Effective communication is the key for a company’s success. Internal Communication helps ensure that all the organisation members and teams have clear information about each other and work together and move forward towards a common goal.
Internal Communications acts as an intermediary for communication between an organisation’s members with other members of the organisation. The members could be anyone, from CEO to a department manager. It takes place across all levels. However, the primary role of internal communications in an organisation is to build an interactive engagement bridge between different stakeholders. The Internal Communication team works towards creating this shared understanding so that employees work together towards a common goal.
Employees look up to their seniors in order to learn and develop and give the best results to the organisation through their hard work. Internal Communications plays a huge role in connecting the team with each other to get a better understanding. The team also plays an important role in channelizing and streamlining messages ensuring a single channel for communication. Communication defines workplace culture, which is ultimately reflected in the brand.
Our editor-in-chief Ekta Capoor spoke to three seasoned Internal communication professionals:
Elizabeth Chen, Experienced Internal Communication Expert based at Bengaluru, Karnataka, India; Vandana Menon, Internal communication professional at Indigo, Gurgaon and Soumya Samuel, Employee Experience Enthusiast, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India to get a deeper insight on the role of Internal communication and how it helps to enhance employee productivity in any organisation.
1. Role of Internal Communication in an organisation
Elizabeth’s view : The primary role of internal communications in an organisation is to build an interactive engagement bridge between different stakeholders. Each day there is flow of information between different audience groups, a strong communication platform or bridge will ensure that the information gets shared on time, message conveyed effectively and there is a feedback mechanism if required.
Vandana’s view : For a company’s success, effective communication is key. Everything one does in an organisation needs to be aligned to the objectives, goals and purpose of the organisation. The Internal Communication team works towards creating this shared understanding so that employees work together towards a common goal. By illuminating the reasons behind what they’re being asked to do, companies can inspire workforces to go the extra mile.
The team also plays an important role in channelizing and streamlining messages ensuring a single channel for communication. Communication defines workplace culture, which is ultimately reflected in your brand. And it plays a key role in the nurturing and retention of top talent. Dispersed, two-way internal communication presents a valuable opportunity for companies to better understand their workforce, ultimately leading to better-informed managers and more effective management decisions.
In short, they are responsible for creating internal brand value, providing a communication channel between the management and employees, engaging employees through company updates and other key information which in turn keeps them motivated.
Soumya Samuel’s View : I think the easiest way to put it would be, Internal Communication is just like the blood that runs within our bodies.
So, what does blood do? Supply oxygen and nutrients to various organs, eliminate unwanted materials and protect us from the attack of foreign bodies.
Exactly what Internal Communication does as well. It maintains the flow of information between teams, departments and stakeholders, keeps unwanted rumours and speculations at bay and most importantly, holds the organisation together during crises!
Approaches to Internal Communication
Elizabeth’s view : Across the organisations that I have worked with, different methods are used. It varies from a simple email to video broadcast, Town Halls/ All Hands or Ask Me Anything meetings, 1:1 conversation, infographics, people videos, podcast, postcards etc. Understanding the nature of the message, employee sentiment and time is crucial.
Vandana’s view : Company Intranet portal
- Company updates via Email / mobile App
- Newsletters & Blogs on the Internal Portal and emails
- Mobile App
- Employee Recognition in the On-board Magazine and social media
- Town halls & Internal events at various stations across the region.
Soumya Samuel’s View : According to me, there is only a single method that really draws the best results, and that is, looking at Internal Communication as a strategic function than a cumulative of tactical exercises. This means, any IC program will have a 3-step approach:
- Why are we doing it? The purpose.
- How are we going to do it? The actual communication exercise.
- What is the result of what we just did?
For instance, ‘why is an e-mailer being sent out?’ ‘what are we trying to achieve through this massive launch event?’ and ‘How do I know that the e-mailer has actually reached people?’ ‘How do I know if the employees actually responded to the massive launch event the way we hoped them to?’ Having a purpose and measurable result gives direction to our efforts!
3. Best practiced Internal Communication method
Elizabeth’s view : In one of my employer organisation, regular (once in a couple of days) video message from the CEO in the form of an interview posted on the intranet as the only communication on a crisis the organisation was dealing with would suffice to update all employees. This was simple, transparent, direct and cut through the over communication. It helped to keep the employees motivated and ease them of any probable anxiety.
Vandana’s view : Company updates, newsletters and leadership blogs on emails and on the mobile App are popular with the employees since majority of our staff do operational jobs and are constantly on the move with limited access to the desktop.
Soumya Samuel’s View : Similar to what I said above, if you were to ask me, Internal Communications has only one proven and effective method and that is to look at it as a strategic function. The e-mailers, events, newsletters, games, workspace re-designing, etc. are all mere mediums of communication that are deployed to deliver a message/purpose. We shouldn’t treat it as the means to an end.
Internal communications within an organisation must above all be navigable and transparent. Each organisation has its specificity, its unique corporate culture embedded. It plays a crucial role in building employer-employee relationship, generating unique ideas and overcome challenges and face difficult uncalled business decisions.
Our professionals have surely provided us with a clearer picture on the roles and best experienced methods of Internal Communications in organisations.
Internal communication helps to institute a concrete procedure that results in receiving a loyal feedback from the employees. The loyal feedback can help in rectifying the current mistakes also finding a way to upgrade the current tools in the company. For as much as Internal communication is important for the employees of the organisation it is also extremely important and beneficial for the organisation itself.
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