How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

An effective internal communication strategy creates a healthy culture of honesty, empathy and . [+] trust.

A successful and effective internal communication strategy relies on more than informal Slack channels, fun work memos and humorous office banter. Whether strong, weak or non-existent, the internal communication of a company directly impacts employee engagement. A Harris Poll found that more than 70% of employees were engaged when their company clearly communicated information of value such as company goals, objects and individual/organization execution. When employees are kept in the loop of what’s happening internally, their loyalty and satisfaction increase ultimately improving the annual revenue and reputation of the company.

Slack channels and office jokes can only do so much especially when a company is going through major changes or in the middle of a pandemic where businesses around the globe are laying off workers every day. Having an effective internal communication strategy eliminates rumors, increases trusts and strengthens the morale and engagement of employees. Furthermore, it provides an avenue and process for employees to feel comfortable reporting concerns, incidents or asking questions.

Here are three ways companies can show they value their employees through effective communication.

Maximize Communication Channels And Techniques

While intranet and email are commonly used communication channels, not every employee has the time to read everything. The average attention span of a millennial is 12 seconds while a Gen Z worker is approximately eight seconds. This means, employers needs to be cognizant on text-heavy emails and focus on how to convey information that’s concise, informative and sensitive. The marketing “rule of 7” suggests an individual needs to hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action. Employees consume information differently. Some process it immediately while others it takes a few times in order for it to click. Different consumption styles consist of:

  • Video
  • Newsletters
  • Intranet
  • Text
  • Email
  • Face-to-face (or live Zoom call)

A newsletter is an effective way to prevent rumors and fake news. Employees want to be kept in the loop of what’s going on. Gregory Golinski, head of digital marketing at Your Parking Space, shared “a newsletter can relay the latest company news, explain what’s going on, how things are going financially, who got hired recently, who got promoted, etc. ” Andrew Roderick, CEO of Credit Repair Companies, shared “it’s important to keep messaging concise so that the team knows what they need to focus on” instead of bombarding them with an overwhelming amount of information.

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Dismantle The Red Tape And Have An Open-Door Policy

Face-to-face communication remains the most preferred type of communication. While most companies have extended their remote working guidelines until the end of the year, that doesn’t mean they should disregard face-to-face communication entirely. When presenting any form of information, employers should always opt for face-to-face communication. This is because information can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood when reading.

Chris Brenchley, co-founder and CEO of Surehand, said “an open-door policy is a symbol of trust and openness.” He added “get rid of the red-tape that slows down processes, after all, you’re running a company-not a bureaucracy. In order put it into motion, you might have to invite a few employees to your office and randomly start a conversation about them.” Once they start to feel more comfortable, they’ll come on their own with things to share.

Holding Q&A or “Ask Me Anything” sessions with managers and the leadership team gives employees space to ask about where the company is at and have their questions answered and concerns addressed. It’s crucial leadership is transparent instead of dodging questions.

Give Employees A Seat At The Table

Employees want to know what’s going on outside of the role. They want to know how well the company is doing, what changes are being made and essentially all the things leadership keeps secret from their workers. Communication should not be a one-way street going from top to bottom.

Neal Taparia, CEO of Solitaired, said “every employee wants a seat at the table. They don’t want to be someone just taking orders, but they want to understand the big picture and how they fit within the puzzle.” He added “if they know how their work translates to the company mission, it’s incredibly motivating.”

Having frequent town halls are a great way to deliver updates, host Q&As with the leadership team, share current challenges and seek feedback. Taparia shared “we send daily, short updates to our entire team about progress, challenges and questions we are addressing across all functions. He said this helps improve communication considerably and it prevents anything from slipping through the cracks.

Updated: Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 3:31pm

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

Effective communication between staff and patients is important for the success of any healthcare organization. According to an article in Managed Healthcare Executive, more than 80% of healthcare quality experts say improving communication between patients and healthcare staff is the number one factor in improving the patient care experience.

When healthcare professionals don’t communicate, it can lead to a negative workplace culture and inferior quality of patient care. Taking steps to enhance communication among your entire team will create a better environment for both your employees and patients.

Try these five steps for improving communication at your healthcare organization.

