Internal communication refers to the circulation of information or data between employees within a single organisation. In most companies, internal knowledge sharing centres around the distribution of policy updates and quarterly reports. However, when internal communications become lacklustre your employees become uninterested and the creator becomes frustrated with the lack of response to their content.
In the digital age, communication is at your fingertips, with everything from email and instant messaging to forums and group chats improving work place collaboration. With these tools at their disposal, its madness that companies still struggle with employee engagement. It’s obvious that change is needed to get employees to care about internal communications, so without further ado, here are our top tips:
Plan your internal communications content
The goal of internal communications is to keep everyone in the business connected and to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal. To achieve this, it’s a good idea to create a flexible communications plan, that is standardised across the business. Having a defined topic will keep your content relevant and a schedule will ensure your updates are distributed regularly.
What is the purpose of your content?
Before you put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking), you should first consider what you want to achieve with your internal content. Do you want to inform your readers? Help them to understand a new initiative? Or, perhaps you just want to offer a little Monday morning motivation? Regardless of what you want your content to do, it should always add value to the audience. Try to keep your communications brief and to the point, addressing only those who ‘need to know’. Remember, when people are busy at work, they won’t want to waste their time reading a business update that does not directly concern them.
Don’t waste time with formalities when it comes to internal communications
Corporate jargon is a ‘big no-no’ when it comes to internal communications, you’re speaking to humans, not robots, so keep your content up-beat and conversational, as if you’re chatting to a friend. You should focus on building relationships and communicating the company’s culture. When done correctly, your internal content should help to develop a unified culture and will outline company-wide objectives.
Your content does not have to be paragraph after paragraph of black text on a white background, in fact content is more digestible and effective when it’s broken up using visual aids. For example, a graph can communicate data a lot more efficiently than a bulk of text and an image or infographic can support content and change the tone of the message. Creating this type of content is easier than ever, with numerous free online tools (e.g. Canva) enabling anyone to create professional and engaging visuals.
Internal communications should be a two-way-conversation, not a lecture. Using interactive features like polls and forums or including calls to action and questions within the content is a great way to encourage interaction. Sharing content within a team and encouraging others to share their ideas too is key to ensuring your employees understand that they have a voice and that their opinion matters.
Bio: This piece was contributed by Sukh Ryatt, Managing Director at Oak.