1 July 2021
5 Best Practices for Internal Communications
A company’s employees are its most important resource, and potentially its biggest brand champion as well. That’s why it’s so important to be strategic in what and how the organization communicates to its employees, from the very top to the very bottom.
Happy, engaged employees who feel seen and valued are more likely to talk up the company and strive to do their best work. On the other hand, employees who don’t feel seen or valued are more likely to look for greener pastures; in the meantime, they may share every gripe they have about their employer with anyone who asks.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of internal communications best practices to ensure that your messaging strategy is helping to
- Foster employee engagement
- Help workers see how what they do fits into the bigger picture
- Ensure that everyone understands important compliance information
- Plant seeds to help employees be good brand ambassadors
- Increase employee retention
1. Be Strategic in Volume
When it comes to internal communications, more isn’t always better. If employees are constantly receiving company-wide email messages, it’s likely that at least some employees will begin to ignore some of those messages. That’s dangerous because some of those messages might contain important business information that employees need to know in order to ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures — and, in some cases, regulatory affairs.
When sending out reminders and news items, it’s generally a good idea to combine messages where you can. Otherwise, you may be clogging up employees’ company inboxes and increasing the odds that they will go unread. Office employees who handle a large load of emails will be anything but appreciative of more emails to open and read.
2. Consider the How of Internal Communication
Perhaps as important as how much you communicate is how you communicate. It’s become pretty standard to use email messages to convey company news and important information that needs to go out to large groups. However, for quick announcements that are time-sensitive and cannot wait for enough items to be compiled to send an email, consider an enterprise social media solution like Microsoft’s Yammer.
This tool allows companies to communicate in real time with their employees, chat-style. If employees are already on Yammer communicating with colleagues and supervisors, a message from your internal communications office will take almost no effort to view. Engagement is critical to fostering workplace satisfaction and employee retention, and there is no better way to engage employees than by offering them the opportunity to be heard.
In addition to sending short, quick messages,Yammer can be used to share images, files and videos. These can be your primary messages or complementary to your messaging, providing incentive for people to read what you have to say.
When messages call for sharing large files that must remain available to everyone or specific groups, sharing a link to documents on SharePoint via Yammer is quick and easy. Because SharePoint is a collaborative tool, it’s great for documents that require multiple reviewers, such as a new company policy still being finalized. Share the SharePoint document link on Yammer for fast access.
3. Be Strategic, Selective In Sharing
Understanding the various employee groups that make up an organization can help internal communications professionals effectively segment their communication efforts. It’s not just that different people across the organization may care about different things. Even if some information should be delivered company-wide, segmentation gives you the opportunity to tailor your messages in ways that will make them more relevant and resonant to different audiences.
Even simple tweaks to messages can demonstrate to employees that you see them and care enough to address their specific situation and needs. Likewise, having open lines of communication with employees at all levels of the organization can help you model language you’d like them to use when they’re not at work but may be speaking with others about their employer.
Sharing can also be a two-way street. Rather than just being the microphone of your company’s CEO, the internal communications office can empower employees to share ideas and innovations. That will help them see that the organization recognizes their value and hears their voices. It will also empower them to take initiative to work smarter and foster collaboration. Tools like Yammer and Microsoft Teams allow you to target specific work groups easily and set a conversational tone.
4. Make the Most of Technology
When it comes to communicating with employees, it can sometimes be too easy to fall into the trap of doing the same old thing again and again. But creating a multichannel internal communication strategy gives you the best odds of truly engaging with workers at every level of the company, in the most effective ways.
Does your company have employees who are on the front lines helping customers rather than behind a computer? They’re not likely going to sit and read a long and detailed message on their phones. Do you have employees who do nothing but read all day? They probably don’t want one more thing to read. What about those employees who are so busy they have to prioritize their inbox messages — how do you get urgent news to them?
Technology can solve many internal communication dilemmas, but only if it’s used. Consider what communication and collaboration programs your company is already using that could be leveraged to better communicate with employees. Collaborative document sharing and enterprise social media are becoming more commonplace and should be a part of your communication strategy.
5. Let Data Drive Internal Communications
Regardless of how well you think your internal communication strategy is working, data is essential for honing and improving how you communicate. Tryane offers a suite of analytics tools for Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Yammer and Office 365. With deep insights into who is viewing what messages, how recipients are engaging with the content and if messages are resulting in engagement, internal communications professionals can supercharge their content strategy to ensure maximum reach.
What you may think is an effective strategy might not work equally well for all employee groups. Likewise, an underused communication medium might actually be much more effective than you think. With analytics for your communications across multiple platforms, you can easily tell what works and what doesn’t, so you can supercharge your efforts.
Contact Tryane today to learn how it can help you take your internal communications from good to great.