As an internal communicator, you know better than most that effective communication is crucial to the success and happiness of every type of relationship, especially those in the workplace. And it's likely you’ve also seen that the quality of a business's internal communication often speaks volumes about the business itself. And yet, according to the 2018 State of the Sector on Internal Communication, "just 43% of North American internal communicators are tasked solely with internal communication, compared to 57% globally." The problem is, companies often view employee communication as an expense rather than a revenue driver, an approach that can and ultimately will have dire consequences on all sorts of employee-related factors, including retention and engagement, not to mention your bottom line.
A drifting gaze. Fidgeting hands. Constant interruptions. It’s not difficult to determine when someone isn’t paying attention, a common occurrence in this hypermodern era when everything is a distraction. But at work, paying attention drives productivity. It’s important to listen up.
An internal comms professional is a mythical creature with the power to juggle the daily demands of employee, corporate, and executive communications . . . along with a sprinkle of social media, a pinch of crisis management, and a dash of public relations (PR)—all the while making everyone happy. They deserve glitter, rainbows, and cupcakes for their extraordinary performances all day and all night, every day and every night (NB: I would like mine with extra icing).
At the start of 2017, we talked about how internal communications is a field that requires constant rethinking. With that thought in mind, we've gone back to the drawing board and come up with 18 new ideas for making improvements in this crucial area. 18 is no small number, so, in the interest of speeding things up (see point #11), let's get down to business.
"Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster." —Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc.
Workforce demographics are changing. Each successive generation from Gen X onward has been more and more discerning about the ways their employers talk and listen to them. They have less time for office politics and they demand increased collaboration, transparency, and feedback. They're working differently, and they require tools that can set them up for success in this new environment, where internal communication plays a greater role than ever before in aligning people behind common goals.
Here are seven reasons why internal communications is a key business function and is more important than ever before.