Every company wants inspired, passionate staff who care about their jobs. Every company wants workers who begin each day eager and enthusiastic to give their all to their role. In short, an engaged employee is an incredible asset to your organisation.
However, these highly engaged employees can’t simply be hired by selecting the right CV. They are created by the company they work for. Getting your internal communications right is the starting point to success. In this blog we explore some of the best internal communication ideas to ensure your employees are really fired up and ready to work.
#1 Be authentic
As in all relationships, sincerity is key. In order to improve internal communication, your relationship with your employees needs to be underpinned with honesty and openness. Leaders who can build trust within an organisation will find they are rewarded with high levels of motivation and engagement.
How to build a culture of authenticity? The answer is straight-talking. Internal communications departments will often attempt to sugar coat difficult news and requests in order to soften the impact. However, an open and direct approach is always better received. When communicating with employees, whether you’re asking them to put in overtime, take on new responsibilities or accept new management, adopt a candid tone. One of the simplest internal communications ideas to implement, just by making the workplace an open concept, you’ll be encouraging honesty in return.
The bottom line: Aim to develop a trusting working environment, built on plain speaking and openness. You’ll be rewarded with integrity from your employees.
#2 Ask for feedback
Too often, internal communication is viewed as a one-way street. The management team send directives and updates down to the office floor in a top-down stream of information. However, it is important to remember that employee communication should be a conversation, not a lecture.
Opening up two-way channels is one of the key internal communication best practices. When you give employees a voice, you are telling them their opinion matters and their role has value to the organisation. Make sure every communication has the opportunity for a response. Whether it’s a simple poll, a survey or an invitation to submit ideas and proposals, every time you ask for their feedback, you’ll be boosting engagement levels. An internal communications platform will include modules that make it simple to send out feedback requests and effortlessly collate results.
The bottom line: Make sure your employees have a chance to be heard. Every communication should offer the opportunity for feedback.
#3 Measure success
One of the most common internal communication mistakes is the failure to follow-up on the impact of your communications. It’s vital not to let your messages fall into a black hole. Without an accurate understanding of who has read your communications and what action they have taken as a result; you are shooting in the dark.
Your aim is to continually adjust and improve your internal communications strategy. You can only do that with full information about how your communications are being received. Measuring internal communications is an essential part of the process. Employee engagement apps have built-in dashboards and reporting to help you keep track. If you want to monitor the health of your organisation, make sure you schedule regular check-ups rather than an annual internal communication survey. Frequent reviews will give you a better picture and allow you to react more quickly to any issues.
The bottom line: Regular, scheduled health checks will let you know how well your internal communications are performing, and whether you need to make adjustments.
#4 Clarify goals
Every employee should have a clear set of goals and responsibilities they need to focus on. These are often introduced during the onboarding process or delivered as part of a change strategy. Without a well-defined set of responsibilities in place, employees can easily become distracted and disengaged.
Communicating change can be a particularly problematic hurdle to overcome. Unless employees are clear on how their role is changing, organisational change can lead to demotivation on a large scale. In fact, recent research by Gartner revealed that over 80% of transformations in larger organisations fail to meet targets. One of the best internal communication ideas for handling change is to demonstrate how the new ways of working should be handled, by providing clear examples and practical stories. In short, show rather than instruct.
The bottom line: Clarifying goals and responsibilities is especially important during the onboarding process and during times of change.
#5 Encourage collaboration
When colleagues work as a team, efficiency takes an uplift and engagement levels soar. By bringing employees together to work across projects and strategies, you’ll be pooling their ideas as well as boosting their enthusiasm. Many organisations include colleague collaboration within their internal communication plan just for the improved productivity resulting from this teamwork.
There are many creative internal communication ideas that will help to bring employees together. Never assume that everyone has the same information to hand. It’s vital to ensure that every worker is kept informed and updated on a regular basis with scheduled communications. One of the useful internal communication tools is a social space where employees can meet, chat and share information. Employee engagement platforms often include ‘conversation modules’ which help to bring colleagues together and cultivate commitment to common goals.