1. Incorporate effective communication in your organization’s mandatory training program.

It’s hard to expect employees to communicate effectively if they have never been taught to do it. During mandatory training sessions, instruct employees on how to ask clarifying questions, validate and verify patients’ thoughts and feelings, and engage in empathetic listening. Make sure employees understand the elements of a two-way communication dialogue, both with managers and with the patients they care for.

2. Make communication part of your organization’s culture.

You will probably find that it’s not enough to simply tell your employees about the importance of communication; you must show them. When leaders of your organization model positive communication behavior and make it a core part of the workplace culture, employees will be encouraged to do the same. You can also incorporate communication into employee feedback and evaluations, and reward employees who engage in good communications.

3. Implement patient satisfaction surveys.

Receiving feedback from patients gives you insight into how your facility’s patient experience can be improved. Patient surveys can help you determine reasons for complaints, questions or concerns. Additionally, they can shed light on what your team is doing right. Consider using surveys to gain valuable feedback and assess what type of changes can be made to enhance communication among your staff and patients.

4. Schedule regular meetings for employees.

Learning and professional development are key to improving overall communication skills. Schedule regular monthly meetings with your staff to discuss patient survey feedback and areas of strength and weakness. This provides the opportunity for employees to share their thoughts and ideas for improvement in a group setting, which encourages collaboration and open exchange of information. Your employees may have valuable ideas on how to improve communication in real-world scenarios that you might not have considered.

5. Utilize technology when appropriate.

Healthcare facilities are now required to enter patient information into electronic healthcare records. It’s important that employees know how to use these systems effectively so that patient data is accurate, private, and easily accessible for physicians who need it. Quality care comes from informed care, and EHRs are important in communicating with providers about patients’ medical histories and needs.

Effective communication starts from the ground up and is reinforced by practitioners who lead by example. By building a foundation of meaningful communication at all levels—from entry-level to executive management—your organization will be better equipped to provide quality patient care.

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

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The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ultimate Medical Academy.

How effective is your internal communication? To improve your internal communication, you need to identify problem areas, set goals, and align them.

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How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

How effective is your internal communication? To improve your internal communication, you need to identify problem areas, set goals, and align them with your business objectives. You also need to use the latest technology, select internal champions, and – of course – invest in your content.

A decade back, internal communication was limited to announcements by senior management. However, an increasing number of companies are beginning to realize that the scope of communication needs to be far broader. It needs to be interactive and encompass your employees’ voices.

Moreover, in today’s fast-paced global marketplace, how well your company can compete depends on how quickly you can adapt and execute. Your speed of execution depends on how well you internally communicate – and work together as one powerful streamlined company.

How do you make the transition to a more contemporary form of communication that makes your organization more agile and responsive to market trends?

1. Identify Bottlenecks

To improve your internal communication system, begin by identifying what’s not working so well.

Take feedback from your people from different levels and departments about the communication bottlenecks that they face. In addition, ask them indirect questions about their work that indicate how streamlined communication channels are.

For example, ask questions like:

How well do your employees understand the organization’s goals and objectives?

Low levels of awareness indicate that the top management needs to communicate their goals better.

How smoothly do inter-departmental tasks get done?

Inter-departmental tasks that take excessive time, or lead to friction are an indication that communication channels are far from perfect.

Related: Effective Internal Communication Relies on Company Culture

2. Set Goals

Decide on the different aspects of internal communication that you want to work on – communication from leadership, resource libraries, peer-peer communication, etc. Set a clear agenda for what you want to achieve in terms of each aspect based on the feedback that you have gathered.

Create an internal communication strategy document by consulting with your C-level executives and other key people across the organization. Having a unified communication plan that stakeholders agree with makes the difference between success and failure.

Your communication plan should lay out the different types of communication involved, assign responsibilities, the tools to be used, milestones, dates and how you measure success .

3. Sync with Business Objectives

Internal communication measures often do not get the importance they deserve because it’s difficult to mentally connect it with business success.

Therefore, make a point to map your internal communication goals to business objectives. For instance, if one business goal for the quarter is to acquire 15% more customers, define an internal communication goal that supports that objective.

