Seamless and effective internal communications enable businesses to fully utilize the unique knowledge and insights of their talented employees. Often, the benefits of this stretch beyond making more money, too.
When it is easier to communicate internally, open discussions and knowledge sharing help to build a strong community and foster good relationships between employees and departments, enabling workers to feel confident, happy, and empowered. The knock-on impact of this is better performance from employees who feel as if they have a real purpose and a good reason to exceed expectations and smash their goals.
If you want to develop a culture that benefits your company through contributions from your skilled, forward-thinking employees, you need to take steps to optimize and improve internal communications.
Simple Ways to Improve Internal Communications
Today, it is easier than ever before to access information and communicate with people from anywhere in the world. Your employees may not always be in the same place at the same time, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot communicate effectively.
Here are five ways you can streamline your company’s internal communications.
1. Author and send a monthly company newsletter
We are big fans of company newsletters. When written up properly and sent out at the right time, they are a highly useful outlet for summarizing the latest news, updates, and company happenings that your employees need (and hopefully want!) to know about.
Using your newsletter, you can inform employees about recent press coverage, employee and department milestones that have been achieved, sales goals that have been hit, new hires, and anything else you want to relay to your employees.
Don’t send newsletters more than once a month, though. This can be overkill and your employees may quickly grow bored and begin to ignore it. Keep it clear and concise, too.
2. Encourage knowledge sharing and input from employees
Internal communication isn’t a one-way street, though. It flows both ways. You shouldn’t just be talking down to your employees, they should also be talking to you and the organization should encourage this.
Just as important as it is to provide feedback to your team members, it is important for them to give feedback to you, too. The key to this is providing a platform or process where information, ideas, concerns, and everything else can be relayed back to you and other managers or stakeholders where everything is welcome and listened to.
At first, you may find that people are reluctant to feed information back to you, however, as it is consistently encouraged, an open and trustworthy culture will start to grow that opens and encourages dialogue.
3. Start employees off on the right foot with a robust onboarding process
Not only does a robust onboarding process avoid compliance issues and last-minute hiccups with new hires, it also helps to streamline communication by setting out all the information that your new employees need to know, such as who their line manager is and what their contact details are.
If your new hires don’t know who’s who, what role they play, and who to talk to with concern X or question Y, they simply cannot communicate easily. This can lead to inefficiencies and an unwillingness to ask questions, share knowledge, and integrate fully with the wider team.
There are plenty of tools that you can use to improve your organization’s onboarding process, including our own — Organimi. Using our org chart tool, you can create an overview of your organization’s structure so that new hires have an accessible reference point for finding out employee contact details are, who is leading certain projects or initiatives, and who heads up a specific department.
4. Choose a single tool for all your company chats
Using a real-time chat tool that your employees can access from anywhere helps them build stronger working relationships. It also increases productivity and provides a forum where your employees can feel comfortable communicating with one another to share ideas, chat socially, or collaborate on projects.
There are plenty of secure and easy-to-use tools that facilitate one-on-one, group, and even video chats. Yammer, Slack, and Hipchat are three of the most commonly used real-time chat tools, and all three save chatlogs indefinitely, allowing employees to reference previous conversations.
Our advice is to choose one tool and stick to it for cohesion’s sake. Research the different tools available and see which one meets your organization’s needs. Slack, for example, is ideal for casual industries whereas Yammer is perfect for medical businesses due to its HIPAA compliance.
5. Store all files in one place
In addition to using one tool for company chats, consider using a single tool for storing and sharing company files. Services like Dropbox and Box provide secure, encrypted file sharing with additional functionality such as file organization, password protected links, access controls, and more.
With everything in one place, there is only one place where your employees will have to look to find something that they need. This saves time and boosts efficiency. Having somewhere to upload files also encourages employees to share their knowledge, work, and bits of relevant information that they come across.