Now, more than ever, a consistent and empathetic approach to internal communication is crucial for any organisation. At Narrative, we take internal comms very seriously and thought we would share our top five tips to improve communication in the work place.
With internal comms, it’s all about engaging with the right people, with the right content, at the right time. Make sure it’s relevant and pertinent for the target audience. Keep it to the point and back up information with stats or data where needed.
To avoid email overload / ennui, try to think more creatively about getting important messages to your team(s). Is there digital signage you can utilise? Or even branded screen savers, posters or mouse pads? Email isn’t always the answer and can often be viewed as “wallpaper” when bombarded with multiple e-communication. A visual approach underpins the wording and can be more engaging and varied for all concerned!
It’s important to ensure that any dialogue is a two-way process, with employees encouraged to feel both empowered and comfortable in raising their voice. An organisation’s culture will be key to ensuring that this is in place. Using an employee engagement tool such as Hive HR can help facilitate this two-way dialogue, via the use of staff surveys, peer to peer recognition and employee suggestions.
Many organisations have employees who do not have access to emails or work computers. It is crucial that this group does not feel alienated. Try to ensure that they are kept informed by sending out a postal newsletter, or by creating an app for internal comms, with access for all. Think about the tactics you might use to communicate with external stakeholders, such as postcards, leaflets or z-cards; some of these would be great ways to inform internal stakeholders too.
Try not to view internal comms as a “nice to have” or low priority. It can literally make or break an organisation, contributing to recruitment, retention, productivity, reputation and even survival. After acknowledging the importance of internal comms, the next step is a strategic plan. This will create a regular and consistent programme of communication which staff will come to anticipate and rely upon. It will also identify key channels, audience groups and messaging from the outset, making the plan easier to implement than a more ad hoc approach.
In summary, if there’s a few key points to take away from these suggestions, they are: be consistent, think what will be most easily consumed and retained by your team members and update people regularly – even when there’s not much to report, the regularity boosts confidence and ensures people feel in the loop.