This will make it far easier for you to get buy-in from all levels across the company. People will adopt your internal communication activities far more quickly.

4. Use the Latest Technology

To improve your internal communication stop using outdated systems like intranets that have very low usage rates and are – honestly – boring! Adopt SaaS tools like Smarp that are designed for the millennial workforce.

A great tool will support the easy deployment of great content and encourage sharing. It should be accessible on mobile devices that people can use on the go. Today, with offices and employees spread across locations, you need online tools that can facilitate better communication for remote workers .

SaaS tools can also be rolled out quickly, are scalable as your company grows and cost far less than traditional tools. All these factors also make it easier for you to get the nod from your CFO and CTO!

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

5. Select Champions

Any organizational initiative needs internal champions to succeed. Your internal communication plan will need champions who will help promote, execute and grow the initiative. You need to select not only people in key leadership positions, but other people across levels who are influential.

For instance, if an influential person uses and promotes your new internal communication app, others will follow and your adoption rate will rise.

Identify people who understand the value of good communication and bring them on board as champions.

6. Create Great Content

Great internal communication is about creating a dialogue. Whatever form of content you create for internal communication – articles, videos or podcasts – have systems that allow people to comment on and share that content .

You should also use quizzes and surveys that give you insights about what people are thinking:

What are their concerns? What’s keeping them from working at their productive best? How happy are they with the company?

Essentially, your content should not be a means to just disseminate information, but to spark conversation and understand your people too. These answers will help you increase employee engagement, productivity and employee retention.

‘Kaizen’

Apply the Japanese principle of ‘Kaizen’ or continuous improvement to internal communication. The better you communicate, the more successful your organization will be.

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

While measuring PR and communications from an external perspective is generally the priority of PR executives, it’s just as important for them to measure the success of internal communications. The reasoning for this isn’t because you need a headcount for this summer’s BBQ, but rather because your employees are your most dedicated brand champions .

They’re tweeting about companies they’re impressed by, writing articles on Medium, and discussing what you could be doing better via Slack messages. That’s a whole lot of buzz that can influence the public’s perception of your brand. Yet the term “measurement” is more often associated with customer-facing campaigning than it is with internal communications. This is now changing as internal communications strategies become increasingly sophisticated.

The Coca-Cola Company, for instance, has an employee brand advocate program called Coca-Cola Ambassador , which prepares employees to better communicate with external and internal stakeholders about pressing issues affecting the business.

Bayer Corporation ’s internal communications team has a similarly sophisticated program in which they engage with nearly 200 employees to gather ongoing feedback about how messages can be better communicated to the company. Bayer Corporation Vice President and Head of U.S. Communications Mary Lou Panzano described the latter to me as an “internal Nielsen group” for testing strategies and tactics.

We all don’t work for companies of this size, nor do we all have a need for such thorough practices. Nonetheless, we all struggle in some way with how to best present information to our employees so that it’s actually consumed.

So, how can companies of all sizes better message and measure internal communications?

Remember That Less Is Usually More

Sending too many emails means employees will ignore some of your messages. If you’re continually emailing FYIs, most messages turn into a steady stream of static.

Panzano and her team at Bayer Corporation use an interesting metric for gauging success: the number of emails they don’t send to employees. She cuts out the messages that don’t align with strategic priorities to ensure employees hear what matters most. At the end of a quarter when she views the emails that weren’t sent, she sees it as a win that’s helped with message penetration.

Target Groups Strategically

“Strategic targeting” isn’t a concept that’s often paired with internal communications. But when you think about it, “internal communications” is just marketing to employees. And just like in traditional marketing, the more you cater your message to a niche audience, the more effective it will be.

Consider who needs to know what to help clear out unnecessary static. You can still be transparent with information (sharing all-company news on social channels or intranets), but flagging everyone on these notes is often unnecessary.

As my company’s chief strategy officer, I share relevant PR industry news with my team of PR engineers before anyone else as a litmus test. If it’s of interest to them and garners a larger conversation, I loop in other senior leaders and teams, but only after the information has been pre-vetted by a smaller group.

Make Your Intentions Clear

When sending out its annual employee engagement survey, The Coca-Cola Company pays close attention to metrics associated with whether employees understand the company’s vision and strategies, including how their individual work is connected to those strategies.

