With these words we can begin our reflection on whether our internal communication is effective. We should remember that a well-planned internal communication strategy can be contrasted with a well-functioning organism.
Imagine the following situation. You are working on a large project, which introduces considerable changes in your company. After discussions and sending out information by e-mail, you are ready to implement the planned actions. And the next day, unhappy employees appear at your desk saying this one sentence: "Nobody told me...". How to deal with such a situation when overwhelming frustration is spilling out from everywhere in the office.
Effective communication in the workplace is more crucial than ever. As more and more companies decide to work remotely on a long-term basis, it's becoming more apparent that enterprise work environments are not going to return to pre-pandemic norms. The difference in generations (Boomers, Millenials, Generation Y, Gen Z - each with different values), employee engagement with the organisation's culture and changing expectations of the workplace can also be an issue.
In this new scenario, an internal communications strategy cannot be based on a 'set it and forget it' approach. It must be proactive, holistic and creative to sustain the ties that have been lost when personal touchpoints disappeared.
Developing an internal communications programme is an ongoing collaboration exercise. It requires prioritising and management approval, as well as regular check-up meetings with managers from across the company.
So how do you take care of and set the rhythm to the beating 'organisational heart' that is internal communications?
Here are a few best practices that should assist.
1. Evaluate your current communication activities
You probably already have some communication activities in place. Assess how effective your communications have been so far. Who is your audience - is it the whole company or a single department? What resources are available to achieve your goal (tools, budget or content to be published) and who is involved in the process (your team may be too small).
The answers to these few questions will allow you to determine the direction of your activities and adapt them perfectly to the target groups with which you communicate.
2. Have realistic goals and a relevant timeframe
Your new internal communication strategy will not miraculously change the employee experience overnight. These kinds of things take time, so it's important that your goals are realistic. One way to set smarter goals is to look at internal benchmarks and identify areas where you think you can make an immediate impact. You could also send out a poll to better understand what employees expect from the programme.
For more efficient analysis and goal setting, we recommend the S.M.A.R.T. method, which will allow you to create a plan and then develop and maintain it over time.
3. Set indicators to allow for a meaningful valuation
Like most other aspects of your business, your internal communication strategy can and should be measurable. To achieve this, it is important to select key indicators that will show whether the strategy is delivering results.
These can be:
- Employee engagement, which will show whether employees read and what content they read. Whether they comment, share and respond to given communications.
- Activity on social media. One metric that many organisations overlook is the number of shares of content on social media.
- Updates related to project work. Frequent and relevant communications about the progress of a project will allow you to "stay on top" of important issues in your organisation and also stay connected on the aspects that are most important to employees.
These are just a few suggestions on how to improve the internal communication process. We hope that they will allow you to take care of the right strategy and goal setting. If you would like to find out how to improve your communication with Workplace from Meta, drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we hope to see you in our next best practice blog posts. Stay tuned!