Internal communication is not only the glue that binds together a company’s culture, but a vital part of its success. Your team is an extension of your brand, and maintaining the integrity and coherence of your brand is crucial for talent retention and employee engagement. As the word “team” suggests, your businesses’ employees must be rallied and unified under an overarching set of values and goals, to achieve the flow and diligence necessary to fulfil your organisational ambitions. Therefore, ensuring there is effective internal communications is key for business success.
Great leaders are also great unifiers for this very reason. A workforce that believes in the articulated vision and purpose of your company will be loyal, motivated, and coherent in its efforts. If every individual, team, and business unit have a clear concept of how their work helps to contribute to broader goals of the company (revenue or otherwise), it is far more likely that they can work harmoniously towards achieving them.
The following are fundamental principles of internal communications, to help on your journey to unify your workforce.
1. No fluff, be transparent and honest.
Unless your recruitment methods are highly unorthodox, your employees aren’t stupid!
According to a recent report, the third leading cause of employee unsatisfaction has been reported as “Lack of communication”. Your workforce can sense when they are being deceived or when information is being withheld. Failure to create an environment of trust in the workplace will harness disloyalty within your ranks. Wouldn’t you like your business to inspire trust and purpose, as opposed to being seen as a steppingstone for your workforce?
Even in times of crisis, transparency is ever-more crucial to maintaining your organisational integrity. If your employees first hear about your dirty laundry from an external source, they’ll feel like they should jump-off the sinking ship. On the other hand, if they are a part of the discussion, and feel as if they are part of something bigger, they will be engaged in your efforts to remedy the crisis.
2. Where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going
As Seneca once said, “If one does not know to which port he is sailing, no wind is favourable.”
What is your businesses’ story? What are your employees a part of when they join your team? Where are they sailing towards? Why are they here and why should they care?
Properly and effectively articulating the purpose, values and goals of your organization is the backbone to your company’s activity. Articulate your story and vision via quarterly presentations, welcome emails, a brand book, office design and in every touch point where you can fit it.
If it is within your budget, bringing in a B2E (Business to Employee) consultant for some bespoke advice could do wonders for your workforce’s loyalty and engagement.
3. K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple Stupid
Coherence is an important part of branding, both externally and internally. Maintaining a set of simple values, building a simple story, setting simple objectives, allows for integration into the communal workplace psyche. However, as all great designers know, simple does not mean easy and simple does not mean shallow. Simple means comprehensive, effective and efficient.
The K.I.S.S acronym is a good one to keep in mind while you draft your internal communications.
So, in short, my top tips for internal communications are: be truthful, tell your story and keep it straight forward. And remember, internal communications are important! It is by no means an afterthought. What is a general without their loyal army?