Invest in internal communications
Lots of emphasis is placed on communicating externally with customers, clients, partners, suppliers and stakeholders, writes Kate O'Sullivan.
However, regardless of size, scale or industry, organisations need to also invest in internal communications. This doesn’t mean getting the team together once in while and talking at them. It does mean designing and implementing thoughtful and tailored creative internal communications campaigns that reinforce the organisation’s values and encourage collaboration.
Effectively designed internal communications can give clarity and context about important changes and priorities, shape behaviour and set expectations, reduce time wasted discussing rumours and generate ideas to solve business challenges.
Here are some tips to help make your internal communications successful:
- Create an annual communications plan to support business objectives so internal communications focuses on what matters.
- Overlay both your internal and external communications plans so that announcements are timed effectively.
- To help tailor communications, know your audience by regularly conducting stakeholder analysis, pulse surveys, focus groups and channel audits.
- Keep core messages clear, honest and delivered in a timely way.
- Preferably issue announcements internally before spreading the message more widely.
- Let the content drive the communications channel selection, rather than the other way around.
- Recognise that people respond in different ways and even though the communication is delivered effectively - the message still might not be liked.
- If you ask for ideas and involvement, be prepared to listen. Allow time for discussion and give regular updates on what is happening as a result of the input.
Just because information has been published don’t assume that it has been read or understood. Monitor, measure, evaluate and don’t forget to share the results.
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