Steve Soltis , group director of employee and leadership communications for The Coca-Cola Company says, “A business cannot generate sustainable value and growth without employees understanding where it’s headed, why, what it’s going to take to get there, and why each employee matters.”

The Coca-Cola Company also uses spot surveys throughout the year to gauge the temperature of company culture.

“We’re in the process of developing a plan to use Salesforce Chatter to gather anecdotal feedback on our various programs and to see if the messaging is resonating,” Soltis told me in our interview.

Avoid Falling Into The Role Of A ‘Corporate Publicist’

If you’re looking to solve an organizational problem, make sure you’re actually taking steps to solve it first. Maybe this scenario sounds familiar: Data from an internal survey indicates that a number of employees would have increased job satisfaction if greater advancement opportunities were available to them.

As part of the solution, you focus on developing a few employees who exhibit leadership skills until they’re able to fulfill management roles. To share the news, you blast their accomplishments on your intranet and share them on your Slack channel. This effort illustrates that if you stick with the company, you too could have a similar victory.

All in all, you will have acted as a great internal publicist, but you’re not solving the problem. A true fix requires a much deeper dive into the data that can inspire comprehensive, long-term solutions, as opposed to temporary bandaging.

When Aflac’s employee engagement survey revealed a similar scenario (a yearning for advancement opportunities), its communications team visually weighed which indexes were most relevant to employees. As a result, Aflac created a Career Success Center.

“It’s staffed by a team of human resources professionals whose mission is to help individual employees understand the promotion process, which jobs within the company they’ve qualified for, how to refine their resumes, and interviewing techniques,” said Catherine Blades, senior vice president of corporate communications at Aflac, in my interview with her.

Since launching in May of 2014, nearly 600 Aflac employees have been surveyed in over 1,000 development sessions. Thirty-five percent of those employees have been promoted or moved on to jobs that better suit their skill sets.

Give Employees A Voice

Rolling out an intranet? Take an iPhone video of an employee walking you through how to access pertinent information and add it to your next company-wide newsletter. This corporate-journalism approach allows employees to be the mouthpieces of your brand.

When internal communications work well, your employees end up being so in tune with the business they’ll begin to tell the company story for you – and they’ll take pride in doing it.

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

  • Posted March 1, 2019
  • in Digital Employee Experience, Digital Workplace, Internal Communications, Operational Communications, Publishing

In our recent ebook, Communications Leaders of Change 2019 , we learned lessons from top internal communications programs and their best practices. Here are six insights from leading communicators on how to improve communications based on their vision and what they achieved in their own companies in industries, such as manufacturing, technology, retail, and nonprofits.

Six Lessons on How to Improve Communications

#1 Adopt a multi-channel approach to effectively reach all employees, anywhere

Copying and pasting to publish onto multiple channels doesn’t cut it anymore. Multi-channel communications, driven by the right technology tools, are helping top leaders transform, enhance, and add value to their communications strategies.

Today, communicators finally have their own workforce communications platforms to streamline workflows by automating tedious tasks and integrating across channels. Branded mobile apps, digital signage, printed materials, and intranet messaging are working in combination to connect, inform, and build trust among today’s workforces. Also, multi-channel strategies provide the crucial performance measurement tools communicators need to succeed.

If done well, you’ll reach employees on their terms and on the devices of their choice, which is necessary for frontline or deskless workers who are on the move and may not have a company email address.

#2 Use targeting and personalization to encourage rapid adoption of your initiatives

These communications leaders had rapid adoption with their new initiatives because they met employees where they were, empowered them, and personalized their messaging. In turn, this helped employees become ambassadors for their brands.

Employees who feel disconnected from the business and don’t understand why decisions are being made are less likely to engage with new initiatives—which makes those initiatives more likely to fail. If employees aren’t getting relevant information, they may not understand or even know about company-wide business goals.

Ultimately, the best internal communicators understand their audience and support employee engagement that drives desired business outcomes. And a more connected workforce is a catalyst for improved business results.

