The Power of Good Internal Communication at the Workplace
What is effective communication in today’s world? Good communication today is a difficult story. It shouldn’t be surprising that internal communication in the workplace is now a hot topic. An age-old adage goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” And that holds how you communicate. When it comes to workplace communication, real communication is an integral element of business success. From time to time, we see people struggling with communication — leading to frustration, informal networks, and uncoordinated messages often filling the void.
Communication in the workplace means patience and clarity. And improving communication is a tricky task. With communication being the relationship building platform, it is the job of managers to understand the purpose of internal communication and use it to promote team morale and productivity targets.
Internal Communication Makes the Difference to Success
We might not give a lot of thought to this, but we know how keeping everyone informed is important for us (professionally and personally). Communication is key — if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Perhaps, achieving internal communication in an organization is one of the most important objectives.
Here are some surprising facts about internal communication:
- IABC reports that only 21% of communicators say they keep their language simple and jargon-free.
- The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20–25% in organizations with connected employees.
- 83 percent of workers in the UK have a little commitment to their jobs they are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’.
- 93% of comms pros say creativity is important in internal comms but only 6% think it’s used to its full potential, according to a study by Alive With Ideas.
- Statistics show that time spent on calls, e-mails, and meetings have increased by 20–50% in the last two decades.
- A study performed by Watson Wyatt found that businesses that used to communicate with their staff were likely to have lower levels of labor turnover.
Communication is regarded as the lifeblood of an organization. Let’s see the objectives of internal communication in a business organization:
- To prepare organizational plans and policies
- To exchange information between two or more parties
- Timely achievements of goals
- Organize resources
- Maintain good industrial relation
- Improve job satisfaction level of employees
Lead Yourself Before You Lead Others
A lot has already been written and talked about leadership. So how is this post any different from others?
Upgrading Internal Communication in the Workplace
However, some companies are making ‘communication’ a priority because it is one easy way to get things done. Coca-Cola has actually executed a ‘Coca-Cola Ambassador’ — a brand advocate program that prepares their employees for better internal and external communication. You need an internal communication strategy and method to understand the characteristics of good internal communication to create a unified workforce.
Improving communication is as important as improving sales due to the absolute exclusive benefits of internal communication like employee engagement and enhanced company competitiveness. Here’s how you can do it:
- Set Strong Objectives
How are you setting SMART goals for the internal communication strategy for the next year? It is important to map your internal communication goals to business objectives. Here are three key things to know about objectives:
- Every action should be consistent with your goals
- The plan should describe the desired outcome
- Stay on SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound
2. Give Your People a Voice
Their opinions matter. Having an open door policy will keep managers and employees comfortably up for internal communication. As a manager, you shouldn’t disregard any opinion and make sure to promote a feedback that is two-way. Emphasize to your employees to speak up in meetings, brainstorm on projects, and let the team know their ideas are valued. Everyone likes to know they have a voice at the table.
3. Improve your Time Management
Success cannot be achieved without communication. For better communication between employees, the use of time management techniques can give way to teams and management. When you have a scheduled time it is more probable that you’ll get the work done and give time to other critique problems. Most of the times, employee time management is not on the priority list of management which bridges a gap in business and personal issues. Make sure you help employees discover where their time is going, make them understand all the requirements, estimate time better, and listen to all the queries so there is no room for error.
4. Online Project Management Tools
“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other.”– Bill Gates
Most of the office communications occur remotely which creates a lot of situations where communication breakdown may occur. More and more employees are working from different parts of the globe, so they need tools to have information wherever they go. With the rise of information technology, many online tools can facilitate communication from any location. These online collaboration tools in action can help bring employee engagement, keep track of a project’s progress so that everyone knows what is left to be done. You can try out ProofHub app — a modern form of communication-based technology that is changing the ways teams communicate. You need to put into use the best tools to ensure your internal communication is on point.
5. Maintain Transparency
“Transparency starts as a mindset change.” — Kevan Lee, Content Crafter, Buffer
Each successive generation is demanding more and more transparency. When it comes to communication, having a transparent system is essential on a global scale. Transparency is a mindset, it brings trust and accountability. Don’t let your team wonder, “Why we are doing this”? If your team feels left out and afraid to ask questions, you will never be able to promote communication. Start taking steps to maintain at least some business transparency by involving employees in decision-making, communicating to them any changes in the company’s vision, and always have an area for suggestions.
6. Give them Access to Management
Apart from weekly or monthly meetings, always be open to answering relevant questions coming up from teams. Do your employees turn towards you when they have questions? Managers are the first people employees will prefer to reach out to. Give them access to information they need and participate in team discussions. If you are leading by example, you’re automatically creating a positive workplace culture. Keep your employees happy, as happy employees will provide better customer service.
7. Set an Authentic Tone
How you say it matters! Your internal communication is in return leaving an impact on your external communication. And the tone of voice plays seriously while internal communication. The way managers communicate internally with the team should be changed for better. Use the right approach, the right set of words, and strike the right balance between authentic and informative. Bring in a tone that excites employees, motivates and inspires them. When you set the right tone, internal communication will motivate employees, thus improving external communication as well.
8. Grow a Community
Building a strong sense of community will bring clarity of purpose to groups. Best in class communities are user-friendly that can facilitate internal communication and increase engagement. Get a social space for employees to communicate.
9. Provide Channels for Feedback
Not surprisingly, feedback is a two-way process, both to and from employees. It is a wise step to provide channels to the team to give feedback and share ideas. These channels will encourage feedback from employees, without which helpful criticism can get missed. And don’t forget to act on employees feedback!
10. Don’t Over-Communicate
The overdose of anything is not good. While communication is important, this is just a precaution you should take to make things move smoothly always. Promote healthy work-life balance, give them space to do things on their own, don’t pack them with emails and pings. Don’t make them feel like you’ve repeated yourself a lot.
Workplace Communication With ProofHub
A tool like ProofHub helps to communicate one-on-one, with groups, or across massive organizations. Keeping everyone on the same page is a tough row to hoe. ProofHub being one of the best internal communication tools is actually more than a communication tool. It makes communication process pretty smooth making sure you completely know what’s going on or what to work on.
Of course, good communication will have a spillover effect on your customer satisfaction. So, pick your favorite, vital, and sophisticated internal communication strategies and become a brand champion.
What systems can you add to this to support internal communication? Share with us in the comments below!