A Quick Guide to an Internal Communication Strategy that Works
Internal communication is generally defined as open, honest, empathic, two-way communication, which is business mission orientated and intended to promote employee engagement. Sounds simple, right?
In many ways, it is as uncomplicated as the opening sentence of this article suggests. However, the challenge of the vast majority of internal communications programmes is that complex working environments conspire to distort communications.
Internal Communication Strategy Imperatives
Leading businesses have recognised the significant impact that regular, focused, unified, and clear internal communications can have on performance. Thus, elevating internal communications into the realm of strategic imperatives.
There is little doubt that efficient internal communication and overall employee engagement are directly related. Below we offer you a short guide on developing effective internal communication strategies that work.
Companies that are successful at internal communications, adopt a phased approach as outlined below:
Phase 1: Research and Analysis
Developing strategic internal communications plans require a thorough understanding of the company’s present communications situation and which element work or don’t, as well as an understanding of the overall business strategies. In other words, what are your key messages and how well are they received?
Phase 2: Plan and Design
Four critical elements need to be covered in this phase:
- Metrics – create measurement tools including web reports, surveys, and other embedded analytics.
- Governance framework – develop approval structures and procedures for reviewing communications.
- Communications sponsor(s) – identify champions and internal influencers who can drive key messages.
- Risk assessment – identify analytic tools that can assess potential impacts and risks that must be addressed pre- and post-communication.
Phase 3: Develop and Deliver
Create targeted messaging and set up digital channels for communication that provide interactive online collaboration across appropriate media.
Phase 4: Assess and Revise
Review outcomes and, if required, revise, re-direct, and enhance future communications.
Strategic, mission-aligned, results-orientated internal communications have the power to significantly boost company performance when properly executed.
How to Create a Solid Internal Communication Strategy
How you communicate is important to the success of your communication strategy. The following are essential elements:
- Develop a core story – frame your company’s strategy within a consistent and recognisable storyline.
- Include metrics – don’t measure by stealth, give employees the opportunity to provide feedback on key business issues.
- Encourage cross-unit communication and collaboration – growing work specialisation is leading to the inadvertent growth of operational silos, consequently, the sharing of knowledge across departments is an important internal communication function.
- Promote transparency – internal communication needs to be authentic and transparent, anything else is a non-starter.
- Less is more – keep communications straightforward, succinct, and on point thereby avoiding communication ‘fatigue’.
Targeted internal communication strategies that regularly keep employees aware and informed keep them up to pace with innovation, rapid business transformation and shifting customer expectations.
Optimising your internal communication strategy is key to aligning company activities and employee engagement. Companies must invest in planning, execution and ongoing review to ensure their communication deployment remains appropriate to changing circumstances.
Talk to an expert to see how we can improve your frontline internal communication strategy and watch employee engagement soar.