Strong channels of essential internal communication within a business are necessary when it comes to driving and improving employee motivation. Deploying inadequate communication strategies can result in lost talent and a lack of productivity, so how do you avoid them?
It’s clear that all businesses require strong relationships between teammates. Effective departmental communication across multiple levels encourages collaboration for a common business goal. Success in this area promotes a positive culture, increased motivation, and supports employee wellbeing, not to mention a significantly improved organizational output.
Communicating productively with staff can sometimes be a struggle. An organization might lack the proper tools and software to realize this step, they might lack inspiring internal PR examples, or their HR and internal comms teams may already be overburdened. Some companies are simply under the illusion that their existing communication strategy is sufficient, despite siloed teams and staff retention issues.
Providing a space for employees to collaborate and innovate is extremely valuable; the organization and workers alike can benefit. A successful communication and culture strategy offers a sense of belonging to those in the business. It increases professional motivation, especially when driven by the senior leadership team, HR, and other designated workplace communicators.
The importance of your essential internal communication
The workforce’s needs and desires continue to evolve, and the events of 2020 have advanced that even further. Communication strategies need to be conceptually redesigned to support this new set of challenges.
An engaging communication strategy that aligns with the company’s values is the essential foundation of any business
With employee wellbeing and hybrid working currently hot topics intensified by the demands of the recent global healthcare crisis, many are facing an unrecognizable working environment. Today’s business landscape offers previously unimagined obstacles that communication professionals must overcome.
A happy and dedicated workforce is every organization’s best asset, encouraging innovation and ensuring employees stay focused on common business goals. Content workers make better strategic decisions, team collaboration increases, and staff attrition reduces in the long run. An engaging communication strategy that aligns with the company’s values is the essential foundation of any business and the internal structure that holds it all together.
Investing in employee engagement
Organizations that invest time and money into their employee communication strategy find that the workforce is consistently better informed. This business-wide transparency results in higher motivation and innovative problem-solving across all areas.
Employees that are not engaged lack an emotional connection with the activities of their teammates. They are more likely to leave the business, possibly to a competitor. What’s more, they struggle to embody the company values and aren’t willing to act as brand ambassadors.
Businesses that aren’t at the top of their game risk losing the best talent or creating a hostile environment that doesn’t help create or innovate but rather stagnates.
So, what can be done to remedy this? Well, it’s vital to ensure that everyone understands their value within the business. Make employees aware of their day-to-day impact to offer them a sense of pride and be unambiguous about any upcoming team challenges.
Recruitment and retaining top talent go hand in hand with an effective employee engagement strategy. Businesses that aren’t at the top of their game risk losing the best talent or creating a hostile environment that doesn’t help create or innovate but rather stagnates.
An understanding of essential internal communication is key
Investing in employee engagement doesn’t automatically mean a happier workforce, and it’s certainly more involved than simply sending a quick Friday email with a business update. Essential internal communication between teammates is just as crucial as the overarching organizational strategy. Employee engagement can be as simple as someone in the Product or Design team reading a relevant blog posted by a Developer or as in-depth as an hour-long business update hosted by the CEO. And everything in between.
Another essential factor of any engagement strategy is measurement. Without the necessary analytics to back it up, it can be challenging to get a realistic understanding of employee activity. Stress points and any areas of concern within the business can go inadvertently unnoticed.
Left to fester, an adrift team member can spell trouble for already busy departments such as HR and Internal Recruitment.
Participation is critical to successful employee communication, and there’s a big difference between informing and engaging. In this digital world, opening up communication channels that encourage feedback and responses through a desktop intranet or a mobile app can make a tangible difference to the employee experience.
Of course, it’s entirely possible for employees to be generally satisfied within their role due to the salary and benefits package, but still lack engagement within the organization’s culture or their colleagues overall. Left to fester, an adrift team member can spell trouble for already busy departments such as HR and Internal Recruitment.
Lending a hand to HR
HR teams are the drivers for numerous essential internal communication strategies and provide a vital link between different teams within a business. Managing employee wellbeing, recruitment, payroll, and a multitude of other tasks leave them with little time to create purposefully designed communication tactics. That’s where intranet software comes in.
