Best practices for effective internal communications has seven principles: strategy, audience, content, channel, timeline, metrics, and data analysis. In this post, we’re discussing best practices for Principle #4: Channel.
Channel strategy can have a lot of different meanings in different context, but here (where we’re talking specifically about internal communications best practices), it means adopting a strategy for how you’re going to best use the various channels that information travels through and/or lives in within your organization. An internal communications channel strategy aims to manage where your message and your audience meet.
Predictability may sound boring, but consistency has a whole other ring to it. The idea is to get your employees to expect certain information to appear in dependable places (ideally in some kind of regular cadence, but timeline is a topic for another day!) and to make sure that when they go looking for information, it’s simple and intuitive for them to find the most correct, relevant and up-to-date material.
The business cost of employees operating with out-of-date, incomplete or just plain incorrect information is where your risk really sits.– Erin Raimondo, Internal Communications Specialist at IC Thrive
It might occasionally be an up-front, quantifiable major error (ie. the wrong information leads to a lost account or penalties), but most of the time, chances are that it’s showing up in opportunity costs, churn and retention, or other proxy measures.
Gain access to a free Channel Audit tool to help you structure and deploy your communications to have the most reach and impact possible.
When you’re thinking channel, think broadly: email is definitely a channel. So is an intranet, if you’ve got one (if not, check it out). But so is Slack, Teams, a shared drive, a stand-up huddle, a bulletin board, a digital screen…I mean, you get the idea. Making the most of the tools you’ve got starts with taking a full inventory!