Internal communication is often not high up on companies’ priority lists. Do your Line Managers struggle to pass on information and instructions effectively to their teams? And what about inter-departmental communications? Does your marketing team know what your sales force is up to?
Most business owners focus their attention on communicating with their customers, suppliers and partners. Internal communication needs the same focus. If you find your employees are missing deadlines, using outdated SLAs and using last year’s costing, it may be time for a communication overhaul.
- Be brief
Why use 20 different, varied and assorted words to explain what you’re trying to say and make your point to your employees when fewer words and more concise explanations will do? It’s annoying, right? So use only as many words as necessary to say what you need to say. Time is short; people are busy.
- Have fewer meetings
Does your company have a meeting culture? This can be damaging to your communication goals. Schedule meetings only if you really have to. Make sure you set an agenda and send it out prior to the meeting. Ensure you have someone keeping time and minutes – stick to the time allocated for each topic under discussion. An alternative is walking meetings, which are great for getting some exercise too. Standing meetings, where you can stand and enjoy a cup of coffee, are also becoming a popular alternative for more informal meetings.
- Strengthen your brand identity
Use every opportunity you get to instil your company’s brand (and culture – the two work together) in your employees. Branding is not only an isolated, external exercise employed for the benefit of clients and customers. Brand activities should be included in internal events and meetings. In this way a common message will be created and your company’s brand will be strengthened. You should also strive for a level of consistency between your internal and external communication.
- Limit jargon
Do you remember when you were a child and the older kids wouldn’t let you play with them? Did they exclude you by making up a secret language? Well that’s exactly what jargon is. Technically, it’s language that’s used and understood in a specific industry. Terms are used so often that they’re shortened to make conversation easier. But very often jargon is used as a weapon or as a means of trying to gain the upper hand in meetings. This tactic is counterproductive when trying to share information. Rather keep jargon to a minimum and ensure that everyone is on the same page as you are.
Ensure that your organisation’s communication strategy includes internal communication. It’s not something that should be left to chance or as an afterthought. Internal communication, if handled effectively, can be used to build company culture and strengthen your corporate brand.
Want to know more about getting your staff to communicate effectively? Stay tuned!