By now you’ve most likely realised the importance of a solid internal communications strategy. After all, if your employees know what’s going on, they’re much less likely to feel blindsided by any new initiatives or organisational changes.
Thing is, when it comes to communicating those things, far too many companies default to using email. Unfortunately, many employees already feel overwhelmed by the state of their inboxes. As a result, your employees might only give the email a cursory glance or even delete it as soon as it arrives.
It’s imperative, therefore, that you have multiple communication channels available to you and that each has its own purpose.
Moreover, most employees would prefer not to have every piece of communication come to them via a single channel. For a parallel, think about the way you communicate in your personal life. Do you only use email to talk to your family? Of course not.
Knowing that, how should you use each of the internal communications channels available to you?
Despite what we pointed out above, email does have an important role to play in internal communications.
While it’s tempting to use them to convey as much information as possible, the best emails are actually short and to the point.
Remember, people already feel overwhelmed by their inboxes. The quicker they can get the information you’re trying to convey, the more likely they are to absorb it.
Posters and electronic screens
Another one of the pitfalls of using email for internal communication is that it disadvantages people who aren’t desk-bound.
If you have a lot of staff walking from location to location, posters and electronic messaging screens can be a great way to convey basic pieces of information.
One organisation who does a particularly good job on this front is Atlantis, The Palms. It not only uses this media to convey organisational information, but also to display creative campaigns and murals related to employee rewards and recognition, loyalty and long service awards, colleague engagement, as well as learning and development and organisational values.
In the early days of social media, many organisations viewed it with suspicion. They saw their employees spending time on it and assumed it was nothing but a productivity suck.
Over time, however, it became clear that social media could be incredibly effective as a participative and collaborative communication tool.
Far more than more traditional forms of media, it allows organisations to get fast feedback from their employees.
A company intranet is a great place to post comprehensive information around the organisation. It’s the place where you put the various company policies, literature around how the organisation is structured, and any other resources which might need to be consulted on a regular basis.
It’s important to remember, however, that it’s unlikely to be something that employees check regularly. You should, therefore, restrict its use to information that doesn’t change often.
When you do update your company intranet, you should also be sure to direct people to those changes so they can familiarise themselves with them.
Brochures and pamphlets
If you want people to really pay attention to a piece of communication, you may be better off putting out something print-based than anything electronic.
In fact, various studies have found that people absorb information from physical paper far more readily than they do from electronic screens.
Mobile communication, in the form of texts or instant messages, is great if you need to convey short pieces of information, especially to any employees who may not be desk-bound.
While electronic media means you can reach your entire organisation instantly, there are some announcements which warrant gathering as much of the organisation as possible together in one place.
Not only do they ensure that everyone is at least present for the message, they’re also a way for the company leadership to show that it understands the gravity of what’s being announced.
It’s important to remember that at various points in history, each of these communication channels was new and people were grappling with how to use them.
It’s therefore imperative that you take note of what works for your organisation and adapt your internal communications strategy accordingly.
If you need assistance with figuring out how to put together your internal communications strategy, Engage Me can help you out. Contact us here.