What is the number one skill employees feel lacks in their manager? It’s communication. And 97% of workers believe that communication impacts tasks every day.
Internal communications is about giving your staff the big picture and the tools to collaborate. It helps show employees in different departments they are all part of the same endeavor, moving towards a common purpose. Communicating internally to your team will translate business strategies into practical ideas that mean something to employees on the ground.
So what can you do to improve communications at your organization? Here are the 4 P’s to internal communication strategies:
- Paths – What is the appropriate path, or channel. Know and identify the mediums through which you can send a message to its intended audience. For example, phone calls, text messages, emails, video, radio, and social media are all types of communication channels. In a company, communication channels keep information flowing efficiently. Questions to consider are:
- Are there multiple paths?
- Who is your audience?
- Are there multiple audiences?
- Are there multiple channels?
- Email, in-person, video chat, pre-recorded video, personal letter, Apps, texts?
- Which channel works best with which audience?
- People – Your internal communications strategy should focus on delivering relevant information to the right people, at the right time. It’s good to know the communication style of those you are communicating with, and there are a few options of tools and assessments that we recommend you use. This will help you adapt your style to the others particularly for 1:1 communication. It ensures that you not only convey your message to someone yet also lets them know about your feelings and emotions.
- Purpose – Purposeful communication has very clear objectives – the message being relayed has a job to do. Those objectives include sharing the strategic goals and plans as well as the day-to-day tasks required to achieve them. Communication is all about getting everyone on the same page. Strategically mapping out your approach to communications can minimize information overload. Partner with leaders and internal subject matter experts to discuss what type of content would be necessary or helpful for their teams.
- Plan – A plan that is not written is just an idea. Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination. HR Elements has created a communication plan template that incorporates the 4 P’s, provides a suggested approach and items to include for your plan. If you would like access to this template, please let us know.
Especially for tough situations and messages that you need to deliver it can be helpful to picture yourself as a broadcast journalist. Be sure to bullet point a script and practice, so that the message is received in an authentic and personalized way, as it was intended. Also, when you walk away from the conversation, be sure you know what next steps you promised. You can create a checkbox list to assist you.
Finally, ensure that internal communications has a “home” at your company. Who owns this very important function? Identify a staff member, preferably on the HR team, who is held accountable for all internal communications messages which align with a Master Internal Communications plan for the company. Internal communications should provide an effective flow of information between departments and colleagues. This applies both up and down the management and employee chain and works among employees who are interacting with each other in the company.
[DOWNLOAD THE HRE INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS PLAN TEMPLATE HERE]
Having effective internal communications tools is essential for any well-run company and is necessary for ensuring productivity, good morale, and commitment.