Internal Communications Best Practices in the Workplace
You already understand the importance of thorough communication with clients, customers, and partners — but do you understand the importance of communication within your organization?
The flow of information between individuals that work for the same company is known as internal communications. Everyone needs to be in-the-loop if the company is to succeed. Unfortunately, improper internal communication can cause rifts between coworkers, halt essential information from reaching the right people, and disrupt an organization so that it jeopardizes workers’ mental health and profits.
Steps to Improve Internal Communications in Your Workplace
Your business’s chances of success are much higher if you put significant effort into your internal communications planning. Some internal communications strategies you can implement include:
Incorporate Communication Techniques in Training
Don’t leave new employees to figure out how your company communicates for themselves. Most businesses are attentive about this, but it’s worth emphasizing: make sure your onboarding process includes details about what systems everyone uses, how often, and what essential procedures are.
However, even if companies teach their employees how they communicate internally, they don’t always convey communication patterns. Say you are a mid-level manager training a new hire — what kind of communication should they expect from executives? Should they prepare themselves for a no-nonsense leadership style, or can they expect more flexibility and understanding? This knowledge will help new hires adapt to the company’s culture quickly.
Use a Common System
An internal communications best practice your organization will benefit from is using a common system. Between the multitude of outlets available, such as email, phone calls, social media, online chatting, task management platforms, and more, it’s easy to let communication become so complicated that information gets lost.
Make sure all of your employees are on board with the same protocol. Maybe you use Slack for internal communication but reserve email for interacting with external clients. Project management solutions like Monday or Asana can help you keep organized, but limit yourself to one.
Get Together — But Not Too Often
Gathering employees together is sometimes necessary for conveying essential information and it’s beneficial for building team morale. Meetings allow workers to share updates, concerns, compliments, and other topics that they want to voice aloud.
However, it’s possible to overdo meetings. If employees are forced to get together to discuss something that could have been communicated in an email, they’ll feel like it’s only a drain on their time. So, before you make your employees set time aside to congregate in-person (or remotely), consider whether the information you want to talk about can be communicated quickly through more straightforward means.
Plan the Flow of Information
If you want to improve internal communications in the workplace, then the flow of information should not be a one-way street from management to employees. It also shouldn’t pass through intermediaries that make the process more convoluted.
Instead, communication should flow both ways. Create avenues for lower-ranking workers to interact with higher-ups directly. If you’re a manager, make yourself accessible to employees. This process makes information available to everyone and can dramatically improve your company’s culture.
A related internal communications strategy example is digital signage. Constantly bombarding employees with messages can overwhelm them, but you won’t have to worry about them missing essential information if you display it clearly on TV screens placed in common areas or through your employees’ computer screensavers.
Be Consistent and Predictable
Be as consistent as possible in your communication. How often do you send messages and updates? If you send an internal newsletter every week, then make sure you send it at a consistent time so employees know when to expect it.
On a related note, over-communication can come across as overbearing, but it’s better to err on the side of more than less. You will frustrate your employees if you leave them in the dark.
Be simple with your language, too. Jargon weighs communication down and makes it more difficult to understand, but only 21% of business communicators try to simplify their messages. Keep digital messages short and sweet.
Internal communications improve when members of an organization have a healthy rapport with one another. Positive relationships ensure that people talk to each other often and don’t forget (or neglect) to share important information.
Emphasize team building to foster positive employee relationships. One way you can do this is through internal marketing, which is defined as pitching your company’s products, values, goals, and mission to its employees.
If you value collaboration, then communicating your attitude toward it will help make it a reality and boost your employees’ engagement. Email is an option, but digital signage is advantageous for internal marketing and team-building because you can communicate related messages throughout your business’s physical space.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of internal communication in an organization. The more approachable you are and the more information your employees know, the smoother it will be for everyone to work together.