Internal Communications Is Key To Successful Businesses

internal communication key successful business

If you want to be seen as a leader in your industry, you need to make sure you can keep up with the best practices and trends across the board – from customer service to products to marketing. 

Successful businesses measure themselves against the same business practices being implemented by both their peers and competitors. But despite that, internal communications in the workplace is neglected far too much of the time. It is not often that we consider how our competitors communicate with their employees, thinking of it as a something unique to each individual organisation. 

Keeping Your Eyes Open 

However, this isn’t an area that can be ignored; communication is at the heart of any successful business. As is noted by Entrepreneur magazine, internal communication was a vital component of almost 79% of the companies studied. Without effective internal communication, you are hampering an ‘important strategic component in your business’ growth.’ They go so far as to refer to internal communication as being the ‘lifeblood’ of an organisation. 

So what should you do to improve it? Pay attention to business trends and best practices. Internal communications firms have compiled three trends, which – if followed – can really help boost your communication practices. Read on to learn internal communications strategies to align your team in the most effective ways possible.

Reach All Your Employees – No Matter Where And How They Work 

Across their client base, Tribe has reported that companies are struggling to reach their non- desk employees. These employees are critical to success – they work face to face with customers every day, acting as the face of your company. Their adoption of company values and vision is essential to maintaining the reputation of your organisation, both internally and externally. 

And yet, despite this, 84% of non-desk workers claim they don’t get enough information from management, according to Fortune magazine. Additionally, 75% of non-desk workers commented that their employers aren’t providing them with sufficient information about policies and goals, even though 74% also stated that consistent messages from senior management are important to them. 

Tribe points to UPS as an example of a company that has not only succeeded, but has completely redefined the field of internal communication. Elizabeth Cogsworth Baskin, CEO of Tribe, notes that not only does the company have an intranet site that she described as ‘great’, but that the supervisors are also consistently talking to their teams, keeping everything running smoothly. 

In a 2015 report, Tribe advocates the use of a mobile intranet to make sure that non-desk employees can access all the same information that their office counterparts have access to. 

While such an option can be – as Tribe notes – expensive and time consuming, this is quickly changing. Even in the time since their report was written, cloud computing has drastically changed the accessibility of the Internet (and intranet) from mobile devices. This means that your non-desk employees can have complete access to tools, communication mediums, and files that would normally only be accessible in-house. 

You could even utilize user management and security tools to customize the Intranet for different employee groups, making sure that they have access to the data relevant for them. Instead of constantly needing to check email, social media, and other forms of communication, your non-desk employees will have all their information in one easy-to- access location. 

Emphasize Your Values 

Getting your employees to agree with the company vision is paramount – it doesn’t matter how inspiring it is, or how strong your company values are if your employees couldn’t care less! But by providing effective communication, you can bring your employees together, and unite them in engaging and rewarding work towards a common goal. This is easier said than done, however. 

As noted in “The Cost of Poor Internal Communications”, when divided and not understanding the company vision, only 23% of employees will work effectively, as opposed to 91% when your employees are unified and informed. Failing to get your employees on- side will not only harm business growth, but may also result in a lack of accountability, poor collaboration, lack of care towards customers, a lack of innovation and overall resentment amongst employees. 

But a well-designed Intranet can help with all of this. It’s more than just relaying information from the top to the bottom. A well-built intranet can provide an engaging social environment that encourages your peers at all levels of employment to communicate openly with one another. Your website is probably your key marketing tool – equally, your intranet should be your key internal marketing tool. Taglines, company mottos, and all kinds of visuals can make sure that your employees are constantly reminded of what the company’s visions and values are. 

You could also create a senior management blog, or a discussion forum, to provide employees with a safe place to voice concerns, discuss success, or even just express themselves. You can use news feeds to remind employees of current common goals, and to recognise team and individual milestones. Your intranet should send a message that your company will advocate for their staff. With an effective intranet, you can encourage your employees to care. 

Capturing Young Talent 

Adapting your workplace communications to reach the next generation of talent is vital. One in three workers in the U.S is a millennial after all, so it only makes sense to encourage them to really engage in your company – not only are they already the largest group in the workforce, but that percentage are only going to grow from there! 

Statistics gathered by the American Press Institute demonstrate just how much the digital age is affecting the behavior of millennials, which needs to be taken into account. For example, 88% of millennials are receiving their news from Facebook: 57% checking Facebook for news at least once per day, and 44% checking several times per day. 

These statistics also reveal that 70% of Facebook users regularly read news stories posted by others, and that 76% of users say the main reason they use the social network is to see what their friends are discussing. 

So what do these trends have to do with your intranet? For one thing, they provide insight into the way millennials are communicating. Mobile access is key. They want to know what their peers are engaged in. They prefer social mediums. By using this to your advantage you can build an intranet that is engaging to your millennial employees. Instead of top-down distribution, an environment of sharing, discussion, and feedback can be valuable. 

The study also revealed that the great draw of social media to millennials is the variety of opinions and points of view expressed – so by creating an environment where they are free to discuss company policy and so on, you can create an environment where millennials will thrive. 

Making Change Happen 

For your company to be formidable, you need a strong collaborative work force. Employees who are engaged and are eager to work not simply for, but with the company, will be of great value to you. Just like tug-of- war, it’s not only about which team has the strongest individual members, but the team that can work best as a group. Your intranet ties your employees together, providing a uniting force that creates successful internal communication and in turn leading to all the benefits that effective internal communication can provide.

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I hope you enjoyed this article about why great internal communication is at the heart of any successful business.

Interested in more articles about workplace communication?

Read My Posts:

- 7 Steps To Improve Your Employee Satisfaction 

- Essential Leadership Skills For The Office

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