On LinkedIn, one of the newer features is the ability to endorse people for their skills. One of the skills that come up frequently among my connections is “Internal Communication.” This is interesting, because in my experience with different organizations over the years, communication as an internal function is often not done well, even if communication with the external market is executed flawlessly. Especially as companies grow, become more nimble, and operate in different verticals, it’s often difficult to make sure that your internal messages are consistent across the organization.
It’s vitally important to get this function right, so Brandon Hall Group is teaming up with Interakt for an Aug. 22 webinar, Keeping your Brand Promise: Ensuring a Unified Brand Experience at Every Touch Point. Stacey Harris of Brandon Hall Group and Narayanan Ramen, Communication Strategist and Director of Client Engagement at Interakt, will discuss best practices in building a unified message and aligning your brand from the inside out.
In the meantime, here are three drivers of excellent internal communication from my experience with several organizations. Internal communication needs to be correct, consistent, and constant to be of value to the corporate community.
Correct. This may sound elementary, but delivering correct information is often overlooked. Be sure the information you disseminate is what your organization wants to convey and that it comes directly from a credible source. If John tells Jeff about a new product launch from Susan in Marketing that needs to be communicated to Sally in Sales, the chances of the sales team having the correct information are slim to none. There’s nothing worse than a game of corporate “Telephone” within an organization. By the time information reaches everyone, if it even does, the original message may look quite different from what was originally communicated and certainly everyone won’t be on the same page.
Consistent. When you communicate within the organization, make sure that your delivery methods are consistent. There are a lot of great ways to communicate, both old and new. Some companies have internal chat or Yammer boards; others have internal social communities, and others use Salesforce chatter, or even short videos. Although social tools are “hot,” regular team meetings, a weekly or monthly email newsletter, or even companywide telephone messages can be used effectively to ensure the entire organization has the same information at the same time. However, be aware of where and how your employees are accessing information. It does no good to post on an internal social board if no one accesses that information. It’s important to communicate in a way that works for your audience. Every organization, or teams within an organization, should have documented processes in place for communicating various types of information to internal customers.
Constant. Even when your organization is delivering correct information with consistent methods, you can’t stop; the flow of information needs to be constant. Companies can’t make the mistake of assuming that just because the information was communicated at one time in one way that employees remembered or internalized those facts. Repetition and reinforcement are imperative — especially for important organizational initiatives.
As you look at your own corporate communications, what do you do well, and in what areas could you improve? To delve further into this topic, join us Aug. 22 for Keeping your Brand Promise: Ensuring a Unified Brand Experience at Every Touch Point.