When you communicate with the members of your organization, is there real engagement? Think about it. Do they truly understand the heart of the company? Do they feel connected to it? Do they want to uplift the messages you send out? Do they express curiosity? Are they committed to their work or to the organization? If you’re hesitant about the answer to even one of these questions or you want to kick things up a notch, then you need to take a deeper look at your internal communications.
Internal communications, also known as organizational communications, is the process by which a company keeps its employees and other internal stakeholders well-informed about the latest initiatives, consolidates the goals and values of the brand, establishes a voice of trustful authority , and streamlines communications between different parts of the company.
This process; however, is not a one-way street. Communications that come down from the executive level as law with no additional thought put into them can seem cold. Instead, employee communications should be a living, breathing network like an ecosystem. Employees should have a voice and be invited to engage.
Internal Communications, Beneficial to Workplace Culture
Company culture is a big deal. In a world where 85% of employees are disengaged at work, it is more important than ever to give them a reason to want to come into work. A place with a strong identity that aligns with their own and that gives them a voice will definitely do that. In fact, a solid and supportive workplace culture is good for employees’ mental health. Work becomes one less thing that drains them of their mental and emotional energy when they feel connected to it.
Without the knowledge of what they’re connecting to or the ability to pitch in their two cents, employees can be left feeling dispassionate. No one wants to commit all of those working hours to something they don’t feel passionate about.
Communication makes the world go round, and you need to be sure that your leadership team can create an engaging dialogue with other members of the organization so that everyone can find fulfillment at work.
The role of the leadership team
The leadership team is, essentially, leading the communication-charge. They have to make sure that everything reflects the company’s culture and they have to “sell” the message. The latter is the part that you need to pay attention to when thinking of your employee communication strategy.
Charisma is key
Charismatic leadership is communication-based leadership. Leaders who use this style are excellent communicators who know themselves inside and out. Their focus is on listening to their team, gaining their team members’ trust and helping to guide them.
These are the leaders we follow into battle because they believe in shared success and want us to be the best we can be. A charismatic leadership team will not only sell and constantly reinforce the messages the company sends out but they will inspire engagement from those they lead— they are crucial contributors to reducing employee turnover.
Another major component of effective internal communications are feedback loops, which in this case can be defined as the process of using employee feedback to create a better workplace environment. Employees that feel heard are happy employees and when employees are happy they actually become more productive. Happy employees also tend not to quit their job or to job hop, even if they’re being offered a higher pay or more benefits.
Good communication is based on the desire to create engagement, and how can you better engage your employees than by asking for their opinions?
Needless to say, the people communicating and the channels they use to do it need to be carefully considered; however, the style in which you communicate is just as important.
Storytelling and Internal Communications
In a former blog post, we defined storytelling as “the art of using stories to engage with your audience and build your brand”. Storytelling is also the backbone of good internal communications. It is how you connect with your employees and re-establish your company culture in a more human way. This is the battery powering the machine.
This new information raises an important question: how do we use the battery?
1. Think like your audience. The way the story is packaged is not the be-all-end-all. A story is made truly effective when it is crafted with those who will engage with it in mind. You need to know what your employees value and how to generate enthusiasm for shared values and visions. Enthusiasm is contagious so if leaders can express it authentically then that will create a powerful connection.
2. Give your story a purpose. In the words of Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” You need to make sure that your storytelling is centered around the ‘why’: why your company believes what it believes, why the company is starting a new initiative, or why you need your employees’ opinion.
3. Define the issue you want to tackle. You have to be clear about what action you want your employees to take and to stand behind. Everyone wants to save the day so let your employees be the heroes they are.
How We Can Help You
If you lead a growing business and don’t have proper internal communication tools or if you represent a membership-based organization who wants to become more consistent and efficient in communicating with its members, you might want to explore your options.
The Storyteller can help you make the most of your internal communications by performing audits of existing processes and tools, developing a killer communication strategy, helping with tool development and implementation, and facilitating feedback sessions so you can be clear on your people’s wants and needs.
Contact us to book a consultation to find out what you need to give your employee communications an edge!