Even though internal communication has a direct impact on employee experience and employee engagement, most businesses don’t have a long-term strategy for it. This article will include a step-by-step guide to create a great internal communication strategy.
There are few steps to take when creating an effective internal communication strategy:
Assess your current internal communications strategy;
Define your goals and timeline;
Identify the target audience;
Identify the right internal communication tools;
Create your new communication strategy;
Evaluate your progress and optimize.
These steps will ensure that strategy is airtight and has the maximum benefits for all the workforce. These steps help to eliminate the biggest challenges internal communication professionals are facing today.
1. Assess your current internal communications strategy
“Do your employees avoid reading emails and communications as they are long and wordy or not relevant? Do they avoid using the intranet as it seems too difficult to use?”
Make sure to find answers to those and similar questions about your current strategy before revamping your new employee communication strategy. Ask yourself questions as:
How is your current strategy being implemented?
Do the tools which you use are intuitive and friendly for your employees?
How effective is the current strategy?
What impact does it have on company culture and employee engagement?
What are the main complaints you have been receiving about the current strategy?
Answering or at least planning to resolve these prompts is important to reevaluating your strategy. Your answers will illuminate your big picture vision before diving into tactical details.
2. Define your goals and timeline
You should remember that your new internal communication strategy will not transform employee experiences overnight, so it is important to keep your goals realistic. Before developing specific tactics you need to define what it is you want to achieve with your internal communication. What are your business goals? Do you want to improve employee retention rates, increase productivity, build a better company culture or increase employee engagement?
When creating your goals, try to ensure they follow SMART logic — in other words, are your goals:
Specific – your goals need to be concrete, not vague.
Measurable – your goals must be quantifiable.
Attainable – ensure that your goals are realistic with your current resources.
Relevant – goals must be directly linked to your company’s aspirations.
Time-bound – your goals must have deadlines to keep yourself on track.
Once you have a good understanding of what you are aiming for, you can begin to develop specific tactics that will help get you there.
3. Identify the target audience
It’s particularly important when producing an internal communication action plan to understand who is the reader of the message.
The final plan should be available to everyone in the company, from the key stakeholders to the management to the administration and frontline workers. And each of these groups should be considered when developing the plan.
It’s also vital to explain to the whole workforce that everyone’s opinion counts. This boosts employee motivation and demonstrates good leadership.
Reviewing the survey results will show what employees expect from the company they work for. The results will also show interaction patterns, for example, you may find that store workers don't engage as often as head office workers. Or perhaps more people watch videos than read articles. Nevertheless, including everyone, at all levels, gives the opportunity to revise the communication methods and improve employee engagement. Only by analyzing these results in depth will a company understand the communication channels that work and those that can be improved.
4. Identify the right internal communications tools
If your business would benefit from better communication tools now is the time to invest. These needn’t be expensive and can be tailored to suit your needs. Do you already have an intranet? Would your business benefit from the streamlined internal communication methods an intranet offers? In a nutshell, the platform you’re going to implement should allow you to:
Encourage your employees to keep up with the company news;
Make internal communication fun for your employees;
Measure the results.
FellowUp is a great internal communication platform that creates personalized experience and keeps every worker informed, connected and engaged. Whether you are sharing the latest news about company life, or looking to plan specific events without starting an endless email chain, FellowUp may be your go-to.
The solution you use may hold the key to creating more equitable experiences for remote and in-office employees. If you want to help maintain employee satisfaction, you will need to make the investment.
5. Create your new communication strategy
This is where the rubber hits the road – once you have defined your goals, it’s time to put together a plan on how to achieve them. Your new internal communication strategy should include:
Very clear goals
An internal communication platforms and solutions
The right content types
An effective content distribution
6. Evaluate your progress and optimize
The only way to know if your internal communication strategy is working is to track progress and measure results. This allows you to course-correct as needed and make necessary adjustments along the way.
It’s essential to have open lines of communication within your organization. Hence, everyone knows what’s going on and feels like they are part of the process. If you’re unsure where to start, consider conducting a pulse survey or holding focus groups.
Sending out routine pulse surveys can help you track how employees are feeling about your communication content. Be sure to leave a few questions for open feedback, so they have an opportunity to candidly share their thoughts.
As you continually reevaluate your internal communications strategy, let people know you are listening. Share what you have learned and how you are planning on adjusting your strategy to promote transparency and trust.
An internal communication strategy is an indispensable part of your communication ecosystem. Use these steps to ensure that your internal communication is backed by a solid planning process. Once you do, you can rest assured that your employees will make the most of it and stay informed, engaged and productive.