Many organizations acknowledge that communication is the cornerstone of any business’ success and survival. Workplace communication has positive outcomes for increasing productivity, improving efficiency, and enhancing employee satisfaction and morale. However, although effective communication has many benefits, many organizations invest more in communication with the external market than they do internally. In many cases, external communication is conducted flawlessly while internal communication is neglected.
Excellent internal communication has 3C’s; correct, consistent, and constant. Correct means that the information conveyed is accurate and comes from a reliable source. Everyone in an organization should receive correct information, not everyone receiving their version of the story.
Consistent means that internal communication should use the same delivery methods. Whether your company uses internal chats, social communities, newsletters, messages, or regular team meetings, the method should work for your internal customers and ensure that the whole organization has the same information at the same time. As your organization delivers the correct information and uses consistent methods, you should make sure that the flow of information is constant.
Many organizations struggle with consistency in their internal communication. This is especially because of the many communication channels available that have different ways of delivering information. However, this should not be an excuse to refrain from effective and consistent communication. Here are some of the signs that you are not communicating consistently and need to do so.
By communicating consistently, businesses attain various benefits.
No employee wants to hear information second hand. Imagine a warehousing employee hearing about an approaching layoff in the news. He feels undervalued, which results in dissatisfaction. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, dissatisfied staff costs a company more than $16,000 per person. These costs emanate from low productivity, absenteeism, and high turnover rates. Nevertheless, when internal communication is consistent, employees are informed and do not receive information second-hand.
When there is a communication strategy to synchronize the flow of information, employee engagement is improved. Employees feel they are important because they are informed about their company and industry.
The communication strategy can be employee communication schedules either published or presented. It can be a forum where employees are given weekly or monthly updates on corporate matters and issues and allowed to respond to them.
Consistent internal communication creates a favorable work environment characterized by trust and productivity. All employees work in harmony; daily tasks are accomplished while challenges are overcome.
If your company has open and consistent communication, you are likely to attract top talent. Research by 15Five blog reveals that employees value honest and consistent communication than employee benefits. Out of the 1,000 employees surveyed, 81% affirmed that they would rather join a company with open communication that one with a good employee benefits package. Open communication is most valued by Millennials. 84% of Millennials in the study choose open and consistent communication over company perks.
When it comes to communicating effectively, leaders should lead by example and set the pace. Leaders should embrace consistent communication and use the agreed communication channels. They should be open to employees and discuss important issues such as finances, future plans, office morale, and employees’ ideas.
At times, employees don’t agree to the decisions or ideas made by senior management. They don’t know where the idea came from and why they are implementing it. In line with this, senior management should explain a decision made and how it resonates with business strategy and goals.
An internal communication strategy stipulates who needs to know what, when they need to know it, how they need to know it, and how often they need to know it. With a communication strategy, you will eliminate the major obstacles of inconsistent communication like silo thinking, confusion over jargon, and informing employees too late in the process.
It is best practice to choose the right channels to communicate with internal customers. There’s no point of communicating if your employees don’t receive the message. Hence, choose the communication methods that employees use regularly.
Whether you settle for intranet, messaging, email, or social media, it is important to consider the methods that would be most effective in conveying corporate communications. Importantly, measure the effectiveness of your method of choice to ensure that it is not a waste of time and resources. You can even ask employees if they are okay with the method.
Communication is two-way; you communicate a message and the recipient responds. Similarly, in internal communication, when a communication is made, employees should be given a chance to respond to the message. Hence, to ensure consistency in internal communication, there should be rigorous feedback loops.
You can conduct employee surveys, develop an ‘inbox’ for ideas and feedback or have feedback sessions. This way, you show employees that you are listening to them and acting on their opinions.
If ‘content is king’, ‘consistency is queen’ in business. If you run a restaurant, for example, customers expect the same good food always. A small deviation from this means you lose customers and your credibility is tarnished. The same thing applies to internal communication; consistency is vital and keeps employees happy, informed, engaged, and satisfied. So what are you waiting for? Contact IC Thrive for intranet solutions that guarantee consistency in internal communication and help build a thriving workplace.