Strategy | 3 minute read
Over the past twelve months, remote working has morphed from an occasional perk to an everyday occurrence for many workers across the UK. Almost 50% of employees worked from home in April 2020 and 78% of CEOs think that working remotely is here to stay.
So, as we (once again) head into uncertain times with dispersed teams, let’s look at how internal communications can help make a difference to you and your employees by bridging the gap between the office and home.
What are internal communications?
Internal comms are the channels of information used to share information about your business to your employees. They allow you to communicate key messaging to the right people as and when they need to know it. Internal comms can be delivered verbally, electronically (via emails, intranet, or an internal messaging system), or by hard copy (e.g. flyers and posters).
Keep everyone up-to-date
The number one benefit of internal comms is to keep your employees informed. Whether it’s news about an upcoming event, new staff members joining, or an update on business performance, internal comms help everyone feel included in the bigger picture. They represent a company that is open and transparent and help dampen rumours and gossip that can arise when employees are left out of the loop – which is particularly important in an age of remote working.
Helps company culture
Your internal comms are a great way to promote your company culture. Each piece of communication should reflect your company values, mission, and beliefs. It’s important to consider internal comms as a two-way conversation. Feedback and responses to your communications can help shape your workplace culture by revealing what’s most important to your employees. From the messaging and tone of voice to the design and branding, it’s good practice to ask yourself: how does this announcement help solidify our workplace culture?
Giving your workforce a voice when they’re geographically apart can make a huge difference to morale. Asking employees for their thoughts and opinions via internal communications helps them feel valued and appreciated, which helps boost their engagement. Research has shown that companies with a high level of engagement have 22% higher productivity.
Creates a sense of togetherness
In times of uncertainty (such as during lockdown) a lack of communication can naturally lead to feelings of uncertainty amongst your staff. One study found that employees view no news as bad news and that it gives the impression that management is hiding impending doom. Internal communications offer businesses a quick and easy way to ensure accurate information is shared, which can prevent negative rumours from spreading and help reduce stress.
Internal route to success
Communicating with employees is the most significant factor in maximising their potential, according to a study of the role of internal communications by Headlines Corporate News and University of Oxford psychologist Laura Godwin.
Effective internal comms help boost employee engagement leading to a greater ‘buy-in’ of a company’s goals and values, which leads to:
- 44% higher employee retention
- 50% higher productivity
- 33% higher profitability