#3 Embrace new ways to stay connected to your deskless workers

Top communications leaders are finally recognizing deskless employees, who make up 80% of the global workforce. They’re on the front lines, building and selling products we enjoy, and keeping us healthy. But, without company emails or laptops, they can easily feel disconnected.

Many of these un-wired employees are in industries like retail and hospitality, which can have high attrition and turnover rates, so getting them access to company policies, up-to-date information, and their organization’s brand story is essential.

One way these communications leaders are engaging this overlooked group is with mobile. More than 92% of millennials have smartphones, so deskless employees are most likely already comfortable with mobile. They can quickly check their PTO balance, get the latest corporate news, and sign off on compliance notifications when it’s convenient for them.

#4 Help employees promote your company culture

With the right tools, you can reach employees on their terms and get them involved in your company story. Like the communications leaders we featured, you can even get employees excited to participate in and share your company story.

To do this, look for a good workforce communications platform. The ideal platform can span the entire workforce, integrate with other systems (combining the best from each individual resource), and help you communicate with hard-to-reach employees such as frontline or deskless workers.

Our communicators of change have the mindset of creating culture by communicating their brand story that comes from a company’s own history and activities: the “goodness” of what the company is doing. If you can integrate employees into your company story and make them active participants, they’ll also become stakeholders in the success of any transformation initiative.

#5 Prove communications ROI by measuring performance

Top communications leaders have found that effective employee engagement translates into positive business outcomes and growth. According to Gallup, high engagement increases productivity by 22% and can lead to 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability. And, if your organization is going through a change or transformation, engagement is even more critical to make sure your employees understand why the change is taking place.

By measuring your internal communications performance, you’ll prove your ROI. With detailed metrics and feedback, communicators can continually improve communications at every step, with all types of employees—from gig workers to employees in the field.

These communicators are setting goals aligned to larger strategic business goals and demonstrating their team’s value with data. They’re earning their seat at the table, and truly becoming the trusted partners to the C-suite.

#6 Empower yourself to be a top communicator

Traditionally, internal communications was known for producing the holiday newsletter and making announcements that often went ignored. By embracing a digital transformation, however, these leaders are empowering their teams and emerging as a crucial aspect of business.

These communications leaders are not the arts-and-crafts department, but real drivers of change. They’re at the center of employee engagement, making sure employees understand the “what, why, and how” of the organization. They’re experimenting with channels and vehicles to optimize their initiatives. They’re delivering the critical messages from leaders and creating the kind of two-way communication essential for a company’s success.

They are also lifting up the next generation of communicators and lighting the path for them to become trusted advisors to leadership. Follow their example and you, too, can help set the tone for tomorrow’s leaders and communicators of the future.

Here’s more about each of our communicators of change:

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

When team members fail to communicate effectively or when the flow of information breaks down between departments, business operations suffer. The problem is usually a combination of organizational leadership challenges and the failure of technology to support collaboration. Leadership often discusses the value of collaboration and tries to instill this kind of culture throughout the organization, but getting employees to work together more effectively comes down to communication.

How can you quickly improve this at your organization?

First, start with a strong technological foundation that enables easy communication and collaboration. Then, create the processes and support the employee interactions that help foster better communication. Here are three tips that can quickly enhance intra-team communication at your business.

Leverage the Right Technology

Being able to respond quickly to new challenges can make teams more effective. The right collaboration tools can a go long way toward improving team communication. In the past few years, many businesses have shifted much of their internal communication from email to message-based solutions. Frustration with overloaded inboxes has been a business cliché for years, and these applications stepped in to solve the problem.

New collaborative tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Spark helped transform organizational communication.. Choosing the right tool can help enable a better flow of information throughout your enterprise and even increase employee morale.

When trying to pick the best technology solution look at everything from the features included with the tool to how it will fit within your existing technology infrastructure and communication culture. Smaller organizations may benefit from lightweight solutions that lack the stability of application designed first-and-foremost for enterprises.

Alternatively, businesses that use enterprise-level communication systems may seek out a collaborative platform that integrates within the larger ecosystem, such as Cisco Spark . The key is to make it easier for your employees to communicate in ways that will bolster business goals; choose a tool with features that will speed the flow and relevance of internal communication while providing minimal disruption to traditional processes.

