Only 13% of employees think the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization, and 60% of businesses don’t have a long-term internal communications strategy.
While long-term planning is important to creating a sustainable internal comms strategy that can help your business thrive, you can start with small actions today. We’ve put together a list of 6 things that you can do right now to improve your internal comms.
1. Set up a schedule and stick to it
We recommend that our clients think of internal communications the same way they plan external marketing. Regular communication is vital for better engagement. In fact, companies that don’t communicate effectively are 50% more likely to report above-average turnover levels, and 85% of employees are most motivated when they receive regular updates on company news.
Set a schedule for your planned communications and don’t let anything veer you off track. You can start with a few simple and manageable communication touchpoints. For example, plan a monthly newsletter to share company-wide news or celebrate achievements. Host town halls every month or quarter. Don’t ignore the importance of managers as an internal comms channel. Keep them informed of important company news, and ensure they have a plan for regular one-on-one check-ins with their team members.
If you find creating content for your newsletter and townhalls to be a daunting task, ask your marketing team for help.
2. Simplify your communication
The average attention span of an individual is 8 seconds so there is little time to pique interest and deliver the intended message.
Your communication should be simple, brief, and straight to the point. Use simple language. Don’t use industry jargon or acronyms. A simple test is to read a communication out loud to someone else and ask them if it all made sense to them. Grammarly is a great tool for writing clearly and maintaining the same tone throughout your communication.
We also suggest you divide your written communication into sections and use subheadings to make it skimmable.
3. Establish two-way communication channels
Most companies have established one-way internal communications channels. When employees don’t feel heard, there is a negative impact on morale and engagement.
To establish two-way dialogue across the organization, consider setting time for Q&As at the end of town halls, sending interactive newsletters with buttons to rate the email content, or creating pulse surveys to gather input on a specific project or announcement. You can also set up a virtual suggestion box using Google Forms, Teams, or Power Automate.
4. Reward and recognize employees through internal communications
36% of employees say lack of recognition is the top reason they leave their job. Employees need to feel recognized and motivated to perform better and it’s important that they view the company as supportive.
Use internal communications to recognize the efforts of your employees by allocating a section of your monthly newsletter or town halls to highlight the achievements of individuals or teams. This could include the completion of a project or a moment when they expressed the company values. You can also ask employees to nominate others that they feel deserve the recognition to ensure it’s a fair process.
5. Give your managers a heads up on announcements
Managers are underutilized as a communication channel, yet they may very well be the main and first source of information in many organizations. They are the go-to people when employees have questions or concerns about anything.
Inform managers of the updates to be shared in your internal communications and help them get ready for any questions they might have to answer.
6. Align your Internal & External Marketing
Employees get confused when internal marketing is different from external marketing. This makes their perception of the company and its mission blurry.
Ensure that the messages you are sending to both your customers and employees align. This happens when you send the same message consistently and through different channels. For example, if you are launching a new product to the market, include information about this announcement in your onboarding, when in town halls, and in internal newsletters.