Do you see your internal communications as something self-contained within your organisation – or is it part of a bigger picture? Good internal communications are targeted at your employees but should be of the same calibre as the communications you send out to consumers, customers and stakeholders. After all, chances are your employees buy or consume your products and services once their work for the day (or night) is done – and talk to other people about their experience as well.
So, with that in mind, what can internal communications do to boost your external brand?
1. It transforms your employees into brand ambassadors
Internal communications is, in part, a way of instilling a sense of pride in employees – uninformed and disengaged employees do not perform well. With that ‘feel good’ factor in place, employees will naturally regard your products and services in a positive light and that will come across when they are talking about them as well. Everyone chats about work at some time – what are your employees saying about to their families, friends, neighbours and social media followers? Good things, of course – if you get it right.
2. It enables employees to provide a better service to your customers
Another reason for internal communications is to ensure that news, knowledge and information are accessible throughout the organisation – via an intranet, newsletters, emails or unified communications systems. There are so many digital channels now you can almost take your pick. Of course, offline channels still have their place as well.
All your employees will benefit from this – and so will your customers. The person in front of them (or on the phone or video conference call) will be better informed about your products and your company. If the customer asks them something they can’t answer, a good internal directory will help your employee find the person who can. Or maybe they can post a question on their Chatter or Yammer page and the person with the right information will then be able to quickly answer it.
3. It helps you position your organisation as an employer of choice
In many industries – including we admit, ours – everyone knows everyone – or, at least, they think they do. Again, employees talk to their family and friends about work and what it is really like to work for your company. But what are they saying? Are they telling potential candidates that you are an employer of choice? That they enjoy your job? Or that they are only working because they have to?
Good employers define and communicate a set of shared values, which helps to foster an innovative and successful workplace. Internal communications has a pivotal role in helping you spread these essential messages.
4. It allows you to you create one source of truth
Something has happened – or so someone thinks. Somebody senior was seen having lunch with a competitor. Another person heard one of the management team was leaving. There’s a lot of talk about the new office. The rumour mill is working overtime again.
Good internal communication creates a single, overarching narrative that employees can rely on. Of course, employees love to talk and that will always be the case – but at least you have a mechanism for to deal with the more outlandish claims quickly and effectively.
5. Your company will be perceived as a better financial investment.
47% of companies with ‘highly effective’ internal communications had higher returns to shareholders. While companies with high level employer engagement reported an average of 19.2% in operating income. Conversely, companies with low levels of employee engagement declined an average of 32.2%.
What is your internal communications saying about your company?