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4 steps to build a successful internal communications strategy

How to build an effective internal communications strategy
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If organizations want to empower their team’s best work, they need to create a framework for open and effective communication—or, in other words, they need to build a solid internal communications strategy

But for many organizations, how to build that strategy is a question mark—which leads to them not building a strategy at all. According to the 2021 Global State of Internal Communications Report, more than 50 percent of companies currently lack a long-term internal communications strategy.

So, the question is, as an organization, what steps do you need to build a successful internal communication strategy—and empower your team’s highest level of performance in the process?

Ask your employees for insights

Internal communications is all about how your employees are able to communicate, collaborate, and share information. They’re the people internal communications impact most—and improving internal communications within your organization can also improve employee engagement and create a better, more productive environment for your team

According to research from Robert Half, poor communication is the leading cause of low morale in teams—and according to research from RingCentral, nearly half of employees (44 percent) want a wider adoption of internal communication tools within their organization.

Also read: 5 Communication Challenges of Multi-Site Businesses

So, if you’re looking to build an effective internal communication strategy—and give your team the communication tools and framework they need to do their best work? They’re the first people you should talk to.

Send out employee surveys and/or schedule team meetings or one-on-ones to get your employees’ thoughts on your current internal communications. What systems and processes do they think are helpful? Which are outdated? If you’re currently using any internal communications tools, what do they like about them—and what do they feel they could do better?

The point is, your employees are the ones that are going to be implementing your internal communications strategy. So, if you want that strategy to be successful, you should ask them for their insights—and use those insights to drive your strategy.

Define your goals

Once you have your employees’ insights, you can use them to define what your team and organization wants and needs from an internal communications strategy—and then set clear goals to deliver on those wants and needs.

The goals you ultimately set will depend on your organization, your team, and your communication needs.

For example, some internal communications goals might include:

  • Improve distribution of company news and information across the organization
  • Streamline team communications to a single medium or platform (instead of having one team communicate via email, another via chat, etc.)
  • Create systems for easier knowledge sharing
  • Foster better communication between employees and leadership
  • Cut down on the communication necessary to schedule a meeting

Whatever goals you set, make sure you set them using the SMART Goals framework—and that they’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Applying this framework will ensure that strategic goals aren’t just conceptual, but actionable—which will make it easier, both for you and your team, to follow through on them.

Find the right tools to achieve those goals

Once you know what goals you want to achieve with your internal communications strategy, it’s time to figure out what tools and features you need to hit those goals—and then put those tools in place across your company.

For example, let’s say, after sending out your employee surveys, you find out your team spends hours emailing back and forth, trying to coordinate interdepartmental meetings—and your goal is to streamline the process to make it faster and easier. You might then want to find a tool that will help you reduce emails and improve communication (such as an enterprise social network). 

Talkspirit is an enterprise social network that offers a host of features for internal communications. For example, with Talkspirit’s shared agenda, employees can instantly access their coworkers’ calendars, view their schedule, and add events based on individual and/or group availability—without having to manually coordinate dates and times.

Or let’s say you’ve identified communication silos within your organization, and employees struggle to stay up-to-date on what’s happening with other teams or with the company as a whole. With Talkspirit’s newsfeeds feature, employees get instant access to the latests news from the groups they’re subscribed to, making it easier to stay on top of what’s happening elsewhere in the company.

The point is, whatever communication needs your company currently has, there’s technology that can fill those needs—so make sure that you choose and implement the right internal communication tools to hit your goals.

Continually adjust and optimize your internal communications strategy 

Building an internal communications strategy isn’t a “one and done” kind of endeavor. As your team grows and evolves, your communication needs will grow and evolve as well—which means, if you want to continually empower your team’s best work, you need to also continually adjust and optimize your internal communications strategy.

Once you’ve set your goals and implemented your internal communications tools, make sure you’re regularly checking in with your team. Ask them how they feel internal communications are improving and what areas still need work—and then adjust or change your strategy as necessary to support further improvements.

Bottom line? Internal communications is an ongoing process—and if you want your internal communications strategy to continue to support your team, you’ll need to adjust and optimize it on an ongoing basis as well.

Also read: Hybrid Work: HR and Internal Communication Best Practices

Build an internal communications strategy that takes your team—and business—to the next level

An effective internal communications strategy is a must if you want to empower the highest level of performance and productivity within your team. And now that you know the steps to take to build an internal communications strategy from the ground up, you’re armed with the knowledge you need to craft a communications strategy that takes your team—and your business—to the next level. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and build that strategy!

Also read: The top 4 advantages of internal communication for businesses

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Are you looking for new tools to improve internal communication within your organization? Check out our list of the 14 best software for internal communication:


Author: Deanna deBara


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