Why you should never overlook good internal communications

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Communication is an incredible tool, allowing a business to sing its praise to the masses. But the way you communicate with your employees is just as important as with the public.

Here, PR Account Executive Oliver Sullivan discusses why good internal communications is vital for any business, and why it should never be overlooked.

What is internal communications?

Culture is key to a business – what do you want your business to represent? How do you want your staff to treat one another? How do you want to grow? Constructing that culture is difficult, but good internal communications is the best building block a boss could ask for.

Internal communications is all about how information flows through your business. It is about how to keep your employees informed, to create a shared understanding of your goals and establishing a voice.

But it is so much more than a regular flurry of forgettable emails.

Why is it important?

No-one in an organisation should feel voiceless, they should have an avenue to share their achievements and what matters to them, and management should recognise and promote what they are doing.

There are no better salespeople for your business than your staff – if they don’t feel engaged and important, there’s no guarantee they won’t share their opinions externally.

In the days of social media, every employee is a spokesman. It is vital to ensure they have good news and accurate information to share.

Your staff are your most important asset. Help them sell your business.

How to be effective

Internal communications shouldn’t be seen as something purely top-down – staff don’t want to feel lectured to, they want to feel involved. It should always be a two-way street.

Boring mass emails won’t do. Staff shouldn’t be expected to take the time out of their busy day to read something bland – internal communications should be engaging, thoughtful and interactive.

More engaging ideas could include video – a far more interactive means of communication than an email. An internal social network such as Google Workspace or Workplace can encourage staff to connect and in turn help you identify their skillsets.

If you’re not feeling so adventurous, regular team meetings and newsletters are a good place to start.

Ultimately, encouraging staff to engage with what you are producing – to communicate with their peers – is just as, if not more, important than simply communicating ideas from the top to the bottom of a business.

And why is that? Employees should feel that their voice matters to everyone in an organisation. It helps fuel their motivation to work, to better themselves and in turn better the business.

Provide the opportunity for feedback and debate. The things that matter the most to your employees should be important to you too – so listen what they have to say.

That’s what turns good communication into great communication.

In crisis

Just as with external crisis communications, transparency is an important factor in messaging. But delicacy is key when handling difficult internal communications, especially when change is needed at a business undergoing hard times.

Taking extra care in how upcoming changes are expressed – thinking through how to answer questions employees are sure to have on their minds leaves a lasting impression. All employees deserve to be respected – poor communication demonstrates the opposite.

We have seen numerous PR blunders from multi-national businesses in recent months. The abrupt sacking of 800 P&O Ferries staff in March comes to mind, as does the mass-firing of 900 staff at an American business via a Zoom meeting.

Good internal communications can stop you creating another disaster.

Here at Prominent we have a team of PR professionals with expertise in both internal and external communications. From small family-run businesses to national firms, we can help.

Drop us a line at hello@prominentpr.co.uk or give us a call on 01473 276126. We’ve got you covered.

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