Culture & Engagement

Four simple ways to lift your internal communications

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Internal Communications

Internal communications is often seen as the poor cousin of its more glamorous counterpart - customer experience. However, the most successful companies know that engaged and informed employees are the key to satisfied customers.

 

A recent study linking employee and customer satisfaction found that each one-star improvement in a company’s Glassdoor rating corresponded to a 1.3-point out of 100 improvement in customer satisfaction scores.

 

Whether we like it or not, the responsibility to improve internal communications often falls into the hands of HR. So what can you do to improve internal communications within your business? Here are four simple ideas.

 

 

1.  Make each new hire’s first day count

 

Like many things in life, first impressions matter. And if communication between new starters and existing staff doesn’t get off to a flying start, you’re setting a poor precedent for ongoing relations.

 

The first few weeks and months after taking on a new employee are a crucial time for onboarding them into their role within the company. Considering 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days, and a third of new hires are looking for a new job within their first six months on the job, this is not only a cultural imperative but a smart business move as well.

 

“Integrate new hires on lobby screens, in newsletters, and by sending out emails” advises Diane Gayeski, Professor of Strategic Communications at Ithaca College, and Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications.

 

“Include a bit about their professional and personal backgrounds, and encourage existing employees with similar backgrounds or interests to meet them for coffee or lunch.”

 

If you’re working remotely, this can be a little more challenging, but still possible with virtual meetups and networking sessions.

 

By doing this, you are not forcing unnatural communication. Rather, you are supporting and encouraging natural communication to occur between people with shared interests. By planting seeds like this, you’ll be helping your employees communicate better, more organically, as your company grows.

 

 

2.  Make company documents more accessible

 

A study by Igloo found that 43% of employees did not share a document with a colleague because they couldn’t find it.

 

If your employees have a question about their employment, then they normally have two options: Ask somebody else, or find the answer themselves.

 

And this is an area where you can improve internal communication in a more passive way, according to recruitment consultant Ellen Mullarkey, of Messina Group.

 

“Make company knowledge documents easily accessible” she advises.

 

“Some employees may clam up or find it a hassle to keep asking management for company documents. Set up a central digital access area, such as SharePoint, for easy access to all company knowledge documents. Other apps like Dropbox and Google Drive are great for your employee handbook if you are on a budget. It will help new employees feel like they are more in the loop at your company.”

 

Of course, while SharePoint, Dropbox and Google Drive are all good solutions for sharing documents, if you are a People HR customer, then you already have your own dedicated document storage area within your People HR system. Employees can then access these documents from anywhere, using the .

 

 

3.  Get visual with company content

 

If you’re a verbal learner, you might be tempted to communicate in the style that suits you – writing reams of emails or giving presentations. But it’s important to consider how your employees take in information best.

 

“It may surprise you to know that 65% of your employees prefer visual communication,” says Joe Flanagan, Senior Career Advisor at MintResume. “So step up your visual game! And while you’re at it, don’t default to old-style visuals like posters – go for digital screens in your offices, that can rotate images and information!”

 

And you can go one step further with your visuals, by using video content, says Chris Stasiuk, Creative Director at Signature Video Group.

 

“Creating engaging content comes down to three things: Educating, entertaining and inspiring. Video gives you far more creative range to do those than static communications. And by adding personality or humour to your videos, you will improve engagement.”

 

 

4.  Use chat platforms for real-time communication

 

We live in a world full of emails, push notifications and text messages. And the workplace is no different – people expect their workplace technology to mirror the experience they enjoy in their personal lives.

 

Using chat tools like Teams, Zoom or Slack is a great way of keeping employees in touch with each other. They were built for collaboration, meaning you can share documents as well as ideas. You can form team chats for different departments, as well as non-work related chat groups for employees with similar interests.

 

What’s more, HR can capitalise on this, by using these platforms for keeping employees in the loop.

 

 

 

This post was written for The Access Group, a leading provider of HR, digital learning, payroll and financial management software to small to mid-sized organisations. It helps more than 47,000 customers globally across commercial and not-for-profit sectors become more productive and efficient.

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