Improve Processes Within Teams

Once your business has the right technological tools in place, it’s time to focus on organizational processes that help foster greater communication. A good place to start is with leaders within the organization. When team and department leaders make a collaborative tool a priority, they set an example that everyone else in the organization can follow.

On an even higher level, operations managers or even senior executives can engage with the platform to get people motivated to use the service. Communication about high-level goals can come from the CEO or other C-level officials.

Another valuable process step to look at is how teams are using current tools. Identify both power users and best practices. Power users can be effective role models and evangelists for the value of the collaboration platform. Create templates using these established best practices throughout the organization.

On top of this, by rewarding those who find effective methods, companies can create an incentive for employees to use collaboration tools more frequently. It also pushes them to find their own ways of using the tool to be more effective in their particular job. Incentivizing more team communication can often help achieve this.

Clarifying responsibilities across an organization while also allowing room for stretch roles can help avoid conflict and make overall communication and collaboration smoother. It can serve to prevent turf wars and employees claiming that certain actions are “not my responsibility.”

In building processes based on underlying technology, it’s often helpful to work with the service provider or one of its partners to help determine the best approaches.

Ensure People Work Together

At the heart of successful intra-team communication is how people interact. While technology tools are an important foundation and effective processes can set a good example that influence enterprise culture, the daily interactions of your employees determine how well communication translates into improved business outcomes.

Many organizations have begun to worry about meeting fatigue. When a person’s calendar is filled up with inessential meetings, it can actually hurt productivity. At the same time, you don’t want to move too far in the opposite direction. A happy medium is key.

Regular 1-on-1 meetings between an employee and their manager are valuable for exchanging feedback and making sure everyone is on the same page. Organizations should also try to encourage cross-function events to help employees strengthen their bonds. These can range from standard team-building exercises to company-sponsored happy hours to organized morning coffee breaks. Keeping these events consistent helps employees become comfortable with each other and can break down functional barriers than inhibit stronger collaboration across an organization.

Another way to do this is to break down physical barriers, from cubicles to closed doors. Just having a similar “open door policy” can go a long way to making people more communicative.

Putting It All Together

By focusing on improving collaborative technology while also tweaking organizational process and how employees interact, businesses can help foster an environment that immediately enhances the quality and speed of intra-team communication.

Read our ebook: Why a Good Team Collaboration Platform Isn’t Enough

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

While measuring PR and communications from an external perspective is generally the priority of PR executives, it’s just as important for them to measure the success of internal communications. The reasoning for this isn’t because you need a headcount for this summer’s BBQ, but rather because your employees are your most dedicated brand champions .

They’re tweeting about companies they’re impressed by, writing articles on Medium, and discussing what you could be doing better via Slack messages. That’s a whole lot of buzz that can influence the public’s perception of your brand. Yet the term “measurement” is more often associated with customer-facing campaigning than it is with internal communications. This is now changing as internal communications strategies become increasingly sophisticated.

The Coca-Cola Company, for instance, has an employee brand advocate program called Coca-Cola Ambassador , which prepares employees to better communicate with external and internal stakeholders about pressing issues affecting the business.

Bayer Corporation ’s internal communications team has a similarly sophisticated program in which they engage with nearly 200 employees to gather ongoing feedback about how messages can be better communicated to the company. Bayer Corporation Vice President and Head of U.S. Communications Mary Lou Panzano described the latter to me as an “internal Nielsen group” for testing strategies and tactics.

We all don’t work for companies of this size, nor do we all have a need for such thorough practices. Nonetheless, we all struggle in some way with how to best present information to our employees so that it’s actually consumed.

So, how can companies of all sizes better message and measure internal communications?

Remember That Less Is Usually More

Sending too many emails means employees will ignore some of your messages. If you’re continually emailing FYIs, most messages turn into a steady stream of static.

Panzano and her team at Bayer Corporation use an interesting metric for gauging success: the number of emails they don’t send to employees. She cuts out the messages that don’t align with strategic priorities to ensure employees hear what matters most. At the end of a quarter when she views the emails that weren’t sent, she sees it as a win that’s helped with message penetration.

