How to Refine Your Internal Communications Program
By: Chris Austin
In our digitally savvy world, we’re constantly communicating. Whether it’s through email, videos, blogs, newsletters, on the phone or even in person during meetings, communication takes a variety of different forms and styles. Is your communication style giving employees the information they want—and oftentimes need—to hear on a regular basis?
For businesses large and small, implementing and maintaining an internal communications program can be a key factor toward helping employees feel engaged and “in the know”—ultimately leading to elevated job satisfaction and greater confidence in the direction of the company. But, as we’ve already established, there are plenty of different ways to communicate and engage with employees. So what’s the best way to do so?
Well, for starters, ask your target audience: Your employees. Conduct an informal survey to determine the type of information they want to hear, how they want to be communicated with and the frequency of communications. Their answers should provide the building blocks for how you structure your internal communications program.
And remember—there is a difference between information and communication. Information is just the facts, but communication implies a dialogue…so encourage one. Empower employees to share noteworthy information. This will help them feel like they’re part of something special if they can share personal or professional accolades.
Also, encourage feedback. Conduct additional surveys at regular intervals to ensure the presentation style and information included in communications is still resonating with your audience. This will help you to not only continually refine your internal communications program, but it will also illustrate a willingness to go the extra mile to ensure employees have a voice and feel valued and included.
An internal communications program shouldn’t be viewed as a finite project with a beginning and end date. Instead, approach it as a constantly changing and evolving entity. At a time when the national trend is employees staying with companies for shorter timeframes than previous generations, it’s important to put programs into place that help retain the best talent. A robust and comprehensive internal communications program can do just that by helping employees feel included and valued by their employer, ultimately creating a positive impact on the bottom line.