On the 1st day of the year, employees at a market research company received a note from their CEO, informing them about ‘massive’ changes at the corporate level and comprehensive review of each department. In less than an hour, the news had created a major furor across the organization.
Employees in 3 locations were particularly tense about the whole matter since they were not present at the headquarters to understand what exactly was happening. The internal communications team quickly jumped for damage control and by the end of the day.
Employees received another note, clarifying strategic changes and information about the annual performance review which was pushed ahead of schedule to bring about more transparency in processes. This is a classic example of internal communications getting it all wrong.
Most companies tend to take internal communications for granted. As money makes the world go round, you will find that external or customer communications is the crme de la crme at most companies. Not many, however, understand why internal communications deserves similar attention.
Why Neglecting Internal Communications Could Be a Costly Mistake
If you spoke to any C-level executive on the topic of business communications, chances are you’ll hear a great deal about the strategy in place to communicate with customers. Once you poke him about internal communications, you’ll notice a drop in tone and excitement. Evidently, he’ll not be too enthused to discuss how his company communicates with internal stakeholders.
Many companies don’t realize how poor communication affects productivity, employee morale and performance. Workplaces where internal communications is neglected make employees feel neglected and cynical. Instead of diverting their attention to work, employees start wondering if everything is okay with the company. Consequently, poor communication affects their performance.
What Should Internal Communications Be Like
Effective internal communications doesn’t mean sending jokes to employees to make them feel at ease. You should rather focus on making communications work. In the case study, you saw how indifference leads to confusion and panic situations at work. To avoid that, you need to maintain a regular communication platform with your employees.
Are they getting all the answers they want? Do they know what’s happening around them? Are they able to share their thoughts? You need to know all this to ensure your internal business communications work the way you want.
In the digital web 2.0 age, you really don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know how to reach to your target audiences, isn’t it? You have all the tools with you and the only thing you need to figure out is how well you are going to utilize them to your advantage.
You can have a blog to maintain a dialogue with all the employees. It can be a great platform to involve them and get their opinion. You also need to have a Facebook page for your employees, which will make it easier for them to receive information. The trick is to not overdo it and engage everyone.
So, have fun and make your employees feel good about the company they work for.
About the Author: Shandi Tan is a content writer for Capita Communications, a business communications company in the UK.