Strong company culture is a significant strategic advantage and a driving force in achieving your business goals. Developing and strengthening a business culture is a long-term process with the right tools and channels in place. Your mission, values, and goals should be communicated in an easy-to-digest way for them to be understood and acted upon. The way you communicate is as essential as the message itself.
The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on your internal communication strategy and find new ways to engage and motivate your employees. The best practices below will help you do just that.
1. Plan and strategise
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself: What role does internal communication play for my company? What channels and tools do I use for internal communication? What can I improve? What do I want to achieve with these changes? How do I reach my communication goals? When will I be able to see the results?
Before you start implementing any changes, answer these questions and develop a short-term and a long-term strategy. This will give you an understanding of where you are, where you want to go and how to get there.
According to research, 65% of the population are visual learners, which means that a vast majority perceives information better with the help of visuals. Visual materials effectively convey information and have a more lasting effect, in comparison to verbal messages, oral or written. For this reason, images and videos are more efficient than long emails of plain text.
Consider using a visual tool — like an explainer video from Zoaring — to present your company's vision and values, onboard new employees or explain recent routine changes. Here is an example of a scribe video we made for Kartverket (the Norwegian Mapping Authority) to explain the importance of implementation of the new IT management model.
3. Choose the right channels
The variety of internal communication channels has significantly grown with the recent development of technology. All of these channels aim to make internal communication more efficient and engaging. Here are some of the internal communication software that your business would benefit from:
- Company messaging software such as Slack or Telegram if you need a highly secure chat tool
- Collaborative platform like Workplace by Facebook and Google Hangouts
- Conference apps — Try using appear.in, if Skype is acting up.
4. Make it entertaining
The days when it was OK for work to be boring are over. A recent study by PGi showed that 88% of millennials want to work in "a fun and social work environment." A workplace is supposed to be both fun and productive, and this also concerns internal communication.
At Zoaring we have a channel on Slack called 'random', where we share funny stories, hilarious YouTube videos, basically anything that we find amusing. It's a great way to blow off some steam as well as build strong work relationships.
Another example of how you can make your internal communication more entertaining is by using scribe videos to explain a topic that is complex and dry. Such explainer videos make your audience understand and remember the message.
5. Measure and analyse
The possibility to quantify your performance and analyse how successful the business is can be extremely beneficial for the company's work ethics. KPIs should focus on current and past achievements, trends, goals and the progress in achieving them. Many tools would help you visualise the metrics around the office like Geckoboard, Zoho Reports, Klipfolio, Grow, etc.
Whatever the form, feedback is a gift. It's a present that's not always easy to give or to receive. Feedback makes your work more time-efficient and cost-effective. It also gives you the possibility to grow and develop. Feedback allows you to collect relevant data and gain valuable insight, which will help to move strategically towards your customer.
It's essential to provide your employees with the feedback channels — a company forum, a collaborative platform, chat software, etc. Without these channels, excellent ideas and useful criticism can be overseen. No business can afford to lose feedback.
7. Don't just inform — encourage action
The primary goal of informing is inspiring action. Internal communication must involve and motivate your team to go above and beyond. Here are some to keep in mind:
- Include a call-to-action in your message
- Talk openly about your company's mission, values, and goals
- Reward your team for its achievements
8. Promote employee benefits
In your internal communication, you should focus on the resources that are available to your employees. These include health insurance, gym membership, and other activities that increase your team's motivation, such as team-building sessions, off-site seminars, career-building workshops, etc. These efforts encourage your employees to invest in their own personal and professional development, which will ultimately benefit everyone.
9. Follow marketers
We have to have the same approach to communication with employees as marketers have with the customers. Despite the development in internal communication, there is still a lack of a tool that would allow targeting information to employees based on a variety of criteria. Most of the tools take the one-size-fits-all approach.
With strategic insight into various industries, we at Zoaring produce videos for internal communication as well as offer our customers digital communication tools that allow them to successfully onboard new employees, communicate more efficiently and continuously adapt to the market needs. Please do contact us via the link below to discover what we can do for you.