I see these issues crop up in companies all the time because they approach internal communication as an afterthought instead of as a powerful tool that could help them win even more business:
– Projects affecting employees are planned but not communicated in ways that give workers time to raise questions or share insights that could improve the project’s outcome, to prepare for how the project could affect their work, or to help the company avoid service disruptions that could result in lost business.
– Business opportunities are lost because the guy working in sales doesn’t know that the woman working in IT support is an expert who could support his sales pitch with data clearly showing how their company’s services are superior in the marketplace.
– Professional development stagnates — especially in large corporations, where people see themselves filling only specific and narrow roles. They could help their company reach its business goals if they understood their work within the much larger contexts that also inspired and encouraged them to develop new skills and work more collaboratively across service units and divisions.
– Attracting top talent is tough — especially in mission-critical roles of business leadership. Smart internal communication encourages, and even incentivizes, employees to share job openings with their professional networks. It also helps employees identify the skills they need to seize new professional opportunities within the organization.
Why and how to improve your company’s internal communication
The why is easy: Strong corporate internal communication will help every company make money, save money and attract and retain talent. Sure, it accomplishes much more — but those are the big four areas of focus for the Media Salad team when we step in to shore up our clients’ internal communications. We never lose sight of this — and you shouldn’t either: Effective internal corporate communication is the delivery of business information that helps every employee do their job well — and in ways that help the larger organization reach its business goals.
How to improve your company’s internal communication is practically limitless — but here are three ideas to get you started (I’ll share more, rest assured!):
– Stop sending emails to specific individuals and internal groups, and build a closed network — an Intranet, if you will — instead. When employees log into your company’s network, this internal site’s home page should be the first one they see. Its design and content should focus almost solely on connecting them to the information and tools they need to do their jobs well — and with our four big foci in mind: making money, saving money and attracting and retaining talent. An internal communication site of this nature will help everyone in your organization — including and especially those working in the field on mobile devices — see bigger pictures, spot new business opportunities and organize themselves more thoughtfully to avoid problems that could affect the company’s bottom line.
– Hire the right person to manage the organization’s internal communications. Everyone communicates — but not everyone communicates effectively. So, it’s important to entrust the development and execution of internal communications with a skilled communicator — who, very often, is not the executive standing at the helm of the organization. He or she needs to remain focused on the overall health of the organization and simply doesn’t have the time (or even necessarily the skillset) to oversee development and management of editorial processes for the regular collection and distribution of information. Not sure what skills are required for this job? Not sure if your organization can afford this kind of communication support? Please contact Media Salad. We are happy to help you assess your situation and provide some ideas.
– Conduct an inventory of the information you have — and the information employees say they need to work effectively. Communication is often more than a two-way street. Take the time to ask employees what they’re looking for most frequently to help them do their jobs. Are they struggling to find forms required to make internal service requests? Do they have the latest information they need to support an upcoming and very important sales presentation? Do they have instructions about how to install a software upgrade on their laptop or reset their network password? Can they easily find templates — think PowerPoint slides, web pages and letterhead — that help them significantly speed their own business communications? What about your companies policies, standards, procedures and guidelines?
For nearly 10 years, the Media Salad team has provided internal communications support for organizations ranging from Fortune 100s to startups. It’s amazing how much they have in common when it comes to the need for smart “internal comms.” Please contact us because I’m confident Media Salad could help your organization, too.