The value of quality internal communications (IC) cannot be understated.

Employees desire to feel valued and appreciated by their employers for their hard work and ideas. They seek to grow and understand how their roles contribute to the greater good. And they need to have a sense of purpose and achievement.

Where is your organization putting all its finances, time and efforts? If it’s mainly in external communications and marketing, while your IC is weakening, you’re stunting your growth potential. A tenacious, loyal employee base will increase profits faster than external customers.

Organizations lose quality employees to their competition who promise to feed employees value. If employees sense their present company neither cares about them nor remains loyal to them, they have no reason to be loyal to the company.

Financial profit is an important focus for business. But if that is a company’s sole focus, or the one at the top of the priority list, a weak employee base will stifle those prospects.

Why internal communications suffer

The main reason IC suffers is because leadership does not view it as important. When executives and managers are more concerned about disseminating information, following routine, and sticking to a check-list, they lose sight of the core of the organization: the people.

Internal communications is not about simply informing employees of products and services, policy changes, etc. When management forgets that IC is about strengthening relationships, having an open forum for employees to communicate ideas, and making sure goals are clearly defined between leadership and the team, the communication waters become muddy.

Communication that is not clear or understandable, or overloads employees with information, will harm productivity.

The main reason IC suffers is because leadership does not view it as important.

What leaders can do

Leaders need to be alert to challenges and issues that arise within the organization with regard to their employees. They must be willing to listen and take the necessary steps to strengthen the organization.

Leaders and managers also set the example and must be proactive in communicating the company’s vision, culture and knowledge. Since people tend to “follow” those in a leadership role rather than “listen,” what managers and supervisors do is what their team will imitate. People relate to the culture and values better when they see them in action by their leaders.

Managers should make sure employees are aware of growth opportunities within the company and then work with them to reach those goals. Not all employees wish to remain stagnant, following the same course and tasks everyday for years. These employees desire to enhance their skills and to aim for something greater, within the same organization. But they don’t always know where they will fit next or what opportunities they should try. As their manager, you are in a unique position to help them see their potential and spread their wings.

In a similar vein, leaders are also mentors. Therefore, those in a leadership position must have people skills and must be willing to help their team, and the individuals on that team, to grow. They have to actively seek the potential in their employees and work with them to enhance their knowledge and talents. The goal is to help them become more skilled so they can be valued assets in the company for many years.

those in a leadership position must have people skills

Reexamine communications methods

As stated above, good communication begins with the ones in leadership positions. From there, however, other avenues should be explored to keep communications in front of your employees. We all need reminders, and the methods you choose to give these reminders should be with the focus of keeping employees informed and updated.

Review the tools you use to disseminate information to your employees. What seems to be working? Where do you receive the highest response? The answers to these will depend on the behaviors and habits of your employees. Do they sit in front of a computer most of the day? Do they work in the field? Do they often travel and are on the move?

Perhaps a variety of communications tools will be needed to make sure all employees are aware of any changes, updates, and other reminders. Make changes where needed. The point is to make sure you use the appropriate tools and they work in harmony with management.

Have a clear strategy

One of your recurring goals, as an organization, should be to strengthen unity. Determine where you need to focus your IC efforts. Is it employees’ attitudes? Is it helping them understand your core values? Is it the methods for sharing information?

Once you understand where you need to focus your current IC efforts, develop a clear strategy. Put in place reasonable goals and make the strategies to implement them clear. Be certain leadership and management is on board and they have a definite understanding of the importance of the strategies before the plan is put into place. It’s their example and encouragement that will help employees follow through.

Your strategy will change when necessary, but the point should always be to focus on your people.

For further information, check out the article: “How to best understand internal communications and what it means for your company”

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