As true as it sounds. Taking care of people that work for you before taking care of your customers is a sign of good business. 87% of the global workforce employees are not engaged with their jobs according to a recent Gallup article. Thus, thinking that Internal Communication (IC) can be a waste of time is a big mistake.
By getting to know what your employees think about their jobs, you will better understand how engaged your employees are in your organization.. Your employees’ satisfaction and motivation will drive to a higher productivity at work. For this reason (among other things) you should invest time and money into Internal Communication.
There are 4 primary principles of IC: understand what you want to say, use the same language with the people you interact with, be concise and ask for feedback. Make your workers feel you care about their thoughts and involve them in ideas for improvement for the organization.
Let’s understand first what employees care most about (in order of importance):
- Relationship with management
- Company alignment
- Workplace satisfaction
- Relationships with colleagues
- Personal growth
Without reaching these features, we won’t guarantee our employees’ satisfaction at work. So, what are the techniques or channels that we can aim to achieve our IC?
- Communication: I could have written this in capital letters if I wanted to. This is the most important technique for IC and there are so many ways of reach it. Set meetings, a weekly newsletter, magazines, posters… In other words, keep them updated on what’s going on in your company in as many ways as you can.
Don’t think calling your employees to a meeting (for example) instead of having them working is a waste of time, because it’s not. They need to understand what’s their role inside of the company and how they are collaborating in its success.
Another important aspect, watch out with the communication tone that you use. A warm tone from a leader to his employees will always exude confidence and will encourage them to participate in discussions. This decision is totally up to the organization, but you shouldn’t avoid thinking about it.
- Rewards: This is about recognizing the efforts of your employees at work. It’s about showing your employees that you care about them. Basically, it proves them that their hard work and effort added value to your organization.
A good idea would be to create awards for those who meet their objectives. Also, make employees participate in decisions of the company will make them feel important. For example: why don’t we involve our workers to make decisions of who deserves an award? In addition, prepare some unexpected rewards to surprise them and encourage them to work even harder.
- Team building events: Provide better communication to your employees. As a result, they will be more confident in their job and team activities will break barriers between bosses and workers. Team building activities are also effective to promote creativity and leadership skills. There are many kind of activities that allow you to focus on the area you want to improve upon. For example: problem-solving situations, critical thinking, creativity…
Satisfaction surveys: Ask for feedback! Encourage your employees to fill out a regular anonymous satisfaction survey. Make them evaluate the organization. Ask them about ideas related to leadership, communication, salaries, bonuses… With the results you will know which areas you will can improve. And the result of these corrections will be seen in the next survey.
Coaching: Providing your workers with regular coaching will give your company extra value. Your employees will realize that they can keep growing and developing their skills in your company. The coach can be someone from the organization or an external expert.
- Bonus: Bring extra value outside of work to increase their loyalty. The examples here can go from discounts on gym memberships, ticket restaurants… to language lessons. Take some time to know who your employees are and learn their interests to offer them priceless bonuses.
I highly recommend this infographic from OfficeVibe (a Canadian software created to measure employees engagement). It goes through the 10 pillars of employee engagement (described at the beginning of this post) and it gives the 3 best IC tools to achieve them.
What will you get out of solidifying your Internal Communications? Trust and loyalty from your employees. It’s well known that companies with the happiest employees are the most successful ones. Did you implement any of them? Do you have other ideas? Share them in the comments below!