An internal communications strategy plays an integral role in the overall health and success of an organization. Especially this year, with many organizations still adjusting to the global pandemic!
But is your internal communications strategy really cutting it? Are you reaching every employee in an effective and efficient manner? In this blog, we’ll look at 3 common mistakes of an internal communications strategy and give you ideas on how to improve your reach.
What are the 3 common mistakes of an Internal Communications Strategy?
Simply put, we feel that the 3 most common mistakes of an organization’s internal communications strategy are as follows:
- Not being open to employee feedback.
- Not knowing how your employees prefer to receive communications.
- Not using the correct tools or technologies to communicate in an efficient and effective way.
In the next section, we’ll help you understand each of these mistakes in the form of three very important questions we think you should ask yourself.
The 3 Questions to Ask Yourself around Internal Communications Strategies
#1: Are You Open to Employee Feedback?
Not being open to employee feedback puts your organization at an immediate disadvantage. Your employees have an incredible amount of knowledge on your organization. Not only with the skills and expertise they bring to the roles they fill, but also from the perspective of how your organization operates.
They have unique insights into how they do their jobs – the processes and procedures they follow. But, more importantly, when asked in a safe environment and via the right employee communication platform, many employees also have opinions on how they could do their jobs better, improve their performance, and be more efficient with their time. And, having spent at least seven hours a day, five days a week, they may even be able to offer ways that the company can innovate, improve, and become more successful.
These insights can only be unlocked when the organization and its leadership teams are willing to ask for – and listen to! – employee feedback. Encouraging two-way communication means that everyone – from frontline worker to C-level executive – are more involved in what happens to the organization, and have a stake in the organization’s overall success.
The right employee communication platform, like Workplace from Facebook (Workplace), is essential in collecting this valuable data.
Employee Feedback: A Case Study from Petco
Ron Coughlin, CEO of Petco, received an email from an employee with a picture of a French bulldog that had recently passed away. The email from the bulldog’s owner, was pointing out that the company’s bereavement policy only covered human family members, yet the organization’s brand was built on the fact that pets are family, too. So, why did their bereavement policy not cover pets, too? 30 minutes after receiving that email, Ron and Michelle Bonfilio, Petco’s CHRO, made the decision to include pets in their bereavement policy, and any employee who lost a family member, including their pets, would receive the paid time off they needed to grieve the loss of their loved one.
The direct feedback that the employee had given Ron had led to organizational change that benefitted everyone. But there was a gap – only those who had access to corporate email could reach him. Ron wanted to be able to communicate directly and regularly to every employee at Petco.
By implementing Workplace for the organization’s 27,000 Petco employees across 1,500 store locations, Ron’s Communications team (led by Petco’s Director of Internal Communications, Daniel Sundin) was able to open immediate, two-way internal communication with everyone in the organization.
According to Sundin, this move helped to break down silos that had existed within the company for many years. “We had strong disconnects among our corporate offices, regional leadership, and store locations just bcause they couldn’t really see what the other was doing,” says Sundin. “With Workplace, that gap has been greatly reduced. We’re now able to hear some of the challenges our retail locations are facing, and we can address those challenges more effectively than we have in the past, because we understand what they are. We can actually see them and experience them through videos and photos that we’re getting from our store employees.”
Want to explore how Workplace can help you provide a safe space to receive employee feedback? Give us a shout!
#2: Do You Know How Your Employees Prefer to Communicate?
It’s no secret that people process information in different ways, so that, when having to distribute internal communications, it’s a very fair assumption that different mediums could be required to get your point across. What some people prefer to read (i.e., visual learners), others would prefer to hear (i.e., auditory learners).
When you add in the fact that your employees are probably as busy as you are, and the fact that they’re receiving an overwhelming amount of information daily, it becomes clear that choosing the right internal communication method is extremely important for the success of your internal communications strategy! Unfortunately, when organizations don’t take this into consideration, that’s when internal communication strategies tend to fail.
Have you ever asked your employees what method of communication they prefer? Do they prefer to read important company announcements and updates, or would they prefer to receive the message via a phone call or a video? Once you have the answers to these questions (or ones like them), you can start to tailor your internal communication strategy to be able to reach everyone – no matter the style of communication they prefer.
A big part of getting this step right is selecting an employee communication platform that can accommodate multiple styles of communication. Workplace, for example, provides the opportunity to create posts for longer memos, quick messaging that employees can scan, polls to get the instant pulse of a situation, live videos and town hall meetings to be able to broadcast one-to-many, and text and video chat that allows for two-way conversation. It also allows for file sharing, knowledge sharing, training, and much more.
With such myriad options available, you’re guaranteed to be able to meet every employee where they’re at, in a manner that is most effective for them to consume the content you need them to, and on the platform that works for them.
#3: Are You Using the Right Employee Communication Platform for Your Internal Communications Strategy?
By now, you should probably sense a theme for this blog – the right internal communications strategy relies heavily on the employee communication platform that you choose. Selecting an employee communication platform that can help you to accomplish what you want to accomplish, should therefore be top of mind.
If you’re relying on employee boards and paper documentation, you can’t expect to reach everyone in an efficient and effective manner. But, modern employee communication platforms, like Workplace, Yammer, Slack, Teams, or other modern technologies, can take a load off of your communications teams, and provide a way to boost your internal communications strategy to heights that you may not have even imagined.
Workplace, as mentioned above, is a fully mobile solution, so even employees who don’t have access to email can access Workplace from their phones. This provides you with a way to reach everyone in your organization – from store clerks to factory floor workers, to pilots and flight attendants, and more – right where they’re at.
Book a demo today and explore how Workplace could be the right employee communications platform for you!
Internal Communications Strategies Start with the Right Employee Communication Platform!
Bottom line, when you engage the right employee communication platform for your organization, you’ll be able to take your internal communications strategy to new levels and provide relevant, valuable, and engaging content for all your employees.
Already Using Workplace?
If you’d like to explore more opportunities to learn how to use Workplace to improve your internal communications strategy, we’d love to chat! Give us a shout and we’ll help you understand how to use Workplace to provide greater employee interaction and engagement.
Not using Workplace yet?
Want to see how Workplace could take your internal communications strategy to the next level and help you to reach everyone across your organization in a more efficient and effective manner? Give us a shout! Through a live demo of the Workplace platform, we’ll help you to brainstorm ideas on how to utilize Workplace to achieve your organization’s goals and objectives around internal communications.