“The two words information and communication are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. information is giving out; communication is getting through.” – some wise words there from Sydney J. Harris! Think about your business. How often does important information really get through and resonate with employees, at all levels? If the answer is not often enough, it might be time to take a look at your internal communications strategy.
The way businesses work is changing. Employees are commonly spread over several offices, across different cities and even countries. This is, one of the reasons, why Internal communications are becoming increasingly important. When used efficiently, internal communications deliver consistent messaging and ensure that business processes remain standardised across the whole organisation.
Why are Internal Communications Important?
So how does it actually affect your organisation when your internal communications are working well.
Effective internal communications:
- Boost employee engagement – according to research in Bill Quirke’s book, “Making the Connections: Using Internal Communications to Turn Strategy into Action”, 91% of employees work towards specific goals when they know where they fit in within their organisation. This is in comparison to only 23% working in the same way if they don’t understand their overall role.
- Connecting employees – internal communications are the most efficient way for employees to collaborate effectively on a common goal.
- Boosts Intranet participation – employees who have been kept well informed and included throughout the intranet deployment process will be more likely to use the platform in their day-to-day.
- Adds a level of creativity to the workplace – engaged and committed employees work together to create, communicate and execute great ideas.
- Recognises employees for their hard work – internal communications aren’t just crucial to a business’s function but also to improving its company culture and employee morale.
With the number of internal communications channels increasing, it isn’t always a simple task to get internal messages around in an efficient, clear way but the effort put into making it work will be worth the return. Finding the right combination of tools to use depends very heavily on the organisation, and understanding the appropriateness is born out of user research. However, it’s important to have a baseline understanding of what tool is right and when so that you can map the right tools to the ways of working you are trying to encourage or facilitate.
A professional services firm, Towers Watson, conducted a study which revealed that the companies with the most effective internal communications have a 47% higher total return to shareholders when compared to those with the least effective internal communications.
What happens when internal communications fail?
You now know the reasons why internal communications should be seen as important, but what business problems can arise from poor internal communications?
- Lack of collaboration – collaboration may seem like the latest buzzword, but it’s important for a reason. Without collaboration employees become less engaged, which can lead to decreased productivity and higher staff turnover
- Low morale – When there is miscommunication or poor communication, employees can make mistakes which will lead to increased frustration levels
- Inhibited innovation – collaboration can lead to increased innovation and better ideas, which can be easily executed, this can’t be done without good internal communications
- High staff turnover – All of the above can lead to increased staff turnover, losing employees can cost your organisation a lot of money! Particularly if those employees haven’t been with the company long.
- Reduced efficiency – time is often wasted by employees having to scour through irrelevant information to find the answers they need. This takes away from valuable time doing their intended job role.
- Lower engagement = lower productivity – Numerous surveys, like this one from Engage for Success shows that only a third of employees are engaged! McKinsey Global Institute discovered in a 2012 report that when employees are engaged, productivity increases by 20%-25%.
What can make engaging employees easier? Having the right tools and resources goes a long way. The extent that technology is now used in business means a streamlined approach to internal communications is more important than ever. This is where having a modern, tailored intranet solution comes in.
How an intranet enables better communication
A well-tailored intranet solution has the power to provide an efficient, modernised way of sharing company news and information. This can all be done while keeping within your company’s unique tone and culture. A well-constructed, modern intranet can ensure that an organisation’s most important messages aren’t lost among large volumes of data and information.
What features does an effective, modern intranet have?
- Mobile functionality – access anywhere, on all devices
- News and video – up-to-date communications, keeping employees in the loop
- Targeted communications – ensure that what employees see is relevant, whether it be to their job role or location, you’re in control.
- Adoption and engagement data – see how many employees have really bought into your intranet
- An integrated digital workplace: a one-stop portal – making it easy for employees to collaborate, find information, everything they need in one easy-to-navigate place
Internal communications are at the forefront of innovation and technology – be ahead of the game, don’t wait and race to catch up.
With an increasing volume of communication channels in the workplace: email, IM and team collaboration platforms, it’s not always easy to get an internal message across in a way that’s efficient, coherent and has a positive effect. If you need to find the starting point to improving your internal communications download the complete guide to Delivering Effective Internal Communications.[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”How to Deliver Effective Communications in your Organisation” style=”3d”]The challenge for businesses in the modern age is keeping a consistent tempo to work; a reliability to workplace environments; leadership in operations and universal touchpoints that reach across the entire organisation. This whitepaper takes a closer look at the importance of internal communications in a changing business landscape and the role a company’s intranet plays in improving business fluidity and function.