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This is the second post in a series on internal communication. It addresses the benefits companies can experience when an effective communications strategy is in place. The first in the series, which deals with internal communications problems faced by companies. can be found here.
Having a clear internal communications strategy can offer many benefits to businesses. It is the life blood of any company and the glue that holds it together.
In her article Sleepwalking Through the Workday: How Internal Communications Can Engage Employees, public relations expert, Tonya Bacon, said, " [I]nstituting a comprehensive internal communications program is one of the most valuable ways to encourage employees to become stakeholders in a company."
Internal Communications Benefits
According to a white paper (PDF) on internal communications from promotional products company Imprint.com, there are many benefits that can accrue when an company puts effort into creating such a strategy:
Other benefits that can be gained include:
- Increased productivity
- Higher probability of achieving organizational goals
- Ability to approach situations, problems or crises proactively
- More effective and responsive customer service
- Empowered employees who take stock in the company
- A better workplace understanding of organizational values and purpose
- Smarter decision-making on all levels, reducing the need for micro-managing
- Reduced day-to-day conflict between team members
- Higher employee retention rates
- Reduced absenteeism
- Higher quality of work
- Increased levels of innovation
- Enhanced camaraderie and team spirit
- Sense of ownership of the company
Effective Internal Communications Begins with LeadershipTo create a climate where successful internal communication can take place, those in leadership must themselves possess a clear understanding of the company's goals, business strategies, products and services. They must also be willing to take the necessary steps to achieve the goal of effective communication.
There are some questions leaders must ask:
- Do employees feel connected to the company in ways other than a paycheck?
- Do employees understand the business goals and mission of the organization?
- Do employees have a full understanding of the products and services offered?
- Do employees have a sense of ownership and, if not, what can be done to bring that about?
Career strategist, Jennifer Miller, suggests seven ways leaders can improve communications, three of which are worth noting here:
Make the Mission and Vision Clear - Take the time to explain the company values and mission, whether as part of corporate training or as a regular reminder to employees.
Strengthen Connections - Managers who take the time to get to know their employees and are willing to listen to them will find it easier to communicate and keep direct reports on task.
Create Open Dialogue - Keep employees up-to-date on company changes, progress and future plans.
While fostering effective internal communications is not the sole responsibility of leaders, success in the long run demands that it start at the top or the organizational hierarchy and flow downward. Conclusion
Companies that make internal communications a priority are more likely to have motivated employees who are inspired to help their employers reach business objectives, resolve conflicts quickly and improve employee productivity. They are more satisfied, feel more involved and are better equipped to represent the company when directly communicating with customers.
The next post in this series deals with ways companies can implement an effective internal communications strategy.
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