Why internal communication is vital
By: Aleksandra Kožul, Communication Director (External, Internal and Digital)
If we first look at the definition, internal communication can be described as communication that takes place between employees of an organization or company. However, it includes far beyond that. Today, internal communication is thought to be one of the most important tools for successfully managing a company in an effort to best position it in the market. Furthermore, any company can achieve external success only if internally it cultivates equally successful communication and coordination between its employees and its management.
Internal communication is a skill that requires constant refinement. It is a process that must never stop or be seen as unnecessary or redundant.
Successful internal communication directly affects employee efficiency, satisfaction, and motivation, which in turn makes it a cornerstone of successful communication in general. Thanks to being directly connected to company goals, values, and growth, investments in internal communication and human resources represent the foundation of any smart, strategic business practices. A company is made up of people, and if they are happy, if they have opportunities to keep up with trends, learn, and expand their skills, they will be able to use them and by doing so contribute directly to its overall advancement. This was perhaps best described by Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, in his legendary statement, “[...] if you can put staff first, your customer second, and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and yourself are happy.”
A survey conducted by the American Society for Training & Development (ASDT) that involved more than 500 US companies found that companies that invested the most in training had a shareholder yield that was 86 percent higher compared with companies in the lower ranked half, and as much as 46 percent higher compared with the market average. That is why investing in employees should not be seen as a cost, but the opposite — investment in the future of the entire company.
We could say that the matter of internal communication is also a matter of good governance and leadership, especially in crisis situations, such as the one we are currently facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In such crisis situations, providing employees with appropriate, truthful, timely, accurate, and clear information is vital. It is important to communicate with them as much as possible and as soon as possible, so that the process of change, especially negative, is better accepted and certain activities and work processes are understood by employees and in turn more effectively implemented.
On the other hand, communication with employees is at once the most complex form of crisis communication. If employees are not adequately informed, this creates room for rumors, uncertainty, mistrust, and consequently lack of motivation.
Often the greatest harm is brought to a company by those who work there, mostly out of ignorance or anger.
Management needs to create a sense of shared issue among employees, as well as facilitate a dialogue that makes them part of the solution to that particular issue. This leads to building good relationships between employees, their alignment with company values, and forging mutual trust.
All this strengthens the company’s corporate culture, which would not exist without employees who share the same core values. A company like this — where employees are happy and corporate culture is highly upheld — never has to worry about its reputation, and in turn its positioning in the market in general.
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