The changing digital landscape and online brand discovery flow has prompted organizations of all scales to focus on branding and external communication. However, most of them tend to ignore internal communication which has a crucial role to play in determining how employees cohesively work towards the organization’s vision.
This is especially important in a world which has plenty of opportunities for talented employees and retaining such a workforce is a challenge for most organizations. The right internal communications strategy can help your employees stay informed, engaged and represent your brand online in the best way possible.
It’s important to note that your internal communication plan doesn’t have to operate in isolation; an employee advocacy program can go a long way to support your overall strategy for internal communication. It’s all part of boosting employee engagement and ultimately, helping employees do their best.
Internal communication from management and other stakeholders is especially important in large organizations because most employees might not have regular face time with them. Here are some reasons an organization needs to focus on internal communication:
Establishes the ‘why’ for your workforce:
Millennials are heavily driven by a sense of purpose, even when it comes to work. An internal communication strategy can allow your employees to work towards a common goal and give them a clear idea of the ‘purpose’ of the organization, be it becoming a market leader or adding value to the life of users in some way.
Keeps your most important asset in the loop:
With internal communication, employees are better informed about major developments within the organization and the industry. When your employees are in the loop regarding company goals, management team changes and future initiatives, you are taking a step towards promoting transparency and driving everyone to work towards a single goal.
This can have a positive impact on productivity as well. As per a 2012 McKinsey and Co report, improved communication and collaboration can raise productivity by up to 25 percent. This is because use of a collaborative tool allows employees to cut down on the time spent on looking up information that their colleagues might have.
Using an employee advocacy platform cannot only keep your employees informed but also boost your brand’s online visibility, assist with social selling and attract new recruits.
Makes employees a part of the conversation:
Internal communication doesn’t have to be a one-way street; employees can also be made part of the conversation. With the right strategy, you can better understand employee grievances and address them before they grow and impact organizational morale. When employees have a designated forum where they’ll be heard, they are more comfortable airing their grievances.
It’s important to note that communication with employees doesn’t have to be confined to the online medium. A number of organizations engage with employees offline as well. For instance, town hall meetings are one way to open up the floor for everyone and have real interaction with decision-makers.
Enabling innovation with communication:
When employees are highly engaged, they are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their ideas as well as their disagreements regarding a decision others might just have nodded their heads to. This can help your organization come up with out-of-the-box strategies and junk ideas that could not turn out well. Such a collaborative environment is the cornerstone of success in a rapidly evolving world.
Help out the brand in an image crisis:
Continuous employee engagement through an internal communication channel can also help your organization weather a crisis. During such times, your employees can become the conduit of your brand message. For example, in early 2019, Maggi was drawn into an image crisis after allegations that its noodles contained toxic levels of lead. That’s when Maggi doubled up its employees as brand ambassadors. Employees helped dispel doubt among the public and actively asked for suggestions on ways it could battle this image crisis.
It’s evident that an internal communication strategy provides a host of benefits to an organization. Do take a look at some other ways to improve employee engagement.