Target Groups Strategically

“Strategic targeting” isn’t a concept that’s often paired with internal communications. But when you think about it, “internal communications” is just marketing to employees. And just like in traditional marketing, the more you cater your message to a niche audience, the more effective it will be.

Consider who needs to know what to help clear out unnecessary static. You can still be transparent with information (sharing all-company news on social channels or intranets), but flagging everyone on these notes is often unnecessary.

As my company’s chief strategy officer, I share relevant PR industry news with my team of PR engineers before anyone else as a litmus test. If it’s of interest to them and garners a larger conversation, I loop in other senior leaders and teams, but only after the information has been pre-vetted by a smaller group.

Make Your Intentions Clear

When sending out its annual employee engagement survey, The Coca-Cola Company pays close attention to metrics associated with whether employees understand the company’s vision and strategies, including how their individual work is connected to those strategies.

Steve Soltis , group director of employee and leadership communications for The Coca-Cola Company says, “A business cannot generate sustainable value and growth without employees understanding where it’s headed, why, what it’s going to take to get there, and why each employee matters.”

The Coca-Cola Company also uses spot surveys throughout the year to gauge the temperature of company culture.

“We’re in the process of developing a plan to use Salesforce Chatter to gather anecdotal feedback on our various programs and to see if the messaging is resonating,” Soltis told me in our interview.

Avoid Falling Into The Role Of A ‘Corporate Publicist’

If you’re looking to solve an organizational problem, make sure you’re actually taking steps to solve it first. Maybe this scenario sounds familiar: Data from an internal survey indicates that a number of employees would have increased job satisfaction if greater advancement opportunities were available to them.

As part of the solution, you focus on developing a few employees who exhibit leadership skills until they’re able to fulfill management roles. To share the news, you blast their accomplishments on your intranet and share them on your Slack channel. This effort illustrates that if you stick with the company, you too could have a similar victory.

All in all, you will have acted as a great internal publicist, but you’re not solving the problem. A true fix requires a much deeper dive into the data that can inspire comprehensive, long-term solutions, as opposed to temporary bandaging.

When Aflac’s employee engagement survey revealed a similar scenario (a yearning for advancement opportunities), its communications team visually weighed which indexes were most relevant to employees. As a result, Aflac created a Career Success Center.

“It’s staffed by a team of human resources professionals whose mission is to help individual employees understand the promotion process, which jobs within the company they’ve qualified for, how to refine their resumes, and interviewing techniques,” said Catherine Blades, senior vice president of corporate communications at Aflac, in my interview with her.

Since launching in May of 2014, nearly 600 Aflac employees have been surveyed in over 1,000 development sessions. Thirty-five percent of those employees have been promoted or moved on to jobs that better suit their skill sets.

Give Employees A Voice

Rolling out an intranet? Take an iPhone video of an employee walking you through how to access pertinent information and add it to your next company-wide newsletter. This corporate-journalism approach allows employees to be the mouthpieces of your brand.

When internal communications work well, your employees end up being so in tune with the business they’ll begin to tell the company story for you – and they’ll take pride in doing it.

How to improve internal communication of your team effectively

  • Posted March 1, 2019
  • in Digital Employee Experience, Digital Workplace, Internal Communications, Operational Communications, Publishing

In our recent ebook, Communications Leaders of Change 2019 , we learned lessons from top internal communications programs and their best practices. Here are six insights from leading communicators on how to improve communications based on their vision and what they achieved in their own companies in industries, such as manufacturing, technology, retail, and nonprofits.

Six Lessons on How to Improve Communications

#1 Adopt a multi-channel approach to effectively reach all employees, anywhere

Copying and pasting to publish onto multiple channels doesn’t cut it anymore. Multi-channel communications, driven by the right technology tools, are helping top leaders transform, enhance, and add value to their communications strategies.

Today, communicators finally have their own workforce communications platforms to streamline workflows by automating tedious tasks and integrating across channels. Branded mobile apps, digital signage, printed materials, and intranet messaging are working in combination to connect, inform, and build trust among today’s workforces. Also, multi-channel strategies provide the crucial performance measurement tools communicators need to succeed.

