Social media has changed the landscape of businesses in today’s world in so many ways. One of the most important has been our newfound obsession with communication. Society now demands easy access to accurate, timely and relevant information. What maybe hasn’t had so much emphasis on it is internal communication – how employers, employees and colleagues share and receive information about the business they work in. And yet, effective communication at all levels is vital in enabling companies to reach their full potential and achieve their aspirations.
Companies spend a lot of time and money on marketing strategies, designed to keep their customers educated about their latest products and influence them as to why they should be the brand of choice. Often though, they forget to do the same with their own workforce. This, in itself, can present a risk to any business. After all, if employees aren’t informed and are left to piece the puzzle together themselves, how will they really know what the strategy is, the goals that need to be achieved and how they can contribute to success?
The IOIC (Institute of internal Communications) report that specific factors have made a strong Internal Communications approach even more important in today’s world:
(Information taken from https://www.ioic.org.uk/about-ioic/why-is-ic-important)
Economic climate – lifelong job security is now a rarity and so the former social contract of unquestioning loyalty has been broken. This means organisations have to work harder on relationships with their people.
Importance of delivering great customer experience – organisations have realised that a disconnect can quickly occur between the promises of promotional activity and what is experienced by customers if employees are not clear about what they are supposed to be doing or completely behind it.
More democratic/consultative – organisations have become less hierarchical and bureaucratic. People do not just want to be told things – they expect involvement and two-way communication.
New technology – the ways in which communication takes place, and the forms that are now accepted and expected, cannot be ‘controlled’ in the same way as previous methods could.
Frequent change – organisations have to keep modifying how they operate to remain competitive. It is more challenging to keep employees motivated and moving in the right direction in these circumstances.
Specific market conditions – where there is strong competition for the best people, businesses have to do all they can to get and keep them. And financial incentives are not always enough.
A good internal communications approach will mean that everyone is on the same page. Everyone is clear on the part they play, what needs to be achieved and why. This reduces dis-engagement, increases advocacy and loyalty and can also reduce inefficiencies in the workplace. Rather than a ‘nice to have’, internal communications should always form a central part of any project that businesses undertake. If you want a united business externally, then this work begins with how you communicate internally.