For years, companies have not been paying enough attention to internal communication. While employees are the best ambassadors a company can have, for some reason they just never became a priority in communication plans. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, there are still companies believing that a short message on the intranet is enough internal communication. We really need to change that. And here is why:
During the pandemic, we also realized how important internal communication is to stay in touch with employees, even in stressful and insecure times. The next step is to create a budget exclusively dedicated to internal communication, and to work out a strategy. And internal communication has to become an agenda item of the management team of the company. Because that's the only way to ensure it gets the attention it deserves on the long term.
In smaller companies, it's often the receptionist or an assistant who is responsible for the internal communication. Think of sending out a simple newsletter by e-mail or posting something on the intranet. It can work, until the company grows. Then, other groups such as the HR department also want to communicate internally, and suddenly it becomes a mess - nobody feels responsible to coordinate the internal communication. Once a company has reached a certain size, a strategic approach of internal communication is crucial.
Strategic Approach to Internal Communication
More focus and a strategic approach of internal communication does not only mean that there should be a dedicated person who actually feels responsible for it. It also means that you need to actively consider the means of communication you use internally. Internal communication is more than just an intranet page, it's basically all communication from employer to employee. It might be a short message on the intranet, but also e-mails, communication on social media or a nice postcard during the pandemic to let your employees know you support them.
Why Internal Communication Should be a Concern of the Management Team
When it comes to a budget for external communication, there is no doubt it's being discussed during a meeting of the management team. After all, it determines how the company positions itself towards (potential) clients. But when it's just as important to communicate to your internal audience, then internal communication should also be on the agenda, right? Especially now, with everybody working from home and companies having less grip on their employees. Add a change project, for example a new software implementation or a strategic change to the mix, and you need your management team to discuss how they will inform employees. Internal communication is the most important mean to keep in touch with your employees and ensure that they are fine - and to keep them motivated.
Internal Target Audience
While a message on the intranet can be pretty informative, but you don't know if it reaches the right internal target audience. For example if you want to inform employees that will reach retirement age between now and 10 years from now, you don't need to bother those who just finished their studies and started their first job. That's still the biggest pitfall of internal communication: For some reason, companies do not realize that they need to define target audiences, just as they would do for external communication. By putting internal communication on the agenda and defining a budget and strategy, the management team can improve the image of internal communication and lead by example.
Internal Communication as an Investment in Employees
Making a thought-through internal communication plan means that you invest in your internal communication. But investing in communication is always also investing in your target group, in this case in your employees. And after all, they are the best ambassadors a company can have. By keeping them motivated, a company can increase internal innovation, engagement and overall well-being. That's why we at Funk-e believe that it's worth the investment and should most definitely be a fixed item on the agenda of the management team!
Curious about how we can help you develop and roll out a professional internal communication strategy? Get in touch with our Consultancy team!
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