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Three Steps to Smarter Internal Communications
Consistent, clear communication is a critical ingredient in organizational success. In industries where business conditions and compositions are ever-changing, clarity can be hard to come by, though. Hundreds or thousands of internal stakeholders with varying duties across different locations often need to be engaged—and that’s almost impossible without a solid internal communications strategy guiding efforts.
There’s a Better Approach
If many companies are approaching internal communications the wrong way, what does the “right” way look like?
-It means embracing the basic tenets of communication, even when there’s nothing basic about the challenges you face.
-It means getting the right messages to the right people via the right channels to create the right results.
-It means demonstrating empathy—putting yourself in your audience’s shoes—to improve efficiency across your organization.
-It means achieving business goals through communications—and not just the goals of your marketing or communications departments.
A strong internal communications plan does more than just get stuff done. It fosters alignment and encourages engagement. It brings culture to life and educates stakeholders. It makes your organization stronger so you can achieve more—from improving customer satisfaction to containing costs to driving employee productivity—when everyone is on the same page.
So, how do you do it?
Think about it in the context of three steps to smarter internal communications.
1. Start by defining your goals.
Are you trying to keep team members informed on key leadership initiatives? Roll out a new program? Update procedures? Figure out what you’re trying to achieve (and for whom), and don’t be afraid to create multiple plans seeking to accomplish different goals.
2. Think critically about delivery.
Figuring out what you want to say is only a piece of defining a strong internal messaging strategy. Also ask yourself:
-Who’s the audience? What does their day-to-day reality look like, and how does that affect how they consume and respond to communications?
-What’s the right channel to reach them? Just because you carry around a smart phone or sit in front of a computer doesn’t mean your audience does.
-What’s the right messaging frequency? Too little communication leads to missed opportunities, but too much is annoying for everyone. Measure to find out what’s right.
-What’s the right message distribution process? Think about who needs to craft, review, and help disseminate the message as an advocate.
-What’s the right language/tone? Think about the message itself, and whether you’re creating something that will resonate.
3. Take it seriously.
Because not all stakeholders likely realize there’s an internal communication problem, there’s always the risk that a smart strategy gets brushed by the wayside. Believe in your communication mission, and take action. Remember that consistency is key with most messaging initiatives. Be sure you have the right team, the right resources and the right flexibility to succeed today and shift as needed to achieve your goals tomorrow.
Internal Communications are Worth It, Too
Smart internal communications programs have the power to enhance performance in all facets of an organization, and too often they’re taken for granted or underemphasized compared to external campaigns. Don’t make that mistake.
Need help refining a communications plan to better engage and empower your employees? We can help. We’ve assisted numerous organizations in creating internal communications plans designed to achieve a multitude of goals in the past, and we can bring the insight you need to develop and execute upon a communications plan that drives your business.
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