The intention to have a flawless external communication strategy in order to attract and retain new audiences may take your whole attention, thus neglecting your approach to internal communication. But, to have consistency and harmony between your messages sent towards your followers, you have to make sure that all of your employees are on the same page.
Your internal communication strategy can have a great impact on employee engagement and morale, which finally leads to motivation, productivity, loyalty, and retention. When the people you are working with are informed and when they are able to ask questions if they need help, they feel supported and the whole company experiences good outcomes.
Email – as comfortable as an old shoe
Notwithstanding, the increased regulation around Data Protection and the implementation of the GDPR in May 2018, email remains the preferred business communication tool. Finding itself in a real battle with the social media networks and other internal communication apps, email is still the go-to tool when employees are sending more formal messages to their colleagues.
An analysis of 5 million emails shows that the average user receives 147 emails every day and deletes 48% of them. However, worldwide, the number of email users was nearly 2.6 billion in 2015 and by the end of 2019, there is expected a rise in the number of email users to over 2.9 billion. Why is that?
When communicating with clients or even internally, the email remains a quite formal communication tool, easily accessible, which reaches huge audiences at the click of a button. Moreover, the information sent by email is stored and documented, so when you need to go back to a message or file you can find it quickly in your inbox.
As the working remotely trend keeps growing, using email is the best option, as you have a permanent record of all communications sent out and you can even check if your receivers have read your message.
When it comes to email, there are several options for external providers. For example, Mailchimp serves millions of customers around the world, is 100% founder-owned, and is highly profitable. FastMail is another alternative for the classic email, helping you easily manage your emails and contacts with folders and labels. Its simple interface is more attractive and its option that allows you to pin important emails to the top makes it more efficient and organized.
Intranet – a trouble shared is a trouble halved
The intranet has the ability to reach your entire workforce, using it to share company information, centralize access to resources and training materials, publish news, blogs, forms, and messages, and it also provides a solid framework for all your communication needs.
Unlike email, intranet is not necessarily an instant communication tool. Anything that goes on the intranet is there to stay – to refer back to, to train new employees, or just to read it again when needed. Basically, it’s a platform that organizes and contains all the information required in order for the organization to carry out its daily activities.
The intranet is an effective channel, used by 93% of organizations as their main communication channel. The reason behind its popularity is that this network allows the users to reach out for help, ask questions or answer to others’ questions, as well as to access any kind of documents or information available on it. Thus, the employees are saving precious time by having all they need centralized and by having the possibility of reaching out for help every time they need it through this platform.
Despite all the advantages encountered by this communication tool, less than half of all employees that are using intranet log in daily. In contrast, we pick up our smartphones more than 85 times per day. Can you see the connection? A mobile intranet has emerged as an internal communication channel for organizations so there are high chances for the statistics to change soon.
When it comes to the intranet, you can either host it internally or through a hosting provider. An externally hosted intranet is easier, less complicated, and less expensive to build – especially for a smaller company without a dedicated IT staff.
Whether you choose to build your own intranet or to use an external one, intranets can improve morale and communication, increase efficiency, build a greater sense of corporate culture and community, and provide effective means for distribution of company information.
Business apps are the newest to the game
Together with the rise of remote jobs and with the development of the relationships between the employees, internal communication becomes more complex, implying the use of more channels.
Hence, when the employees are willing to communicate beyond email and phone calls, the new trend is using mobile apps. Enterprise communication apps that are dedicated to employee communication are on the rise.
Communicating via apps, social interaction is encouraged. The users are able to provide feedback via comments and they can express their appreciation through likes and by sharing content. Also, when communication is so easy and similar to the way friends are interacting with each other, the relationships between work colleagues are changing – becoming more relaxed and using a friendly tone of voice.
What’s more? Using mobile apps is a crucial step towards the digital transformation happening in most contemporary workplaces. Also, these new communication elements serve to establish a dialog between management and the operational level.
Yet, there is a real challenge for the employees when it comes to the usage of their personal devices. Today, keeping the work and the personal life in balance is a real struggle. Now, can you see the problem? Constantly receiving notification from your work colleagues on your smartphone is not exactly the right way to spend your free time.
Despite all the issues encountered when it comes to the internal communication tool based on apps seems to be very useful, not so time-consuming and organized – from random conversations to private messages with your boss.
Right after Skype for Business and Google Hangouts, Slack is the third most used business app, suited for teams of all sizes. This app organizes messages by using channels, direct channels, and direct messages. Available for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, Slack is a great option since you can easily share files and images with anyone you want.
Miscellaneous – put your heads together
Even though the direct internal communication tools tend to be in the spotlight, some indirect communication strategies can drive unexpected results within your business. One great example of this alternative communication options is the “open door policy”.
Having the doors open in your office empowers your employees to have opinions and to share them. Hence, you encourage two-way feedback and it helps employees realize that their thoughts matter.
Your organizational culture is a mix of the internal communication strategy and the way your employees act when working. The organizational culture is one of the greatest assets you have because it defines your business. So, in order to make sure your audience gets the right impression of your organization, you have to define the core behaviors that both represent and drive your culture.
A whiteboard is a magical tool for effective internal communication outcomes. Using it correctly, it can encourage collaboration, face-to-face communication, and transparency within your organization. If you want to make of a whiteboard a fun activity and to encourage all your employees to use it, you can add index cards, pins, colorful pencils, and drywall.
Thoughtful leaders might be rare, but they are very appreciated. A thoughtful leader means being aware of the impact of your behavior, actions, and leadership strategy on your employees. Understanding how your team is feeling and adapting the communication strategy in order to improve the morale and the motivation level is essential for great results – both internally and externally.
The digitalization of the organizations contributed not only to so many new communication tools but also to completely reshape the way we work. Colleagues are also friends, there are chats for work purposes and groups for fun, and different communication tools meet different needs.
There is no doubt that the internal communication strategy of an organization is the core for all its results – good or bad. The employees have to be on the same page in order to deliver high-quality and coherent outcomes which will eventually lead to the overall success of the company.