A key element of successful organizations is an effective internal communications program. Internal communication ensures that all members are up-to-date on key company information, increases morale and helps to motivate employees. When creating an internal communication program, consider the following tips:
1) Set measurable goals and objectives.
Your internal communications program should have clear and measurable goals. Be as specific as possible. For example, instead a generic goal such as “raise awareness of the company’s 401(k) matching program,” change the goal to “get 100 employees to enroll in the 401(k) program before July 1.”
2) Target the right people.
It may not be necessary to include all employees in all communications. Along with periodic organization-wide announcements, make sure that your internal communications program includes additional updates for individual departments and sub-groups as well. For example, a company-wide update can include basic details of the company’s new sales structure, whereas an update to the sales department can go over the new structure in more detail.
3) Identify your key messaging.
Although generating an internal audience can be less challenging than generating an external audience, the challenging part is identifying your key messaging and presenting your audience with information that they feel is relevant. For less formal “coffee talk” type presentations, encourage the audience to submit potential topics beforehand. Your internal communication sets the tone for your organization’s overall morale, so understand it’s not only what you say, but how you say it. Frame messages in a positive manner, but make sure to be open, honest and transparent as well.
4) Create an implementation plan.
To effectively communicate to your internal audience, you need a clear implementation plan. This plan should include a timeline, milestone, and roles and responsibilities. Although it is natural for billable projects to come first, make sure that your team understands the importance of deadlines even when planning these internal projects. Using a project management tool, such as Basecamp, can help align your team and ensure that all pieces of the program are on track.
5) Give people the opportunity to contribute.
Rather than just focusing on one-way communication, a successful internal communications program encourages the audience to share ideas, express concerns, and ask questions. Make sure that the speaker embraces participation, and creates a dialogue rather than just giving a monologue.
When using a digital environment, attendees can provide feedback without interrupting the speaker. The speaker can review all questions before choosing which ones to answer, and attendees can discuss the session amongst themselves in real-time. You can even add polls mid-presentation to increase interactivity and to provide immediate feedback.
Post contributed by Lauren Wolf