In this article, we will look at 5 key functions of internal communication which are:
- The importance of the employee voice
- How two-way communication helps to create a culture of trust
- How internal communication improves company culture
- How to provide effective communication lines
- How to give your employees clarity and purpose
1. Employee voice is key to understanding the needs of your workforce
Employee voice is key to understanding the needs of your workforce. Employees are the most valuable asset at your company, and they're also the best source of information for internal communication. They can help you identify and resolve problems, improve processes and procedures, create an environment that encourages employee participation, and provide feedback about what's working (or not). The more honest feedback you get from employees, the more you can improve your company's internal communications strategy. Communication is the key to any successful business, and this internal communication function is no exception.
2. Two-way communication helps to create a culture of trust, transparency and inclusion
Earning trust from employees is an essential part of any successful business. When employees feel that they have been activey listened to, they are more likely to trust the company as a whole. As an internal communicator, it's important to ensure employee feedback is received and acted on in order for you to support this process. You can do this by being open and honest with communications so that there are no doubts about what is happening within your organisation. A lack of information or business engagement can lead people into thinking "the grass must be greener somewhere else" which could cause tension amongst staff members or even worse, rumours start spreading like wildfire causing negativity among other workers.
3. Internal communications plays a vital role in improving company culture
Company culture is the reflection of the values and beliefs of a company. It can be improved by internal communications, which in turn helps to improve overall employee engagement. Employees are emotionally engaged when they care about their work, contribute to the success of the organisation and feel a strong sense of connection to their colleagues, managers and the values of the organisation itself. Communicating effectively your values and culture is important to encouraging employees to be united in what your company stands for. By reminding your workforce and new starters of the key values of your company helps to live and breath them in everyday work life.
4. Provide effective communication lines for employees
Enabling and encouraging your employees to share their ideas and opinions through townhall meetings, face-to-face groups or other key communication channels that work for your company is important for constant engagement. You can also use collaborative messaging tools or mobile apps that are easy to access via smartphones or tablets so they can provide feedback at any time or on the go. This will help both you and your workforce to keep up with what's going on in the workplace so that you're able to react quickly when needed if there is an accessible and streamlined process for communicating. Make sure communication lines are open between leadership, line management and all your employees by encouraging them to speak up if they have any concerns about something within the organisation. Open communication lines help with dealing with issues or challenges quickly and more effectively.
5. Give employees a sense of community, purpose and voice of clarity
It's important to provide clear communication about what's happening within your company so that everyone knows fact from fiction at all times. This helps prevent miscommunications or misinterpretations which may lead to confusion amongst staff members who might not be aware if there are any changes happening. Showcase stories of success right across the business is really key to giving that sense of community so that everyone feels part of something bigger. This can help create camaraderie within an organisation by giving everyone a sense of togetherness and purpose for each department (for example: "We all work towards achieving X" and "this is how you can help"). Communicating the company's vision and strategy effectively and giving opportunities for involvement on this helps for people to understand how they fit in. It's important that social interaction between departments, such as meetings or social events are also not forgotten about as these interactions help to bring people together outside of their usual teams.
Internal communication is a vital component of any organisation and plays a key role in developing a strong, supportive culture. It's important to remember that internal communications should be two-way, so that employees feel heard and valued. This is the only way they can truly feel heard and contribute their voices to decisions being made within the company. Remember to always show how feedback is actioned to show the power of the employee voice within a company.