In the last couple of years, businesses transformed completely, which naturally affected internal communication as well. Less employees are desk-bound while the majority work remotely. This requires a revolution in the way companies operate. Even though “old” ways still work for some, numerous businesses had to adapt to changes and adopt a new way of work!
Creating an internal communication strategy from scratch is a challenge not everyone is willing to take. However, your employees and entire business will thank you if you take it up. So, how can you create a comprehensive communication plan?
Step 1: Understand the challenges
Improper communication or lack of it brings us many challenges. In highly diverse teams with members from different backgrounds and cultural contexts, communication can be difficult. Therefore, we need to understand all the challenges our employees are facing and come up with a strategy that will benefit the company and its employees. So, what are some of the main challenges?
Firstly, modern companies often operate remotely, therefore, virtual communication becomes one of the challenges solved by a successful communication strategy. On top of that, clear and direct communication can help you overcome any cultural issues. Strategies that set rules and boundaries usually have the best results.
Step 2: Assess the current strategy
You can’t develop a successful communication strategy without knowing where you stand at the moment. The best way to assess the current strategy is by asking your employees. Consider creating a survey where you’ll get feedback on the communication from the most important perspective: the employees’ perspective.
Assess both good and bad aspects of your current strategy or overall communication if you don’t have a strategy. This will help you gain insight into what your employees want and what they need, as well as the possible obstacles standing in the way. It’s a great start for an employee incentive program that will motivate them to stay productive and satisfied with their workplace.
Step 3: Set a goal
Each strategy should end with a goal that will make it successful. The best and easiest way of creating a final objective for your strategy is the SMART approach. In this approach, you need to create objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Once your goal has all of these features, you can get to the action!
Besides the sole strategy, your goal should include employees. What is their role in the overall communication? How can they contribute? After all, who are they and what characteristics do they have as a group? It will help you set a goal according to the target group also known as your employees.
Step 4: Create the right message
Internal communication can be terrifying if you don’t know your target audience. But even after you do get to know them, creating the right message is a challenge! No matter what your audience likes, each message you send through your internal communication channels should be concise, clear, informative, and engaging. How can you achieve that?
Even though creating an internal communication strategy for each department is excessive, customizing your messages through internal tools is a must. The Tech department could be interested in updates in tools, while marketing might prefer information about the latest trends. The most important part is to keep your employees informed no matter what kind of strategy you form.
Step 5: Choose adequate channels
A couple of decades ago, verbal in-person communication was one of the main ways of sending information to your employees. On top of that, communication was mostly top-down, meaning employees rarely had a say in anything. By choosing adequate channels, you’re ensuring proper communication flow between employees, management, and teams.
Channels you absolutely must include are emails, collaboration, and management tools. These tools will help you share information, keep employees engaged and provide them with access to data and files they need even if they work remotely. On top of that, they will connect more easily and be more effective while communicating.
Step 6: Measure results
After all, you’ll need to revisit your internal communication strategy from time to time. If you create it thoroughly, fewer changes will be needed. However, you still need to answer a couple of questions before you conclude whether the strategy was successful or not. So, how can you measure the results of your internal communication strategy?
Use the assessment mentioned in the first step! Ask your employees whether they are satisfied with this strategy and see if any new issues popped up. Repeat the process every 6 months.
To create a perfect internal communication strategy, you need to get in the loop and follow these 6 steps. Even if your current strategy works, keep in mind that people and organizations change, therefore, revisiting it every couple of months can help you maintain communication on a high level.