Most businesses understand the importance of engaging with their external stakeholders, but many forget to prioritise effective communication with, arguably, a business’ most fundamental stakeholders – employees.
It’s not unusual for staff to feel isolated or out of the loop if regular internal communications do not exist. The COVID-19 crisis will have exacerbated these feelings ten-fold having required many employees to work from home or in a more remote setting.
Keeping staff well informed is a catalyst for sparking higher productivity and morale. Through strategic communication, employees can also become brand ambassadors, voicing the work of the company to their own networks. The key to achieving this is building robust internal communication infrastructure and a strategic plan which leverages new and existing methods of communicating with your staff.
Here are three tips to strengthen your internal communication.
1. Make use of what you’ve got
The first step in implementing an internal communications plan is to take stock of all the channels you have available for communicating with employees, and this isn’t limited to just online platforms.
Many businesses will already have internal chatting platforms like Yammar. Slack and Microsoft Teams; internal social media groups like or Facebook Workplace, or for videoconferencing, Zoom (a likely recent addition). Your company may also send weekly or daily updates to the team or coordinate a regular weekly, monthly or quarterly check-in with individual staff or teams to talk through performance and workload.
It’s time to self-audit exactly what channels are available, prioritise these platforms in order of efficacy and consider how their function might be amplified to ensure employees are informed and aware of what’s going on within the business.
2. Recognise the gaps
Perhaps, on reflection, you’ve realised you don’t have the appropriate channels in place to communicate effectively with your staff or there are gaps.
In either case, there are a plethora of options available to you, all you need to do is either talk to a communications professional or do a bit of desktop research yourself.
If you’re just getting started – keep it simple! You don’t need to create an account on every platform you come across, just the ones that will enable you to communicate regularly and informatively. This might mean starting with a weekly internal e-newsletter or scheduling an all team meeting once a month. Start with the basics and build your internal communication infrastructure from there.
Alternatively if you’re looking to fill some holes in your approach, examine exactly what communication is missing and ensure you are coordinating an appropriate channel to suit. For example, if you’re finding staff aren’t clear on what work is priority each week, consider instituting a weekly Zoom or stand-up meeting or creating project groups on a platform like Microsoft Teams which are facilitated by the project coordinators.
3. Understand what you need to communicate
The final step (before implementation) is to articulate exactly what needs to be communicated and to which internal audiences.
As a primary stakeholder of the business, there is a lot of information which employees need to be aware of, and it differs from employee to employee and team to team depending on position, department and seniority. The different types of information you need to communicate is often extensive, and can include updates on clients and projects, staff programs and available resources, CSR initiatives, changes in team or the workplace and emerging issues.
You also need to ensure there is room for two-way communication, allowing employees to give feedback, engage with other team members and update you as the employer (or their manager) on a regular basis.
A helpful tool can be to create a matrix, mapping out the communication channels available and the different internal stakeholders you need to communicate with. Then you can plot out exactly what information needs to be communicated under the most appropriate channel.
Creating infrastructure to communicate with your employees and then implementing effective communication can be complex and challenging. When you’re dealing with one of your company’s most valuable assets, it’s something you want to get right.
Elevate has extensive experience building and executing internal communication plans for businesses both large and small. We understand how to work with you and your team to increase engagement, awareness and morale among employees. Get in contact with us today to find out how we could create a tailored approach for your business.