But that doesn’t mean that essential internal communication responsibilities fall solely on the shoulders of HR departments. It’s essential that all areas of the business are equally involved in that all-important engagement, from the senior management team to newly hired graduates. Assuming that all internal communications and employee engagement-related tasks sit under HR’s remit is an excellent way to ostracize employees and demotivate teams.
Everyone needs to be on the same page to drive forward a positive employee-first culture and avoid potential miscommunication disasters. Not only that, but it helps managers communicate business goals while simultaneously listening to feedback in order to implement policies that support their teams.
Excited about the next steps in your internal communication strategy? Here are 5 top tips to increase employee motivation and engagement
1. Promote a fun and familiar environment
Even pre-pandemic, many of us were bombarded daily with digital communications through social media. Keep positivity at the heart of everything employees consume. Try to ensure that most company communication inspires and motivates, even when delivering challenging news.
Creating an environment that reflects familiar social tools while providing real-time business updates helps communications feel more fun and less tasking after a busy workday. Encourage diverse communications amongst staff that aren’t entirely about their professional achievements. Employees can keep up with any significant company-wide updates while also enjoying a photo of their teammate’s new baby, for example.
2. Recognize and reward outstanding work
Peer-to-peer acknowledgment is a simple but effective way of motivating and appreciating fellow employees for a job well done.
There is no better motivation than peer-to-peer recognition, whether that is a shout-out from the senior management team or a grateful message from an appreciative colleague. Giving credit when it’s due creates a culture of celebration within an organization and promotes supportive collaboration. It strongly motivates employees to help each other out and go the extra mile if necessary.
When teammates or the wider business publicizes staff recognition, it’s valuable and impactful, making it likely to be repeated behavior on another occasion. Peer-to-peer acknowledgment is a simple but effective way of motivating and appreciating fellow employees for a job well done.
3. Spread positivity and focus on wellbeing
Employee wellbeing and motivation go hand-in-hand. Driving a positive cultural shift towards a supportive workplace can have a noticeable impact on motivation and productivity.
Particularly within the uncertainty of the current climate, cultivating a stress-aware professional environment can instantly help employees feel like they can be open and honest about any anxiety they may feel, rather than being afraid of having a genuine conversation. Hiding any mental health concerns will ultimately cause more stress in the long run, leading to a lack of motivation, absenteeism, or even long-term sick leave.
4. Listen to feedback and act if necessary
When senior management teams listen to feedback, albeit positive or negative, they give their employees a voice. Acting on gathered feedback is a clear indication that the organization values its staff’s point of view. After all, to improve a company’s culture, it is first essential to understand what that culture entails for those operating within it.
Having these open lines of communication and a two-way dialogue provides support to workers during difficult times in personal or professional lives.
Feedback can be gathered in many different forms. It can be through a lengthy employee questionnaire, sent to all staff quarterly or biyearly. There’s the option of distributing a shorter, more manageable pulse survey. It can even be as simple as one-to-one between an employee and their manager.
Whatever format it takes, honest communications based on unbiased listening can drastically help to motivate employees when they need it most. Having these open lines of communication and a two-way dialogue provides support to workers during difficult times in personal or professional lives.
5. Post relevant company updates
A study by IBM found that 80% of employees felt more engaged when they received consistent communications around their employer’s core values and mission. So, it’s clear that how an organization behaves has a considerable impact on the strength of employee engagement.
An intranet is more than just an employee engagement tool or a content management system. It’s a system to build a cohesive culture that not only motivates but rewards employees in a familiar social setting
Removing technical barriers creates seamless access to any and all company updates that are relevant to employees. They can be located and read multiple times or ignored if deemed not relevant. Content can be shared with custom targeting and classification, and anything that should not be missed can be marked as mandatory for all employees.
In this way, an intranet is more than just an employee engagement tool or a content management system. It’s a system to build a cohesive culture that not only motivates but rewards employees in a familiar social setting, spreading the word about business achievements and creating brand ambassadors at the push of a button.