Just as external communications help you build a persona for your brand to turn prospects into buyers, an internal communications plan also helps your organisation communicate with an important audience: employees.
Internal communications can come in many different forms. For example, it could be a recurring e-newsletter distributed to all employees, with additional copies printed for employee lounges, cafeterias and conference rooms. It might be an intranet that houses articles, news updates and more. Internal communications can also come in the form of videos, whether they’re distributed via email or showcased via closed-circuit television throughout your headquarters. PowerPoint presentations and webinars used for training, chat rooms and reference libraries would also fall under this category.
Read on to learn more about strategies for exceptional internal communications to better engage your employees.
Review the following strategies for driving employee engagement via an internal communications program:
The most successful internal communications programs maintain a consistent schedule so that content is regularly being distributed to employees. This might be a weekly, monthly or bi-monthly cadence. Discuss internally what’s feasible based on the type of content you want to share and your bandwidth for sourcing, writing and designing this content. Create a schedule that outlines deadlines for content development and distribution so that your communications can go out in a timely manner.
Perhaps your organisation is committed to doing business and protecting the planet at the same time. Or maybe your mission is to support the next generation of technology leaders, empower women or support vulnerable communities. Whatever it may be, make sure that this messaging is present in your internal communications. Your employees want to see your mission come to life. Showcase how your company is living up to its promises and making progress towards its goals.
It’s likely that one of your program’s goals will be to drive further business growth. This is why your content should highlight industry trends and offer strategies to your employees so that they can better manage relationships with prospects and buyers. Even if not all of your readers are members of the sales and customer service teams, keeping them updated on the latest research and best practices can support the R&D team, C-suite and others. Make sure your tips are easy to understand and easy to implement. You may want to keep the content concise to improve recall.
One of the easiest ways to motivate employees is to recognise them for their hard work. An internal communications program is perfect for spreading the word about your superstars on a regular basis. Consider a monthly employee shoutout or a Q&A feature that highlights the efforts of one particular person or an entire department. Showcasing your team members will generate excitement from their coworkers and demonstrate that your organisation cares about and wants to celebrate the successes of its staff.
To keep things fresh and exciting, be sure to highlight different areas of your business. This is a great way for people in one department to learn about other key initiatives and areas of the company. Having an understanding of their tasks and tips for success can drive greater innovation and collaboration. Plus, some of your employees may want to make a lateral move at some point. Being transparent about the various internal departments prepares them for a potential new role and keeping great talent in house can give your organisation a leg up over the competition.
Your employees are your best resource for new content. After all, they’re your target audience – ask what they’d like to see featured in an upcoming e-newsletter or on your intranet. Give employees an opportunity to recommend article topics or authors so that you can customise the internal communications program to meet their needs and preferences.
It’s great to be able to see how your program is progressing and which pieces of content are attracting the most interest. In order to do so, you’ll need to implement a platform that enables you to collect metrics. These metrics may include open and click rates if you’re sending an internal e-newsletter or page views and downloads for a company intranet. Define which key metrics are most important to you and use them to inform your upcoming content so that you are making the most compelling content possible.
Making your employees feel valued requires many different tactics like paying them a fare wage, giving them access to career development resources and communicating with them openly and honestly. One way to remain transparent is to implement a formal internal communications program that regularly informs and celebrates employees throughout your organisation. By following the above best practices, your business can ensure that your employees are your biggest brand advocates and feel recognised and appreciated. With so many organisations struggling to hire, keeping employees happy is more important than ever. Make sure that you put as much effort into internal communications as you do external communications.
Is your organisation interested in launching or revamping your internal communications plan? Contact the Mulberry Marketing team today to learn more about how we can help you effectively communicate with employees at every level of your business.
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.