It’s 2018 and internal communications has never been so relevant for productivity and employee engagement. The rise of the remote workforce, multi-generational employees, social media, and the influence of A.I and machine led industries are factors that place panic on industries as they struggle to adapt to change.
73% of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged, compared to just 23% of those who don’t.” In addition, a recent global survey of 26,000 LinkedIn members, taken by the research firm Imperative, found that 73% of its participants want a career in which they feel that their job matters.
Your employees crave communication. They want to be listened to and informed about all aspects of your business. They need to feel important, to have purpose in jobs that take up more tie that they spend with family, friends, and alone.
35% of employees in some businesses have to wait three months before they receive feedback from their management. Where is the job satisfaction in that?
69% of managers feel uncomfortable communicating with employees in general! Another shocking statistic considering the fact that we live in a world in which communication is so easy and straightforward due to advanced technology and internet access.
So, let’s consider what the most important factors in internal communications are in today’s workplace.
Communication Needs To Be Faster Than The Pace Of Change
Technology is evolving at a faster pace every year, with deep implications that impact every aspect of our lives. Managing this change is important as corporations plan out their internal communications methods and strategies. Internal communications needs to set the standard by which you want your employees to communicate with each other, management, customers, and stakeholders.
Communication defines workplace culture, which is ultimately reflected in your brand. And it plays a key role in the nurturing and retention of top talent. Weekly newsletters and emails are no longer effective ways for getting your message across. It is ever more essential that your internal channels be immediate, targeted, measurable—and mobile. Most importantly, they must be faster than the speed of change. While you might not always make people 100% comfortable with change, you will be able to minimize their discomfort.
The first step in figuring out how to manage change is to understand why people are resisting it. Tools that facilitate the gathering of feedback from resistors will improve the process that ultimately leads to acceptance.
Multi-generational Workforces Need To Be On The Same Page With Communications
For the first time in history, we now live in a time in which a business workforce could have employees aged between 18 and 80 working together.
This generational diversity brings both benefits and challenges to employers. Multi-generational staff will have different work ethics, training expectations, attitudes to technology, and preferences in communications.
In today’s workplace, aside from internal and external problems that every business will face, a great challenge will be managing multi-generational teams and helping them to complement one another as opposed to hindering one another’s professional progress.
When considering internal communications, management and HR must utilize multi-generational staff and help different generations to compliment one another’s progress and help each other adapt to a preferred method of internal communications.
Say Goodbye To Trickle Down Communications
Most companies cascade information top-down through their hierarchies. The resulting trickle of information often leads to delays, limited feedback, and a dependence upon the efforts of individuals along the chain of communication.
Plenty of information is going out—the problem is that most of it isn’t reaching the people who need it most—i.e., the ones actually doing the work. Putting responsibility for internal communication into the hands of employees at every level of your organization can make this chain much more effective. Providing middle management in particular with robust and mobile communication tools will enable them to be better leaders.
Dispersed, two-way internal communication presents a valuable opportunity for companies to better understand their workforce, ultimately leading to better-informed managers and more effective management decisions.
Give Your Employees A Purpose
Helping employees find purpose can be as simple as broadcasting their accomplishments. For example, it’s highly effective and encouraging to regularly post and share information about what a team or company has achieved. A sense of attaining goals together increases feelings of teamwork and progress.
A well-functioning internal communications system can motivate employees to work toward a common goal. By illuminating the reasons behind what they’re being asked to do, companies can inspire workforces to go the extra mile.
Well Structured Internal Communications Dispel Rumor and Gossip
Informal communication has its advantages and disadvantages. Grapevine word-of-mouth can sometimes help employees to interpret managerial information; it often reaches workers who might have otherwise missed the original transmission; and it’s more flexible than formal communication. The grapevine also helps to improve relationships between employees and it spreads knowledge and tips that can make work more effective.
On the other hand, informal communication can distort the meaning of information; it feeds rumors and misunderstandings; and it’s difficult to control.
Good internal communication can help to increase the advantages of informal communication. It will slow down the rumor mill by communicating quickly and frequently, and it will help employees to clearly interpret information and instructions.
Employees are seeking better work life balance, they are expecting flexible hours, and the ability to work from multiple locations.
This means that companies must provide their staff with a robust mobile internal communications system that utilize the best software for all staff to communicate across all devices and from any location.
Effective internal communication is a powerful force that helps enrich employees’ lives and leads to a 40% increase in customer satisfaction, a 30% increase in profitability, and a 36% increase in the overall performance of the company. Providing the whole of your organization with effective tools for communicating with one another is a key business function that will inspire and align everyone.