The COVID-19 pandemic and increasing international business operations have made the workplace more distributed than ever and this puts even more importance on internal communications.
If done effectively, internal communications can avoid misunderstandings, engage employees, make them more productive and inspire them to be advocates for their company.
Effective internal communications don’t happen by accident. They are based on a strong internal communications policy.
A company internal communication policy lays out the specifics of a company’s approach. It specifies what information should be shared and how it should be communicated. An internal communications policy also specifies the various communications channels and how each one will be used for certain types of information. This policy also lays out the responsibilities of management, human resources and internal communicators.
A company internal communication policy sets the stage for internal communications campaigns. In the same way that marketing campaigns inform potential customers about products and services, internal communications campaigns inform employees about the latest news and updates. Emails, group meetings, instant messages, phone calls, video chats and other channels can all be used as part of a campaign. People looking to develop campaigns should be able to reference a company internal communication policy that lays out how each channel is used.
An internal communications policy is usually developed or updated over the course of four different stages.
Whether you’re developing a policy from scratch or looking to refine the processes you already have in place, an important first step is to assess your challenges and conduct research.
This phase should start by identifying the key objectives that should be addressed by a company internal communication policy. A list of objectives might include anything from reducing turnover to increasing productivity. Once key objectives have been identified, an analysis should Investigate how internal communications can be used to achieve these objectives. For instance, a company looking to address high turnover may be looking to boost employee engagement with internal communications.
It is important for solutions to be thoroughly researched. Plan developers should identify tactics that have been proven to achieve the results they are seeking. Research could include everything from the type of content to the resources needed to deliver information.
After the challenges and solutions have been identified, the planning effort should shift to focusing on strategies for distributing information in an efficient manner.
Each employee and department within a company uses different communication tools throughout the course of the day. For example, deskless workers do not spend a lot of time checking emails or sending text messages to their colleagues. The strategy phase needs to address these differences to ensure employees are getting the content that is meant for them.
In addition to developing a strategy around different channels, it’s also important to develop a strategy around different types of content. Different types of content could include videos, signage, email newsletter and social media posts.
Another major part of strategy development is identifying key metrics for tracking implementation and effectiveness. Metrics should include qualitative feedback and quantitative measures like email click-through rates or the number of employee comments on intranet posts.
It is important for planners to consider timelines, difficulty of implementation and costs into account when developing strategy. Upgrading an email platform is often a small change that requires a nominal investment and a week or so to implement. Conversely, overhauling an entire intranet can require a major investment and months to implement the transition. Setting aside time and resources is vital to ensuring each change happens successfully.
- Execution and Tracking
As anyone who follows sports can tell you, research and strategy mean nothing without proper execution.
A major key to supporting the execution of a new company internal communication policy is to ensure that leadership and communicators are on the same page. These important stakeholders must understand the various goals of the policy and their responsibilities for achieving those goals.
It is also important to track established key metrics during execution. Tracking can help determine what’s working and what isn’t, so adjustments can be made as needed.
Key metrics aren’t just for tracking execution and making on-the-fly adjustments. They’re also important for periodic reviews and large course corrections. Quarterly evaluations of an internal communications policy and its execution should be part of the policy itself.
This review process should be transparent and inclusive. Share the results of employee surveys and ask employees how to improve internal communications. This not only helps to refine the policy, but it also has the effect of engaging employees in internal communications policy.
Improve Your Internal Communications with Analytics from Tryane
Tyrane offers a comprehensive suite of analytics solutions designed to provide insights and improve internal communications. Specializing in Microsoft productivity tools like SharePoint and Yammer, our analytics solutions can optimize your investments in internal communications.
Please contact us today to find out how we can improve your internal communications policy.