August 22, 2023
In business, there are numerous factors that contribute to your ability to achieve your goals and be successful. One of the most important but often overlooked factors is company internal communication. Internal communication is what enables you and your team to come together around a goal and work towards it. It is a fundamental aspect of collaboration, which is necessary to achieve your business goals.
In our most recent episode of the Team Building Saves the world podcast, we sat down to talk about effective internal communications with the founder and CEO of The Bid Lab, Maurice Harra. He emphasized that clear internal communication is essential and enables everyone to do their jobs the right way.
“We need to be clear and we need to be coherent amongst each other to make sure that everyone else who’s trying to do what they want to do—what they’re getting paid to do—can do it the right way,” Harra said.
In today’s blog, we’re going to focus on the role of company internal communications, what they are, their importance, as well as strategies for improving internal communication.
What is Internal Communications?
First, we need to answer the question of “what is internal communications?” Speaking broadly, internal communication is the whole process of how people communicate within an organization. More specifically, it covers how information moves up, down, and laterally within an organization. It also covers all types of communication from in-person conversations and bulletins to emails and text messages.
So why is internal communication so important? You can probably guess the answer already, but internal communication is what allows information to be spread throughout a business. If you want to have cohesive teams that can work well together, within their team and with other departments, you need good internal communication.
It’s also an important part of management. You can’t effectively run a business without information to make decisions on, and internal communication helps you get the information you need to make well-informed decisions. No matter how you look at it, internal communication is an essential part of business.
Benefits of Improved Internal Communications
Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of improved internal communications. There are numerous benefits that can have a huge impact on your business, so be sure to take note of the benefits and how they can help your business in particular.
One big benefit is improved internal team communication, which means enhanced collaboration and productivity. When internal communication is strong, teams more freely communicate with each other. As expected, that means better teamwork and better outcomes. And with your teams communicating more effectively, they’ll be more efficient too.
Another obvious benefit is quicker dissemination of important information. If communication within your organization is quick and efficient, people will get the information they need more quickly. And that means employees can take action and get the job done faster.
A final benefit is better alignment with company goals and objectives. When employees are in the know and have good communication with their higher-ups, they will feel better aligned with the company. That means higher engagement and motivation, which both help increase productivity.
Challenges to Company Internal Communication
Like anything, there are challenges to improving internal communications in the workplace. However, these challenges can be overcome if you’re aware of them and know how to avoid them.
A common challenge is resistance and reluctance in relation to feedback. This is something Harra noted in our conversation when he said, “A lot of times people are uncomfortable about talking about feedback, right? They’re nervous to get feedback. And the advice that I give to everyone about feedback is that the feedback shouldn’t just sandwich negative feedback with two positives… If something is not meeting your expectations, explain to them specifically what you would have done differently.”
Feedback is an essential element of internal communication, and you have to be prepared to give and receive feedback. But if you’re specific about your feedback, give people the benefit of the doubt, and approach it like an open conversation, you’ll be able to use feedback to improve and better your business.
Communication overload is another challenge that can get in the way of improving internal communication. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with communication, especially if things aren’t organized well.
However, you can overcome this challenge by keeping feedback clear, concise, and on a centralized platform. This will make it easier for employees to keep-up with everything that’s going on without getting overwhelmed. It will also help with the challenges associated with remote teams.
Strategies to Improve Internal Communications
With all that out of the way, now let’s move onto how to improve internal communications in the workplace. Actually making changes is the hardest part, but these strategies will help you get started improving your internal communications and making a difference.
Choose the Right Communication Tools
Arguably one of the most important things you can do is choose the right communication tools. You need tools that suit the needs and preferences of your teams, so it’s essential that you choose tools that match your company and teams.
As far as specific tools, there are a lot of options. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and many others are great options. However, it ultimately depends on your specific needs. You’ll have to carefully weigh your needs with what each platform offers and choose the one(s) that are the best fit.
