Businesses have a variety of communications to manage, including their internal ones. For many, this may be put on the back burner, as they prioritize their operational and sales-encouraging communications. However, internal communications are just as crucial, which is why we’re going over some of your options here – and how you need to use them.
First, let’s examine some of the types of internal communications that commonly factor into a business’ operations.
- Information sharing – There’s a lot of news that needs to make its way throughout the office. Different forms of communication can help accomplish this, helping to ensure that the message gets across, whether it’s a company-wide announcement or onboarding materials.
- Collaboration – Collaboration, by its nature, requires communication between any involved parties. There are a few solutions that make this more efficient and effective, not to mention simpler.
- Recognition and company culture – Who doesn’t like to be recognized for their accomplishments, or to participate in internal decision-making, especially when that decision-making is in regard to something related to something more fun? Collaboration solutions play a role here as well.
Now, let’s consider a few solutions that can help you to accomplish this goal.
This is perhaps the most obvious use of internal communication – making sure that all of your team is on the same page, whether as a means to promote collaborative tendencies (more on that later) or new policies, plans, or procedures are being put in place. To accommodate these needs, you should make sure that your employees have the tools that they will have to use to do so.
These tools include things like:
- Email – While other solutions have become reasonable alternatives for email, the tried-and-true default still stands strong. As a solid solution for all-around communications, it provides you with a means of communicating with your staff in a way they are almost guaranteed to be familiar with, just make sure they aren’t checking it excessively throughout the day.
- Newsletters – While newsletters are often used as an external effort to remind your audience of your services, they can be just as valuable as a means of keeping your employees in the loop, especially about items that don’t often get brought up in the workplace, or questions that you don’t want to have to answer repeatedly. Using your aforementioned email solution to distribute an e-newsletter internally is a cost-effective way to do so.
- Video – While it may seem like overkill to put together a video to share information internally, they make sense to use in situations where you can reuse the material over and over, like when you are onboarding new employees or training them. Keep in mind, these videos should still be supplemented by other training tools, like other internal documents and resources, to use as references… plus, there’s a lot to be said for face-to-face, shadow-style training, too. However, maintaining an internal repository of reference videos provides your employees with an option to help them answer their own questions without distracting others in the office.
Collaboration is one of the biggest industry buzzwords nowadays, and for good reason. A workplace that operates collaboratively usually sees big benefits to its operations. This is particularly true if a business has more than one location to contend with, or allows its staff to work remotely. There are also solutions that can help you encourage this kind of collaboration, such as:
- Dedicated Applications – There are a king’s ransom of collaboration-based applications out there, designed around a variety of business needs. Sure, you have your conferencing applications, but you also have things like shared storage applications (like Google Drive and Office’s OneDrive) that allow collaboration, as well as an assortment of other collaboration-boosting solutions.
- Surveys – Part of keeping lines of communication open in the workplace is ensuring that everyone has the chance to have a say. Distributing surveys to help make certain decisions gives your team a chance to have their say, increasing their investment into the business and working together to enact change.
- Chat Applications and Forums – All work and no play, as the saying goes, so you want to give your employees a place to quietly socialize without disturbing too many people – and without pulling too far away from the task at hand. While chat applications and forums are great tools for leveraging coworkers’ assistance on work-related projects, they also allow your employees to relax a bit and build stronger relationships (making them more comfortable with reaching out when needed).
Recognition and Company Culture
Finally, it is always important for a business to keep their employees as comfortable and content as possible, less of the gray-cubicle stereotype and more of the casual, open-office ideals that are now being adopted. Part of this is accomplished by promoting a communicative company culture, recognizing individual and group accomplishments and encouraging your employees to inject a little bit more of their personality into the workplace.
- All of the Above, and More – Frankly, any of the tools we discussed above (and quite a few we didn’t mention) can help you to accomplish these goals, if used correctly.
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