Good internal communication builds trust and can establish core values, like safety.
It creates an environment where employees understand the importance of their work and makes them feel enthusiastic about working for the company. When workers feel more excited about the work they are doing they are more likely to listen to your communication, safety program, and more.
Internal communication engages employees. In a world that is focused on the bottom line, it is easy to think that employee engagement isn’t important.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Connecting employee engagement and profits
A Gallup study, Employee Engagement and Earnings Per Share: A Longitudinal Study of Organizational Performance During the Recession, shows a direct correlation between employee engagement and earning per share. Clearly, employee engagement plays a significant role in profitability. Yet, as a whole, there is a lot of work to be done to encourage engagement.
The 2012 Global Workforce Study by Towers Watson, shows that only 36% of employees are highly engaged. Employee engagement is not a new topic and many have worked hard to achieve the elusive goal of engaging employees. So what can we do differently to create an environment that stimulates engagement?
Getting some help from a good internal communications strategy
The answer is not to schedule another out of office party or lunch, but to find meaningful ways to communicate with employees to build their trust. Internal communication programs can:
- Create a connection between employees and senior management
- Show employees how their job contributes to the success of the company
- Reinforce the core values of the company
- Reduce rumor mills through frequent transparent communication
Naturally, good communication is not an accident. It requires careful planning. Map the types of communications to specific outcomes.
Scheduling regular communications from senior leaders
For example, if you want to create a connection between senior management and employees, schedule regular communications from senior management. Take care to select issues that are of interest to employees and contribute to their feeling of job security. This will ensure that you engage the employees and provide them with meaningful communication that will raise levels of trust.
Integrating communication into your employees' work environment
Once you have your communications mapping complete, you will also want to find ways to integrate communication into the work environment that are supportive rather than disruptive. Although at the same time, you will want to be certain that you capture your employees’ attention so your message has impact.
Meetings and instructor-led training naturally require a significant adjustment to schedules. Some asynchronous communication leads to fewer disruptions, but there is often a lack of engagement in most text-based or online messages. Technology can provide some useful tools to help you strike a balance.
Embracing technologies to accelerate communication
While technologies are not a cure all, they can accelerate the effectiveness of your communications programs. They can provide asynchronous environments for message delivery as well as opportunities for interaction.
Electronic newsletters have long been the staple for communication. While these are a good start, they are rather staid at this point. There is no opportunity for interaction or a feeling of personal connection.
Wikis have become a popular alternative. Messages can be posted and viewed at convenient times and employees can post comments and interact with each other. Employees can customize avatars for personal touch. All of this provides for a more interactive environment than just a standard newsletter.
Interactive video email also enables internal communication to be consumed at the time that is best for the employee. It is easy to include a video that personalizes the message through captured face-to-face communication. Video messages from senior staff can be easily accessible and provide a strong personal connection when in-person communication with all employees is not practical.
All of this is included in one package, which improves the internal communication by making it easily accessible.
Building trust with authentic, meaningful communication
Regardless of your technology choice or communications goal, make your communications meaningful and authentic. People will go to the wire for people that they can trust. Open and honest internal communication will help you create an environment where employees are engaged and profits are soaring.