Regardless of how big your company is and how it’s structured, one of the elements you should really care about is how you communicate with your colleagues. There is no successful organization that has not established an efficient and effective internal communications strategy.
So, if you have noticed that there are some problems in this aspect, you might want to take time to revisit and revise your internal communications plan, i.e. set of guidelines that employees follow in order for objectives to be met.
Before talking about concrete steps, it’s worth noting that there are two global trends that have greatly affected internal communication over the years. The first one is remote working, i.e. an option to work from on all or some days. Although the jury is still out when it comes to the benefits of this trend, a significant number of companies are allowing this options for a number of reasons.
The second important trend is the development of technology and communication channels, which have significantly changed the way people communicate with each other. Various platforms are now being used to facilitate communication between two employees or a larger team. Such software has greatly affected the way colleagues communicate.
So, let’s take a look at 4 of the most important steps you need to take to make your internal communication as smooth and efficient as possible.
Analyze and identify
Look at what your company is doing great and the things that it is lacking. You can perform a SWOT analysis, where you identify the company’s objectives, as well as internal and external factors that might affect, both positively and negatively, the process of achieving the objectives.
Once you’ve done that, you might focus on instances where communication was efficient and where it hindered your operations. Compare your results against the results of the SWOT analysis and look for overlapping. If you find out that certain weaknesses could be avoided by changing the way team members communicate, you will not only be more efficient, but will also turn a weakness into a strength.
Know your objectives and audience
Internal communication happens with an aim to reach the company’s objectives, which is why it’s important that everyone involved in any communication understands what the desired outcome is. If that’s the case, you are much more likely to have a communication that contributes to meeting your overall business objectives.
When it comes to your audience, your internal communications plan should take into account that not everyone needs to receive every single message sent within your company. Instead, the plan should define key stakeholders and it should provide some kind of ranking of recipients by importance.
Revisit message style and method of delivery
Since you’ve established what needs to be communicated to whom, you need to focus on the message itself. It has to be relevant, succinct and compelling. Some people receive dozens of messages every day at work and they must not forget the important ones.
You should also pay attention to the method of delivery. Not every message is best communicated using the same method, which is why you need to look back at your previous communication and results of your analysis. Once you find out what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be able to shape the right strategy.
Assess and improve
As soon as you have enough elements to perform an evaluation of your internal communication plan, you should do it. The results should tell you if you are communicating well internally. You can also run a survey among colleagues and ask for their feedback.
Just make sure you include questions about how well everyone’s informed about relevant issues and if they feel that communication is happening in a timely fashion. Also, it would be useful to hear if they have any ideas and suggestions for improving the way information flows within the company.
It is only through constant re-evaluation and adapting that you can make the most of your internal communication, which is why it’s vital you see it as a process, rather than an outcome. If you manage to involve more people in this process efficiently, you’ll be much more likely to have an internal communications plan that will help you achieve your business goals.