Establish Clear Communication Guidelines
One strategy that you definitely want to implement is establishing clear communication guidelines. Define your preferred communication channels for different types of messages. Emphasize that you want clarity, brevity, and context in messages.
This may seem like a minor thing, but laying some ground rules can save you from miscommunication, misunderstandings, and wasted time. It will make things easier, less stressful, and more efficient for everyone involved.
Regular Team Meetings
Another good strategy is having regular team meetings. You may be doing this already, but regular meetings are a way to spur conversation, share updates, progress reports, address questions, raise concerns, and much more. It doesn’t matter whether your meetings are virtual or in-person; the important thing is that you’re having them regularly.
Be sure to encourage open communication during meetings. Let employees know that their voices will be heard and that what they have to say will be taken seriously. Being open with your employees can go a long way in improving internal communications.
Centralized Information Hub
As mentioned earlier, a centralized information hub is another important aspect of good internal communication. You and your teams need a platform where they can share/see documents, policies, procedure, plans, announcements, and more in one place.
Again, be sure to pick the right platform for you. Consider your needs and weigh them against the offerings of each platform. Once you have the best platform for you, make that your centralized information hub.
This is something that often gets overlooked, especially at larger companies. However, personalized communication can have a big impact on internal communications in your organization. Your communications should be specific and targeted. If you have a message for sales, don’t send it to the entire company.
Taking the time to craft specific messages and communications for various teams, roles, and departments can make your communications more effective. It can also help make employees feel more cared about, which can improve productivity, satisfaction, and engagement.
Cultivate a Transparent Culture
Lastly, you should work to cultivate a transparent culture. A transparent culture will help people feel more confident and safe in communicating, encouraging better internal communications.
To do so, start by being an open and transparent leader. Share company updates, success, and challenges openly. Let employees know you are always willing to listen to their feedback, advice, struggles, and success. People follow their leaders, so set an example as a trustworthy and inclusive leader.
Best Practices for Remote Teams
Something else we should touch on are best practices for remote teams. Remote teams present their own unique challenges around communication, so following the best practices can help you get ahead of those challenges.
A key best practice is to overcommunicate. Say more than you would in-person to make sure you are actually communicating all of the necessary information. Harra discussed this during our podcast, saying that you need to communicate every step of the way.
“With remote [work], if someone doesn’t respond and confirm that they actually know what they’re doing, then they probably wouldn’t last very long at our company,” Hara stated. “You need to communicate and confirm when you actually get an assignment, get a project, get an instruction. I think it’s really important.”
Another best practice is to have regular virtual check-ins via video conferencing to keep up with employees and bridge the communication gap. Face-to-face interactions are incredibly important, and video calls let you simulate an in-person conversation.
And check-ins are important because it’s easy to get disconnected when working remotely. You need to stay on-top of things and ensure that everyone is feeling connected and engaged with their work. Just checking-in regularly can do a lot to keep employees feeling included and important within the company. Even just doing some ice breaker activities can help keep that connection.
Measuring the Success of Internal Communication
Before wrapping up, we should also mention the importance of measuring the success of internal communications. If you want to improve your communications over time, you need to measure and track the success of your communications. This may seem hard, but it’s not as bad as it seems.
You can start by monitoring engagement with communication platforms. Since you have one centralized communication channel, it should be relatively easy to see how engaged people are.
You can also use employee surveys and feedback. These can help you get a more direct idea of how your employees are feeling about everything, and their input is incredibly valuable. Just be sure to keep an eye out for response bias.
Better Your Internal Communications With TeamBonding
Internal communications are what let information and ideas move within your business. Whether it’s employees learning about a new project or managers learning about issues employees are dealing with, being able to share information freely and efficiently is key to your businesses’ success.
At TeamBonding, we have over 20+ years of experience doing corporate events that help with employee engagement and satisfaction. With the strategies laid out in this blog paired with our wide selection of events, you’ll have no problem bettering your internal communications. So get in touch with us today and start making meaningful changes to your organization.