The bottom line: Collaboration between colleagues not only creates a more positive workplace, it also improves efficiency and productivity levels.
#6 Praise regularly
Criticise in private, praise in public. It’s the well-known HR strategy to handle the positives and negatives of the work environment. And it works. The fact is, openly acknowledging success is one of the most motivating strategies you can put in place. A Gallup survey revealed that that employees who receive regular praise are more productive and engaged. Interestingly, the research also revealed that employees who report that they are not adequately recognised at work are three times more likely to say they will leave in the following year.
How to implement this praise into your strategy? Of all the types of internal communication, this one is simple to execute across your organisation. By sharing stories of success, celebrating accomplishments and showing appreciation for hard work, you’ll be instilling a culture of recognition. The benefits of good internal communication are never more evident than when you’re handing out praise. It not only encourages the individuals involved, it also motivates colleagues to emulate their success.
The bottom line: Positive acknowledgement from managers and peers is one of the fastest ways to improve motivation and boost engagement.
#7 Organise events
Don’t underestimate the importance of bringing some socialising into the working day. Whether you’re celebrating a major milestone with a company conference or simply wishing staff members a happy birthday, these events make a difference. If you take the time to celebrate things that matter to your employees and give them a chance to form relationships, you will reap the rewards in improved engagement levels.
This is one of the examples of internal communication that has a huge impact on morale. Workplace events help to foster strong relationships between individuals and teams. They enhance retention levels and encourage staff to go the extra mile to achieve targets. An employee engagement app will help you organise and promote events without resorting to endless emails and memos. Regular notifications, multiple calendar options and automatic attendee tracking takes all the hassle out of event organisation.
The bottom line: Regular events and celebrations help employees to feel a personal connection with an organisation.
#8 Promote wellbeing
If your employees feel you care about them, you will instantly see an uplift in engagement. Wellbeing strategies are one of the leading internal communication trends in the workplace. Recent research from Reba revealed that nearly half of organisations now have a wellbeing strategy in place. The key concerns were a high-pressure work environment and mental health issues, along with concerns about physical inactivity.
Consider what your workers need to feel happy and healthy at work. Run regular surveys to check whether the working environment meets their needs. Perhaps the air conditioning is unreliable, or the chairs aren’t easily adjustable. Small things like these can have a large impact on morale over time. Polls and pulse surveys can help you keep track of mental health and activity levels, with regular and scheduled check-ups to ensure consistency.
The bottom line: When employees see you care for their wellbeing as well as their productivity levels, they give more back to the company.
#9 Personalise channels
It’s all too easy to assume that company-wide email has done the job. But just because that directive from the CEO made it into every inbox, it doesn’t mean the message has been received and understood. A report by Workfront revealed that the average worker’s inbox contains 199 unread emails. And even if your email is opened, there is no guarantee it has been fully absorbed and acted on.
How to solve this dilemma? When you allow employees to choose their own communication channels, you’ll find barriers begin to disappear. One of the secrets to effective internal communication is giving employees the luxury of choice. By allowing them to use their favourite means of communication, whichever hardware or software platform they prefer, you can be sure you’re engaging with them. An internal communications app has the flexibility to work over a range of platforms. You’ll have the reach to connect with everyone, from office-based staff to remote workers and those on the move.
The bottom line: Give employees the chance to choose their own channels and you’ll be breaking down barriers.
#10 Build a culture
Investing time and money into building a good company culture can have a huge impact on your bottom line. A strong, positive culture will not only make your company look more enticing to potential new hires, it will enthuse and inspire every worker in your employ. According to research by Entrepreneur, companies with happy employees outperform their competitors by 20%.
When it comes to company culture, the importance of internal communication cannot be overstated. How you communicate your mission statement, goals, and ethics is crucial to the overall success of the organisation. It is also vital to encourage participation from employees. By promoting a company ethos of innovation and improvement, you’ll create a workforce who proactively address business challenges. When it comes to creative internal communication ideas, building a strong company culture should be one of your top priorities.
The bottom line: Effective, targeted internal communications will help to reinforce a positive company culture with highly engaged employees.