Internal Communication Best Practices

Internal Communication Best Practices

Internal Communication Best Practices 1050 700 VP Legacies
Communication is a key ingredient for any business to foster sustainable and scalable growth. Whether with customers, partners or employees, lacking a solid communication strategy makes it difficult to execute even the simplest tasks on a daily basis. It is especially important to build efficient, high-quality communication with internal stakeholders and employees. In order to do this, take an empathetic approach and build personal connections.

When businesses ignore internal communication best practices as they grow, they create a block to business efficiency and lower employee satisfaction and retention.

Technology is changing by the minute, which means it’s more important than ever for companies to be in touch with business trends, changing expectations and strategic developments. Across the board, employees expect faster and more personal communication – and rightfully so. If your employees are connected through effective internal communication strategies, productivity and morale will increase by an order of magnitude.

At VP Legacies, we believe that the foundation of internal communication is your people. Therefore, our goal is to help you invest in your people by identifying all of the stakeholders impacted by internal communications and roll out a simple, value, and vision-driven online micro-learning program to unite their knowledge and power.

But first, with our experience in meaningful communication and strong personal connections, we’ll walk you through some internal communication best practices you can start implementing today.

Have A Strategy

The absolute first step that a company must take before thinking of internal communication ideas is to develop an overarching strategy. Examine which internal communication workflows and norms are in place right now at your organization, then evaluate their effectiveness or lack thereof.

The mark of an effective strategy for internal communication is a consistent corporate voice and personal attention. If your employees understand your business’s workflow philosophy and you make sure your company’s most valuable asset is heard, communication becomes easier and sometimes even enjoyable.

Do a gap analysis and figure out the current communication logjams you’re running into.

Without a thorough foundation of the strengths and weaknesses of your current internal communication processes, an organization can’t develop the necessary adjustments to scale impact.

“Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication.” – Dinesh Paliwal

Use The Right Communication Tools

Thanks to technology and the age of social media there are many tools available that are so well established they’re essentially internal communication best practices. The last thing you want is your team performing poorly because of an old-fashioned communication method or process.

Adopt tools like Slack, which are not only easy to use but are designed to streamline the communication process between departments and the entire organization as a whole. Tools give the opportunity for fast personal connections that might otherwise be difficult to initiate and allow horizontal and vertical communication to occur at a rapid pace.

Don’t get caught up in the flurry of tools, however – it’s best to keep them at a minimum and focus on the most essential pieces so employees don’t feel burdened by a steep learning curve. An excess of tools can leave a poor impression on employees, who might think your business is impersonal.

Keep it simple, effective, and productive.

No Communication Overload

Too much communication can also be a bad thing for your organization. Employees can’t keep track of regular updates or policy changes that are sent to them every other day – reduce the frequency of internal newsletters while maintaining the effectiveness of the message conveyed. This will not only bring more attention but also increase the level of importance of the message for your employees.

Amazon famously requires every meeting to be preceded with a 3-6 page press release-style document on the meeting. If you can’t summarize information into a few pages, it’s not worth disseminating yet.

With less communication, you can really take the time to craft thoughtful messages that convey what’s necessary but also remind employees that you care. A thorough, friendly email rather than an onslaught of dense information encourages employees to stay up to date and makes them feel welcome.

Especially when it comes to integrating a new internal communications program or making a large internal shift with software or changing culture, the best way to communicate this change at scale is to rapidly-produce a custom eLearning or micro-learning program and roll it out to all of your affected stakeholders.

Be Fun And Visual

Gone are the days when “work” is strictly “work” – the definition of work culture has evolved over the past few years, and so should the internal communication best practices. Don’t hesitate to use an informal or casual tone within your organization comms.

Make your communication visual and easy to read rather than full of jargon that people don’t care about. Foster a feeling of oneness within your organization by allowing employees to communicate and even have some fun while they get some work done.

Encourage the Use of Social Media

The need for brands to communicate with their employees effectively has always been a point of discussion. However, the way that brands approach this issue has dramatically evolved over the years. Brands are always looking for new ways to effectively communicate brand news, policies, and information to their employees.

We now see a need to communicate not just with the employee but with the target audience through the employees. The most common way to achieve this is to encourage your employees to be active on social media, sharing branded content, industry-relevant articles, and write their own content. Otherwise referred to as ’employee advocacy’. 

Employee advocates are extremely common in today’s workplace by merely implementing the informal version by encouraging employees to share brand values and messages through social media in an organic way. However, for employee advocacy to be genuinely successful, employees’ social media activity must remain authentic.

