I have seen a great deal of debate about whether internal communication teams should report up thru Human Resources (HR) or should reside within an organization’s corporate communications team.
You are in luck! I’m not planning to have that same debate.
I am here to say that having a communications team somewhere within an organization is vital to long term success. Either way, professional communicators and HR professionals should be working closely together to achieve the best results.
It’s less about reporting structure and more about focusing on employee engagement and communicating effectively. There is a direct tie between organizational success and strategic communications planning, and a significant cost to failed and inadequate communication initiatives.
Many small organizations may find themselves without internal communication resources or may not have the additional bandwidth to support large initiatives, change management or crisis. As key HR partners to those we serve, partnering to offer a communications service line makes sense.
Here are a few key elements we have found to support successful communication initiatives:
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen people make is not building a plan. Have a plan and stick to it. Developing an effective internal communication strategy starts with understanding how to efficiently distribute relevant or critical information to those in your workplace who need it. Employee engagement can be easily achieved with a well-crafted approach and the right corporate communication tools.
You have one opportunity to control the conversation, make sure to take the time to get it right.
Undoubtedly you have a mix of tools being used within an organization, and they are likely managed by a variety of resources and teams. Be sure to accurately identify and outline who needs to be incorporated into the planning and execution phase(s):
Comms Management Tool
Games or Contests
Instant Message Tools
Most internal communication goals focus on improving employee engagement, culture development, alignment with the business’s strategy, employee needs, large initiatives, and change management. Knowing the goal of your communications before you build your plan allows you to create a roadmap to get you there.
While some plans may only target internal audiences, often external audiences need to be considered as well. Take the time to think about who else might need the information you are providing: customers? Board? Shareholders? Legislators? Media? Community?
Having clarity ahead of time can help you avoid confusion and frustration, can limit rumors and enhance transparency.
Audience + Content
Skilled communicators know how to take key messages and shape them based on their intended audience. Thinking thru tone of voice, length of message, tools available, execution timeline and distribution methods will help ensure clarity and transparency. The focus and language of key messages may need to shift depending on the needs of various audiences.
Engaging employees through internal communication supports having staff feel informed, educated and inspired. An engaged workforce feels valued, and higher levels of engagement improve morale, boost productivity and lead to a better working environment. Effective communication ensures that employees fully understand the company, its benefits, values, and goals, and how to fully engage in their roles.
Effective communication strategies and well thought out plans can inform and engage internal audiences, lead to increased productivity, drive behavior change and inspire your workforce.
The world of communications is continuously evolving. Delivering meaningful messages to the right audiences at the right time – in a way that is meaningful to them, can be tough. We support our clients by crafting impactful communication strategies that inform, engage and inspire.