of your marketing activity. Communicating your messages effectively to your ideal customers is only half the battle. Your employees deliver their best work when they’re engaged, informed and aligned with the company culture – which is the core purpose of any internal communications strategy.
Since the start of the pandemic, internal communications has been under a spotlight for many businesses. Brands needed to find new ways to communicate consistently and effectively with employees while face-to-face methods were restricted.
Strong internal communications is essential in helping your business to run smoothly, as it keeps your employees motivated and engaged. As such, it requires as much effort and careful planning as your external communications – but knowing where to start can be tricky.
To help you develop a robust strategy, we’ve answered five of the most commonly asked questions:
1. What is internal communications?
It is how you communicate information through your organisation. This includes delivering messages from management and facilitating dialogue between the whole team.
Messages can be communicated in a variety of means, many of which are increasingly moving online, such as emails, virtual meetings, newsletters or employee intranets, for example.
These messages can be used to drive action, communicate expectations and support change within an organisation.
2. Why is internal communications important?
Clear communication within an organisation has countless benefits. It defines your company culture, encourages debate and discussion amongst your teams and reduces time needed to clarify messages, to name a few.
One of the most significant differences an internal communications strategy can make is an increase in employee engagement. In 2009, the report “Engaging for Success” (commonly known as the MacLeod report) shared results of a study around what the UK’s most highly productive companies did differently.
They found employee engagement was the key to unlocking potential in a workforce. Engaged employees work with purpose, are more motivated and are 17% more productive than their peers.
3. How can internal communications increase engagement?
The MacLeod report identified four key enablers for employee engagement:
- Strategic narrative – companies with high employee engagement had strong, compelling narratives about the organisation, giving team members a place in their wider mission.
- Engaging managers – these managers give their employees clear objectives that contributes to those of the organisation, recognise achievements and support learning development.
- Employee voice – giving employees a chance to express their views and be listened to, with their views taken into account.
- Organisational integrity – the company values are reflected in day to day activity, promises made by the company are kept, and results are shared openly.
An internal communications plan that focuses on these enablers will improve engagement and company culture significantly.
4. How do you make an internal communications plan?
Firstly, make sure your DNA is up to date and resonates with your whole team. This captures what your company stands for and underpins all of your internal and external communications.
Your plan should include:
- How you will measure employee engagement (eg monitoring interaction, collecting feedback or tracking access to online training guides through an intranet, for example).
- Your objectives – what do you want to achieve by strengthening your internal communications?
- The core message – what do you want your teams to think, feel and believe about your company?
5. Where can I learn more?
For more information, read our blogs on increasing employee wellbeing with psychological contracts and living up to your company values.
If you’re looking for further help creating internal communications for your business, fill out the form below to get in touch.