Importance of Internal Communications
Internal communications is a significant department of every organization. Companies use internal communications to keep their employees informed and engaged about everything that is going on in their organizations.
In this blog, you will get some answers concerning why internal communications are important, who is responsible for internal communications.
What are Internal Communications (IC)
According to Wikipedia, Internal communications (IC) is the function responsible for effective communication among participants within an organization.
The scope of the work within IC departments varies by organization and practitioner. They can be responsible for producing and delivering messages and campaigns on behalf of executives and managers, facilitating two-way dialogue and developing the communication skills of the employees.
14 Reasons Why Internal Communications are Important
Most larger organizations have internal communications departments. Having thousands of employees can make communication among employees hard and inefficient. Therefore, internal comms professionals are there to facilitate collaboration and deliver a better employee experience.
Here are a few main reasons why should you have an internal communications department.
1. Employee engagement
According to research about employee engagement, 90% of leaders understand the importance of employee engagement. However, only 50% of them know how to fix this issue.
Internal communications play a crucial role for improving employee engagement. It has been proven that companies with better internal communications have much higher rates of employee engagement.
This is how you can improve employee communications to drive better employee engagement include:
• Set clear employee expectations.
• Keep your employees informed.
• Make it easy for employees to find important information.
• Encourage open communication to identify obstacles and issues.
• Focus on employee feedback and recognition.
• Encourage discussion and sharing of thoughts.
2. Employee satisfaction
Employee engagement is related to employee satisfaction. In general, less engaged employees are less satisfied. Poor internal communications can be one of the main causes for that.
Moreover, 65% of US employees say that the way employer communicates with them impacts job their satisfaction. 45% of them say that their employer does not do a good job communicating with employees.
3. Employee productivity
Good employee satisfaction and engagement boost employee productivity. Companies with well structured internal communications enjoy higher productivity, revenues and profits. Moreover, organizations with highly engaged employees have an average 3-year revenue growth that is 2.3 times greater than companies with less engaged teams.
If your employees know exactly what their goals are, if they are up-to-date with what is happening in the company and if you give them constant feedback on their work, they will work harder towards achieving their goals.
4. Change management
One of the main duties of every internal communications professional is to communicate changes within the company. 94% companies with effective change management meet or exceed their project objectives.
In the world of agile work culture, employers need to have a strategy for a fast and efficient change management.
Most changes regarding your company’s service, product, customers or employees are important to be communicated with other people.
Here are a few tips on how to communicate for effective change management.
• Communicate consistently and frequently
• Communicate through multiple channels such as speaking, writing, video, training, focus groups, bulletin boards and internal communications tools.
• Communicate on time and allow employees to get ready for the change.
• Deliver all the important information about the change.
• Explain how the change will affect the organization or individual jobs.
• Make sure to present the pros and cons of the change.
• Involve people and ask them about their opinions.
• Encourage two-way communications.
• Organize one-on-one or group meeting for the ones that will be greatly affected by the change.
• Listen and provide timely answers to employees’ questions and concerns.
• Organize and hold interactive forums or workshops.
• Make communication among employees easy.
• Track the change management progress.
• Reward employees who have successfully implemented assigned changes.
Internal communications are extremely important when it comes to teamwork encouragement and facilitations.
Most jobs today require working in groups. For that to be possible, employees and team leaders need to be able to easily communicate with each other.
Therefore, companies who have invested in internal comms have much higher chances to optimize teamwork within their organizations.
6. Employee advocacy
When you have informed employees who show high levels of motivation, you have a good chance of turning them into brand ambassadors.
Employee advocacy is something that every employer is trying to achieve and internal communications are crucial for that. Find your potential brand ambassadors, include them in an employee advocacy or social selling programs and reward them for doing so. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees.
7. Brand awareness
With employee advocacy comes higher brand awareness. Your employees can reach 10 times more people than all of your organization’s Social Media channels.
Ultimately, there’s no better advertisement for your brand than happy employees and happy customers.
8. Employee retention
Employee communications and relations have a big impact on employee retention. Employees who feel like they are not informed, feel left out or are uncertain about their goals often changes jobs.
On average, companies with poor communications and disengaged employees have a turnover rate of 34%.
Millennials and younger generations want ongoing conversations, constant communication and feedback. If you want to stop them from leaving, you will have to improve your internal comms strategy.
9. Employee empowerment
If you want to empower your employees, you need to communicate with them properly. Constant communication and feedback is necessary to improve employees’ decision making.
Giving employees autonomy and responsibility to make decisions on their own is important for employee motivation and retention.
As per a survey by TINYpuls, when employees feel that they are empowered to make decisions, they are 20% more likely to stay in their roles.
However, many employers are still not sure about how to empower their employees.
Trust plays a crucial role for successful employee empowerment. Managers who trust their employees and communicate with their employees regularly, often have no problems giving more power to their employees.
10. Company culture
Whether you’re trying to attract or retain talent, employees need to know their employers very well. They need to have a clear understanding of company’s mission, vision and objectives.
Internal communications can help you create a better company culture.
A well-functioning internal communications system and a healthy work environment it creates will give your organization an edge in today’s highly competitive market.
11. Innovation and creativity
Innovation is essential for gaining a competitive edge at your company. Your internal communication system plays a key part in creating a culture of innovation.
To encourage innovations and stay ahead of your competitors, it’s not enough to have a talented product team, big budgets or even an R&D department.
You need to create a culture of innovation in your company. The way to create that culture lies in internal communication.
12. Customer satisfaction
For example, inefficient change management caused by poor communication can have a devastating impact on customer satisfaction.
If there is a change going on in a company, it will, in one form or another, have an impact on your customers.
Therefore, continuous and clear communication on any changes being implemented can prevent a drop in customer satisfaction.
13. Employer Branding
We have already talked about how employee advocacy can help you build brand awareness. The applies to Employer Branding.
Informed and engaged employees happily contribute in their company’s Employer Branding and Social Media recruiting efforts. However, it is important to give clear instructions and facilitate information flow.
14. Knowledge sharing
Organizations with efficient internal communications are have more efficient knowledge sharing among employees.
Creating a knowledge sharing culture is important for your company’s success and growth.
Knowledge sharing success means building a culture from the ground up in your organization. An open communication is a critical component here.
Communication needs to flow—there is no top-down in a circle of equals. Eliminating knowledge silos within teams, departments, or individuals is the most important step to eliminate barriers holding an organization back.
Who is Responsible for Internal Communications
Many companies who still haven’t formed internal comms departments often as the question about who is responsible for internal communications.
The answer to this question is not easy as many people within a company are responsible for effective communication.
In most cases, having an internal comms department or not, these 3 groups should be involved.
1. Top Management
Absence of the top leadership’s support is a key reason why internal communication fails to take off.
Internal communication is essentially about fostering conversations. Top leaders should initiate those conversations. They should make more frequent announcements and updates about the company and invite people to share their thoughts.
2. Human Resources
Most HR departments have a goal to make their company a great place to work. HR teams know that employee engagement and satisfaction depends on how an employer communicates with its employees. Therefore, Human Resources departments now play far more than just a transactional role in internal communications.
Traditionally, HR has been responsible for communicating messages related to performance management, administrative announcements, etc. Today, they are often the leaders of employee relations.
3. Team Managers
This one is obvious. For any initiative to succeed it must be addressed at a macro as well as at a micro level. Top management and HR can help establish the internal communications framework and take the lead. However, managers and team leads have to take it to the next level.
4. Internal Communications Professionals
Larger companies have departments that focus only on internal communications. These professionals’ goal is to keep employees informed at all times and make it easy for employees to have an easy access to important information.