Internal communications plans are imperative for businesses of all sizes, whether you have four team members or 4,000. Successful internal communications strategies not only provide outlets for sharing news, but they also provide an excellent opportunity to build trust and relationships among team members.
While an internal communications plan is a great place to share good news, it’s also an outlet for sharing news that may negatively impact the company and its employees. Whether you want to share an exciting update or respond to a crisis, consider the following internal communications strategies and tips:
Communicate the good
To support morale and business growth, employees need to feel connected to the company’s mission, values and goals. When employees understand company goals, or the “why” behind their work, they can more easily envision their role in achieving those goals. Employees will feel they are an integral part of the bigger picture. This leads to increased productivity, morale and retention.
Internally communicating goals and values requires a proactive and consistent approach. Newsletters are a great way to regularly and thoughtfully communicate with employees. Consider newsletter sections like “company news” for timely updates or “employee spotlights” to make employees feel appreciated and recognized.
Communicate the tough
To be unclear is to be unkind. Company executives owe their employees honesty and transparency to the fullest extent possible. Of course, there are times when it’s appropriate and strategic to keep information confidential or at least confidential for a defined time period. However, it’s in the company’s best interest to communicate significant events or changes that impact the business and those in it internally before releasing the information externally.
Unexpected changes often create uncertainty among teams. Whether changes are planned or not, careful communication helps make employees feel secure and reduces anxiety about the unknown.
Companies can minimize uncertainty by drafting internal announcement outlines for significant events prior to them happening. Executives should work with their communications director, internal communications or public relations team to brainstorm events that would warrant special internal messaging. These events may include leadership changes, such as the death or termination of an executive, mergers and acquisitions, significant changes to product or service lines, new policies affecting employee pay or benefits, or policies developed in reaction to crisis, such as a global pandemic.
While the communications team may not know every detail to include before the actual event occurs, companies are still able to generally plan what they would communicate in each situation and proactively set the tone for each message.
Quick tips for communicating internally
Kara Weller is a communications specialist at Pierce Public Relations.