Unless you have worked in a big corporate organisation, you may not have come across an internal communications function before. So what is internal communications? If you Google that question, you’ll find hundreds of different definitions! I read a great blog about this very subject by Rachel Miller, and here are a couple of the definitions that I really liked:
Alan Oram (Director of Alive With Ideas) said: ‘The two-way exchange of information, opinion and ideas which creates understanding and shapes behaviours within an organisation in order to progress.’
Jenni Field, Director, Redefining Communications said, “Internal communication includes everything that gets said and shared inside an organisation. As a function its role is to curate, enable and advise on best practise for organisations to communicate effectively, efficiently and in an engaging way.”
So really, internal communications will mean something slightly different to everyone. The job of a great Internal Communications professional is to help you define what it means to your business.
Until about a decade ago, many organisations viewed internal communications as ‘nice to have’, a ‘fluffy’ role. But over time that perception has changed. Structured, channel relevant, audience targeted communication is now being valued a lot more than it used to be. Why? Well because there has been so much research that shows a direct link, between happy and engaged employees and financial success. It is proven time and time again, that employers who invest in engaging their employees through effective 2-way communication and focused strategies see increased customer satisfaction and a workforce who want to go the extra mile for their employer.
Sounds simple yes? Well, not always… To have a truly effective approach to internal comms, you need to find your starting point. Assess the current situation. Just how do your employees feel about the communication they receive? How engaged do they feel? This can be quite uncomfortable and hard to hear for many Senior Leaders, who do their absolute best to keep on communicating, but perhaps, unfortunately, it isn’t landing as well as they had anticipated. Or perhaps, their teams don’t feel that Senior Leaders are approachable because they never hear from them directly, other than by email. And that brings me on to the curse of the ‘blanket email’. Don’t get me wrong, there absolutely is a place for ‘all employee’ emails. But this shouldn’t be the norm. There are so many new and exciting ways to communicate company goals, achievements, results and news with people, the ‘all employee’ email just doesn’t cut it anymore.
So, is your organisation ready to make a change that can bring tangible changes to you, your Management Team, your customers, your financial turnover?
I specialise in helping businesses to launch their own internal communications strategy, assessing the ‘as is’ state of play, and creating strategies designed to make a culture change that will set you apart from your competitors. If you’d like to find out how internal communications can improve or enhance your business, please do get in touch!