By Russ Fradin
When firing on all cylinders, an internal communications department creates understanding and breeds knowledge sharing across all areas of an organization.
It unifies departments and teams, leveling the playing field and ensuring every employee—from the mailroom to the boardroom—has a voice and knows what’s going on.
Just like any other department, internal communications needs to be proactively maintained.
Tools and strategies must be updated as the company (and the world) changes and evolves.
But far too often, organizations leave this department in the Dark Ages and deprive it of the latest and greatest technologies.
Many companies are still relying on antiquated, impersonal communication methods such as paper flyers, intranets, and mass emails —and, as a result, millions of employees of all shapes and sizes currently feel disconnected.
In fact, 74 percent of today’s workers say they think they’re missing out on some aspect of company information and news.
Employees who feel like they’re being left outside the information loop eventually become disengaged, which creates a whole slew of costly problems for companies: High attrition, low output, and hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.
Re-Engaging Internal Communications
Don’t let disconnected employees waste your money and kill your bottom line.
Adopt the following three strategies to supercharge your internal communications and re-engage your staff:
- Speak their language. Today’s workforce is mobile-first and full of digital natives. In their off hours, they communicate through SMS, IM, mobile video, and snack-sized content. It only makes sense to meet them where they are and talk to them as they talk to each other. Employees are so used to getting the same old stuff: Word docs, PDFs, and newsletters—this is a one-way ticket to Snoresville. Go digital. Make employees’ phones buzz with content that emulates the material they read in their free time. Surprise them with engaging listicles, short-form videos, GIFs, and more.
- Collaborate with other communicators. Chances are your external communicators already have a content strategy that generates engaging and shareable material. Why not funnel those same goals, objectives, and outcomes into a strategy for your internal communications staff? Put your heads together and collaborate to create personalized content that your team will be excited to read and pass along. Adopt something similar to the 4-1-1 rule: A healthy mix of fresh company-created content, third-party resources, and rah-rah announcements proclaiming, “Our company is amazing!”
- Get tech-savvy. Provide your internal communication practitioners with the 21st-century technologies they deserve. Collaboration tools such as Slack, Jive, and Yammer are redefining how employees speak to each other—and savvy internal communicators will incorporate all the functionalities these collaboration tools have to offer. An employee advocacy platform is a great way to hack the internal communications function. These can come in the form of an app, such as Voicestorm from Dynamic Signal, that all employees have on their phones, making it a breeze for communicators to get the right information into the hands of the right people in a fast and engaging way.
Successful companies do more than just push out information; they communicate.
If you revamp your company’s internal communications, productivity will skyrocket because time-sensitive messages will reach employees quickly and be read promptly.
Furthermore, keeping your best talent connected to your mission and vision will inspire loyalty and a sense of community—which will ultimately increase retention.
Don’t allow your internal communications to limp along.
Inject some modernized, innovative energy into your strategy, and then watch your employees drive your company into the future.
image credit: shutterstock