Communication, especially the internal communication plays a crucial role in success and failure of any company. The importance of internal communication cannot be exaggerated and seems to increase day by day. What makes internal communication so crucial in the success and failure of any organization? The simple answer is, as the days pass, technology is becoming common and human management will be playing a bigger role in the overall success. Considering all this, here is a brief write up which shares some guidelines for internal communication and some possible benefits which any organization can reap out of this initiative.
Some Guidelines for internal Communication
1. Have a dedicated and knowledgeable person to do it. Many times, companies do internal communication just as a formality-because everyone else does it. If you do it that way, its never going to work. The right way of doing it is having someone to do it and take the ownership. The person should be knowledgeable. He should not be someone who is not good at doing anything else and hence has been given this harmless job.
2. Plan the activities well and stick to the schedules. People loose their interest quite fast if they find something to be boring, not useful and not consistent. Unfortunately, in almost all the companies, this is how internal communication is handled- boringly, without adding any value and not at any specific frequency. It needs great deal of planning and great execution capabilities to make internal communication juicy, useful and as per the timeline.
3. Target all the levels of hierarchy, involve the top management. Any activity can hardly succeed without the involvement of top management. If top management of the company feels that internal communication is just any other activity, something which is good to have, it is going to fail, for sure. Rather, top management should be the engine which drives the entire activity in terms of content, ideas and vision. Unfortunately, at most of the places, top management is busy doing other ‘important’ things!
4. Define the objectives. Objectives of internal communication cannot be same for every company. Each organization is unique and so are people working there and challenges faced. A one fits all approach is certainly going to be suicidal. A lot of thought should be put behind identifying the right challenges and hence, the right objectives. If this step is done with proper care, detailing and attention, howsoever good the execution might be, it’s going to fail. Rightly identifying the objectives of internal communication activity is very important.
5. One man, many shoulders. Though we need a single person to be accountable and responsible, we need many more people who will be the part of this activity and will responsible in some way, if not entirely for the initiative. Best is, there is a communication representative appointed from each department to ensure that all the necessary information and data is given to the team within the timelines.
If all of the above stages are carried out well, here is a list of some probable benefits or outcomes:
- More engaged teams: Teams are generally observed to be more engaged if they feel that the organization communicates with them and shares the key information with them. Internal communication allows the organization to converse with its members, ensuring better engagement and hence, improved accountability and output.
- Better flow of information and breaking of silos: Internal communication effectively breaks silos improving better flow of information and a better understanding across different departments and teams.
- Improved efficiency and throughput: The overall increase in understanding and the engagement significantly improves the efficiency and throughput. Interestingly, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon always insists on smaller teams to ensure there are no communication gaps. Communication activities can improve the performance and throughput of teams.