Best Practices for your Internal Communications Strategy

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Effective communication in the workplace is critical for your business growth. Without it, you would not be able to satisfy customer needs, engage employers, and inspire innovation.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not understand the importance of internal communications. They use outdated approaches and tools that often compromise workplace productivity and employee relationships. 

According to statistics, workers spend up to two hours daily gossiping and worrying. Confusion and frustration are one of the major causes of employee turnover, costing up to 150% of their salaries.

Fortunately, you can capitalize on tools and techniques to improve employee communications.

Here are a few tips to apply right now.

Invest in Cloud Internal Communications Tools

Internal communications are not limited to back-and-forth emails anymore. There is a wide range of internal communication tools that can strengthen your company culture. Most importantly, they have profound effects on employee collaborations and relationships. 

With the rise of cloud-based platforms, your employees can communicate seamlessly irrespective of their location. 

Here a few software solutions that will take your internal communications strategy to a whole new level.

Intranets 

An intranet is a private, centralized network for internal communications. Employees can use it to share, collect, and access information. It often represents a single point for employees to stay connected. 

It is a platform for various internal communications aspects, from document sharing to project updates and social media posts. That way, it enhances the visibility of the company-wide data since everyone can access it. 

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Instant Messaging Tools

In the new normal, when employees are shifting to remote work, investing in real-time communication tools is a priority. That is where instant messages step in. 

With tools like Slack, employees can send text messages, videos, photos, and web links to their peers. Most importantly, they are more natural and faster than traditional email communications. They are a perfect solution for sharing company-wide announcements, setting up group discussions, and asking urgent questions. 

The best thing about IM tools like Slack is that employees can create multiple channels. For example, they can have one room for the IT Operations team and another for Marketing. That allows your team members to share and receive crucial data only without getting overwhelmed with a bunch of irrelevant messages. 

Employee Engagement Tools

Employee engagement tools improve workplace transparency and improve employee communications. 

They improve 1-on-1 and team-wide interactions. Remote employees can connect and communicate via multiple locations and devices.

Managers can stay on top of notice boards, alerts, SMS messaging, and push notifications so they can recognize great work. 

Most importantly, employees can track their shifts in real-time. They can also update data, bid for additional shifts, or connect with peers via a centralized cloud system.

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools are cloud-based platforms where your employees can add feedback, share projects, attach files, and create notes. 

Apart from traditional cloud storage systems, you can also invest in project management tools, where employees can create separate tasks, add people, and share insights and documents in real-time. 

Most importantly, any changes to tasks and projects are transparent and available to other team members. 

Video Chat Tools

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of remote employees has risen. With your employees located across different parts of the country or continents, it is vital to invest in a video chat tool. 

That way, you are not limited to text messages anymore. You can communicate with remote workers 1-on-1 and even schedule virtual meetups and team-building activities. 

Keep Internal Communications Engaging

Work should be entertaining. That is why you should provide your employees with channels where they can have fun and relax.

For example, many companies create random Slack channels, where their employees share YouTube videos, celebrate birthdays, and post stories that have nothing in common with their industry. 

You can also use team bonding tools. Donut, for instance, randomly matches two employees to help them get to know each other. These tools are a perfect solution for companies that hire remote teams.

Building company social networks is another option. They have the same functionalities as public social networks. That way, employees can connect and chat about work-related topics. Workplace from Facebook allows employees to communicate via the platform they are already familiar with.

Finally, if your employees are working remotely, provide opportunities for virtual team building. For example, encourage your remote employees to take coffee breaks or have virtual lunch breaks together.

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Establish an Approval Process

A vital part of planning an internal communications strategy is establishing an approval process for your company’s content. That way, you prevent any errors, comments, or news from accidentally being published on your internal communications channels.

For starters, determine which team controls your internal communications strategy. Who are the employees writing, reading, and approving messages sent to your team? In most cases, these responsibilities fall out on HR and Marketing teams, while some companies have separate Internal Communications departments.

Your internal communications team should understand the company culture, values, goals, and missions. They should inject the brand’s unique tone of voice into every piece of internal content, no matter if it is a PR article published on your intranet or an email message. 

Encourage Employees to Become your Brand Advocates

Research studies say that employees working in an organization they trust are eight times more likely to say where they work. They repost company blog articles, promote special offers, share social media content, and take behind-the-scenes photos of your staff and offices. In other words, they are your most significant and loyal brand ambassadors.

That is a great way to attract younger customers. Namely, Millennials and Generation Z require more authenticity for brands. 

By getting your employees to promote your company, you will create more dynamic and engaging content. That way, you will build trust with buyers, establish deeper customer relationships, and generate more sales. According to statistics, the customers coming from employee advocacy convert seven times more than any other lead.

Employer branding is also great for attracting top talent. You will grab the attention of prospective candidates and gain their trust.

Sure, make sure employee content is in line with your brand. There should be consistency between your internal and external communications. 

Choose the Right Metrics to Measure

Just like any other aspect of your business, your internal communications plan should be strategic. You need to set clear goals and pick the metrics that align with them. The goal is to continuously measure the effectiveness of your internal communications strategy and see which tactics work.

That is a great way to understand how your staff members use the company intranet and communication resources. That way, you will be able to dissect your internal communications plan and see which areas require improvement. 

In the sea of vanity metrics, pick the ones that reflect the effectiveness of your strategy. Some of the metrics to track are:

Employee Reach

This metric tells you how many of your employees access your internal communications channels. Now, there are several ways to measure employee reach, including:

  • Employee Adoption Rates: How many employees have registered on a particular platform?
  • The Log-In Rate: How often do your employees sign in?
  • The Open Rate: How many employees are opening your internal communications resources, such as email newsletters or a corporate wiki.

Employee Engagement

These metrics measure how your staff is interacting with your communications. For example, you can track how many employees see your content and which teams are the most engaged. Most importantly, you will understand how many employees are liking, sharing, and commenting on organizational content. 

Some employee engagement metrics are:

  • The Click-Through Rate: It tells you how many employees were engaged enough with your content to take action, e.g., clicking on a CTA or a link.  
  • Peak Times for Employee Engagement: Tells you when it is the best time to send internal content.
  • Employee Net Promoter Score: This metric tells you how likely your staff members are to recommend your company to potential candidates.

Employee Outcomes

These metrics determine how your internal communications strategy impacts your brand presence overall. Here are a few metrics to consider:

  • The Employee Turnover Rate: The net percentage of employees that leave a company within a certain period. HR managers should rely on exit interviews and employee feedback to understand why they are leaving. 
  • Branding and Marketing: How your internal communications impact your external branding and marketing efforts.

An Internal Communications Strategy is the Future of  your Business

Internal communications have become an integral part of running a competitive business. It helps you build a strong company culture, attract top talent, and engage your employees. It leads to increased productivity and reduced turnover. 

Most importantly, internal communications enhance your external branding and marketing efforts. It humanizes your brand, attracts new customers, and helps you build a recognizable brand image in the long run.

That is why you need to build and implement your internal communications strategically. I hope the tips provided above will serve as your starting point.

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