Cross-Department Communication Is Crucial

It’s a challenging task to monitor and bring together a large team within various departments, by encouraging cross-department communication practices, such as team building activities or interactive Q&A workshops, where people learn more about everyone else’s jobs and how the company functions as a whole will reduce the chances of potential isolation among departments. Employees might even pick up some friends along the way.

Monthly sprint demos for different departments to share work and current development are great ways to maintain context without contributing to information overflow. Discussion-based collaboration helps ease the feeling of pressure and creates a sense of personal connection and shared goals.

Related: What Is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

Create A Feedback And Recognition Process

One of the major complaints employees have is that no one listens to their problems or appreciates their contributions. If you develop a systematic feedback process where employees have the freedom to express themselves and raise any concerns, they’ll feel like they’re being heard in the organization – a major boost in your internal communication strategy.

Similarly, recognizing the employee’s growth and contribution within the organization audibly gives them a morale boost and makes them feel noticed and valued within the organization.

Include Metrics

The goal of being able to see how the company is performing can be a phenomenal experience for your team member’s work ethic. Metrics reveal the company’s current and past performance, trends, goals, and progress. Digital signage is an excellent way to display metrics throughout the office. It inspires your team to work harder and improve tremendously by showing them metrics for the company, departments, or even individuals.

The more open and clear the internal communication strategy is, the more valued an employee feels. If you’re sharing the growth of the company with the employees and keeping them updated with all the major updates that you deem necessary, not only will it motivate them to work harder, but it will also create a sense of mutual trust and importance within the organization.

Set And Monitor Realistic Goals

You need to know whether your internal communication practices are having a positive or negative impact on your organization. Set benchmarks and determining factors (i.e real business metrics) upon which the internal communication best practices will be judged upon and track them regularly.

Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture

Exceptional leaders never lose sight of the bigger picture. A universal paradox of leadership is balancing the competing strains that pull apart our available resources, such as time, money, and people. It motivates us to prioritize immediate execution, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of losing sight of the overarching goal.  

As a leader, by remembering Bad times don’t last and that markets and economies go through cycles, in varying degrees. You must be ready and able to jump back into the game. Keeping in mind that people in markets have short memories When bad times come, “ask yourself what you’ll do when it’s over?” 

Staying relevant is critical, with on-demand business models, disruptive technologies, and fickle customer loyalties, it’s more difficult staying relevant. Your organization was set up to serve a purpose. Building capabilities around this purpose is an excellent way to achieve success.

Inspire Action

Being a great leader Isn’t just about selling an idea, although that’s an excellent foundation for building strong leadership skills. There are three qualities that I believe transforms a good leader into a great leader that inspires action. 

1. The Ability To Create Loyalty

Leadership expert Simon Sinek stated on his TEDTalk that a leader’s goal should be to create relationships with people who have the same ideas and goals. But equally as important is maintaining and growing those relationships to develop trust. As the best companies, teams, and organizations have a low turnover rate because their leaders can instill loyalty.

2. Recognizing and Utilizing Talent

As a leader, Being aware of the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team members allows you to understand how best to guide each individual to the highest level of performance. This type of leader recognizes that the same approach that inspires action from some people may not motivate others, thus tailoring their approach. 

3. Communicating Effectively

Without effective communication, leaders will find it challenging to inspire action in others. By taking the inside-out approach, and effectively communicating the underlying reasons why that drives their organization, inspiring their people to take action and reach higher goals.

Communication is one of the most difficult practices to optimize at scale, which is why an organization needs to constantly be vigilant about its challenges and processes. Implementing solid internal communication best practices are not only beneficial in the long run for employees, but they’re also  a godsend for the organization.

Being clear about the goals of your organization and maintaining a culture of internal communication best practices can have a positive ripple effect within all departments of your organization. It takes practice, trial and error and the will to follow through with the internal communication ideas for an organization to see it come to fruition after a while – which is why many companies shy away from it without realizing the benefits it brings.

Holding pace in this fast-moving corporate world requires that an organization and its employees are on the same page and there is ample motivation, connection, and trust within the organization. This is where a strong internal communication strategy continues to play a crucial role, and will continue to do so for the foreseen future.

VP Legacies is prepared to give you a helping hand for a strong internal communication strategy. Once we set the foundation of the plan in our discovery phase, we execute and deliver a high quality and powerful scaleable internal communications solution. We specialize in using what we call the LISO Method of custom eLearning and micro-learning production to get your message out across all departments of your company quickly, efficiently, and effectively. To learn more schedule a free discovery meeting with one of our team members.

Related: The Ultimate Guide for Building a Corporate Communication Strategy