If done well, you’ll reach employees on their terms and on the devices of their choice, which is necessary for frontline or deskless workers who are on the move and may not have a company email address.

#2 Use targeting and personalization to encourage rapid adoption of your initiatives

These communications leaders had rapid adoption with their new initiatives because they met employees where they were, empowered them, and personalized their messaging. In turn, this helped employees become ambassadors for their brands.

Employees who feel disconnected from the business and don’t understand why decisions are being made are less likely to engage with new initiatives—which makes those initiatives more likely to fail. If employees aren’t getting relevant information, they may not understand or even know about company-wide business goals.

Ultimately, the best internal communicators understand their audience and support employee engagement that drives desired business outcomes. And a more connected workforce is a catalyst for improved business results.

#3 Embrace new ways to stay connected to your deskless workers

Top communications leaders are finally recognizing deskless employees, who make up 80% of the global workforce. They’re on the front lines, building and selling products we enjoy, and keeping us healthy. But, without company emails or laptops, they can easily feel disconnected.

Many of these un-wired employees are in industries like retail and hospitality, which can have high attrition and turnover rates, so getting them access to company policies, up-to-date information, and their organization’s brand story is essential.

One way these communications leaders are engaging this overlooked group is with mobile. More than 92% of millennials have smartphones, so deskless employees are most likely already comfortable with mobile. They can quickly check their PTO balance, get the latest corporate news, and sign off on compliance notifications when it’s convenient for them.

#4 Help employees promote your company culture

With the right tools, you can reach employees on their terms and get them involved in your company story. Like the communications leaders we featured, you can even get employees excited to participate in and share your company story.

To do this, look for a good workforce communications platform. The ideal platform can span the entire workforce, integrate with other systems (combining the best from each individual resource), and help you communicate with hard-to-reach employees such as frontline or deskless workers.

Our communicators of change have the mindset of creating culture by communicating their brand story that comes from a company’s own history and activities: the “goodness” of what the company is doing. If you can integrate employees into your company story and make them active participants, they’ll also become stakeholders in the success of any transformation initiative.

#5 Prove communications ROI by measuring performance

Top communications leaders have found that effective employee engagement translates into positive business outcomes and growth. According to Gallup, high engagement increases productivity by 22% and can lead to 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability. And, if your organization is going through a change or transformation, engagement is even more critical to make sure your employees understand why the change is taking place.

By measuring your internal communications performance, you’ll prove your ROI. With detailed metrics and feedback, communicators can continually improve communications at every step, with all types of employees—from gig workers to employees in the field.

These communicators are setting goals aligned to larger strategic business goals and demonstrating their team’s value with data. They’re earning their seat at the table, and truly becoming the trusted partners to the C-suite.

#6 Empower yourself to be a top communicator

Traditionally, internal communications was known for producing the holiday newsletter and making announcements that often went ignored. By embracing a digital transformation, however, these leaders are empowering their teams and emerging as a crucial aspect of business.

These communications leaders are not the arts-and-crafts department, but real drivers of change. They’re at the center of employee engagement, making sure employees understand the “what, why, and how” of the organization. They’re experimenting with channels and vehicles to optimize their initiatives. They’re delivering the critical messages from leaders and creating the kind of two-way communication essential for a company’s success.

They are also lifting up the next generation of communicators and lighting the path for them to become trusted advisors to leadership. Follow their example and you, too, can help set the tone for tomorrow’s leaders and communicators of the future.

Here’s more about each of our communicators of change:

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    10 Ways to Build a Strong Team (Infographic)

    Adopting highly effective internal communication practices helps build stronger teams and improve company competitiveness. Here’s how.

    Internal communication is not something entrepreneurs are likely to find as a line item on a budget, but allocating resources to improve the way your company communicates internally has shown to have a big impact on performance.

    For example, implementing highly effective communication practices makes companies 4.5 times more likely to have highly engaged employees and 20 percent more likely to have less employee turnover, according to data cited by Weekdone, a startup that builds status report software.

    Some of the ways businesses can improve communication between management and employees include using online tools instead of in-person meetings and making company objectives public by publishing team and personal goals online.

    This infographic lists 10 ways businesses can build stronger teams and improve company competitiveness by adopting effective communication practices.