Internal communication is one of the biggest issues that companies face. As a company begins to grow, maintaining effective communication strategies is particularly essential to long-term success. Understanding the five internal communication needs of a company and determining their effectiveness can be one of the most important tasks on a corporate leader’s to-do list this year. Prioritizing communication between employees will ensure that a company is working to meet corporate goals.
What are the five key internal communication needs a company has?
1. Social Intranet
An intranet — a private network used exclusively for an organization or company — can be a valuable resource for companies of every size. Providing a centralized location for posting company announcements, human resource documentation, job listings, as well as a means to encourage employee interaction and collaboration, is an invaluable tool.
2. Private Messaging
Prior to the creation of messaging systems, computer based communication was primarily handled via email. This created a long trail of emails, file attachments, and lost communication. Today’s technology has provided companies with a new and more effective means of quickly and easily sharing information. Private messaging systems, including group chat, indexed (and searchable) messages, file sharing, and more make employee communicating easier than ever.
3. Tracking Platforms
Companies are often pulled in different directions due to their communication systems. Maintaining effective internal communication is essential to running a company, while an efficient external communication system is essential to keeping a company in business. Trying to monitor both can be a communication department’s worst nightmare. Using tracking platforms allows employees to engage with customers while ensuring that their needs are being met. Monitoring customer inquiries, tracking resolution, and prioritizing claims can all be handled easily with modern customer management systems.
4. Internal Blogs
Blogging has become part of today’s dialogue. Corporate and personal blogs have become a primary means of communicating ideas and thoughts and are a perfect avenue for internal communication. Using blogs to transmit ideas, pictures, videos and more is both powerful and effective. Featured articles written by corporate leaders, financial reporting, and more are examples of internal blogging that provide long-term benefits with minimal effort.
A company forum can be a useful way to open discussion regarding policies, effective customer service, or other topics that may impact operations. Forums can be established around teams or categories, and they can either be private or company-wide.
Establishing internal communication tools is important. Evaluating their effectiveness is essential. Once the tools are in place, regular monitoring of the usage of the tools will serve as a key indicator of how well a company is communicating, which can be an indicator of how the company is performing overall. While there is a time and place for statistical analysis, there are other simpler (and in some cases, more effective) means of determining what’s happening.
What are indicators of a communication system’s effectiveness?
Each employee should have their own bio page within the intranet. An immediate indicator of how well an internal communication system works is the completeness of employee profiles. Do the majority of employees have completed bio pages — including a picture? When employees invest both time and effort into personalizing their page, it indicates their willingness to take advantage of the resources available and makes it more likely that the system will be used for the intended purpose. Encourage employees to fill out their profiles and to connect with others on the intranet.
Creating compelling content is important for marketing purposes. It can be equally important within internal communication systems. Content that is useful, engaging, and educational will invite conversation and open dialogue and connections. Poorly written content, however, will have the opposite effect and can torpedo a company’s attempts at communication. Evaluate the quality of the content being presented and make sure it is top-notch.
The old-fashioned ‘survey’ method seems outdated and archaic. Its effectiveness, however, can’t be disputed. Today’s technological tools make it quick and easy to survey employees on the best (and worst) of the internal communication system, providing instant feedback about what works.
A well-organized intranet is indicative of how useful it will be. Establishing a filing system that makes it easy to find applicable files, needed information, and updates will increase the likelihood that it is used. Extraneous files, a lack of organization, and outdated material will make the process of using the system burdensome and reduce the likelihood that employees will be willing to try it.
Establish and evaluate the internal communication systems that your company has in place, making changes as needed. New communication tools are developing at an astounding rate, making the business of business simpler, and more complex, all at once. Consistent evaluation and analysis of the way a company communicates can increase productivity, improve employee engagement and help propel the company to success.