In 2018, Internal Communications is Queen
Employee communication has completely changed in the digital age. Organizations communicating with employees today the same way they did in the past will struggle with success as the workforce of 2018 is accustomed to receiving all their information in real-time. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s just millennials and Gen Z who expect it. Nearly everyone across every organization demands prompt and transparent communication.
Most organizations have their specific niche and know they’re doing it well. However, many don’t have the time or resources to think through internal communications. This leads to message delivery that isn’t aligned with the intended audience or aligned with the goals and mission or values of the organization. Or even worse, the organization doesn’t communicate at all. Often, it’s not until a crisis hits that you find yourself thinking about your company’s internal communications. Now more than ever, a strategic internal marketing and communication plan is essential for engaging and retaining employees as well as mitigating crises.
Internal communication efforts should be thorough and goal driven. Sharing your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals internally with your organization leads employees to feel more empowered, become brand ambassadors and have more trust in your organization and its leadership.
Sharing your SMART goals might mean sharing with employees, vendors or whoever is considered internal. If you can determine specific internal audiences, your messaging and channels of communication to the audiences should vary based on the audience and the goals relevant to each group. By defining audiences and determining which forms of communication are relevant, you open up the field for a better overall work environment for everyone
Internal communications play a large role in how crisis is handled internally and can mitigate crises. For example, if your organization is preparing for a change in executive leadership, an internal communications strategy should be established early—very early. At Koch Comm, we often collaborate with clients from day one to define the strategy for communications surrounding upcoming changes. We’ve helped our clients determine audiences, key messaging and talking points to deliver information to ensure each audience is aware of all the elements surrounding a change and to ensure messaging throughout the organization is factual, goal-driven and delivered in a positive manner.
Effective internal communications strategies mitigate crises because they allow organizational leadership to be anticipatory rather than reactionary. Defining audiences and relevant messaging shows transparency, promotes honesty, cultivates trust in your organization’s decision-making process and keeps employees at the forefront of the communication. It also allows you to control the message, and for your audiences to hear what you want them to know (rather than the rumor-mill). Your employees can then know their value and feel more committed to your organization.