A recent report by Gallup found that productivity losses cost American companies over $550 billion annually. This is why so many companies optimize for employee productivity.
But if your team lacks the ability to communicate effectively with one another, any productivity-focused changes that you make will be dead in the water. It’s why internal communication is the foundation of a more productive workforce.
This article will take an in-depth look at internal communications and how preparation can help you get more out of them. Keep reading to learn more.
The importance of internal communications
What are internal communications?
We can begin by quickly reviewing what’s actually meant by the term “internal communications”. As you may already know, this term encompasses any communications that take place between your team members.
Those communications can take place across many different channels, including:
- Chats and Slack rooms
- Video calls on Zoom
- Content on internal web pages
- Conversations in the hallway
- Face-to-face meetings
The key to a good internal communication strategy is optimizing as many of these channels as possible. The best way to do that is by investing in the right tools.
For example, signing your company up for Slack will give workers an easy place to go whenever they need to send messages to individual employees, sub-groups, or their entire team.
VODIUM can be quite helpful as well, as our video conferencing teleprompter software makes it much easier for teams to stay on track during video calls.
Benefits of good internal communications
Having a strong internal communication strategy will benefit your business in a variety of ways.
For example, 85% of employees say they’re most motivated when they receive regular updates from management.
Businesses with effective communication are also 50% more likely to have low employee turnover numbers.
Finally, more than 80% of Americans say that trust is key to developing and maintaining strong relationships with their employers and team members.
The bottom line is that strong internal communications create strong companies. Your team will likely be more engaged, collaborative, and loyal if you can help them communicate internally at a high level.
Internal communications make remote work possible
Remote work has become increasingly popular in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s impossible to maintain your current levels of productivity with a remote team unless you have strong levels of internal communication.
If you can improve your company’s internal communication, then you make remote work a realistic possibility for your team. This is valuable because remote work offers the following benefits:
- Provides employees with more flexible scheduling opportunities, which may increase retention rates
- Opens up the possibility of reducing office space to save costs
- Gives you the ability to hire across a wider geographical area to find the best contributors possible
- It may help to reduce staff absence rates
Be prepared for your internal communications
Now that we’ve covered why internal communications matter, it’s time to start figuring out what you can do to take yours to the next level.
The key theme that binds all of the following tips together is preparation. The more prepared your company is, the likelier it is to have strong internal communications. We’ll show you how in the sub-sections below.
Draft and revise your messages before sending them out
Message clarity is one of the biggest factors that impact the quality of an organization’s internal communications.
If you want to improve your internal communications, you need to start by writing messages that are less likely to be misinterpreted by your team. Creating and following a solid process for message drafting and revision is a big part of this.
One easy step that you can take to improve message clarity is not sending any important messages out to your company just after you’ve written them. Coming back to review the content even just a few hours later can help you catch mistakes that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
You may also want to have someone else review your important messages before you send them out. They may be able to catch vague or confusing parts of your statement that you might not notice yourself.
Finally, you may want to consider installing a Grammarly plugin to your Google Chrome web browser. This will automatically check for grammar and spelling mistakes as you write. That way, you don’t make any significant wants that could detract from your message.
Improve communications by communicating—ironic, huh?
Improving internal communications is more of a team effort than many leaders initially think. You only have a single vantage point of your team’s communication methods and strategies. Even if that vantage point is a good one, you will still likely be missing key information.
This is why it’s important to involve your employees in your efforts to improve internal communication. You can use things like surveys and meetings to get feedback and ask for opinions.
Your employees may help you discover lingering communication issues that you wouldn’t have spotted otherwise.
Invest in as many communication tools as possible
There are plenty of great tools out there that can supplement your efforts to improve internal communication within your organization. These range from popular video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype to workplace connectivity tools such as Slack, Asana, and Monday.
There are also great niche tools out there that could help your company improve its internal communication even more. For example, VODIUM offers a virtual teleprompter that integrates easily with every major video conferencing tool. It can revolutionize your video calls.
You could also try something like Mailchimp to help you deliver an impactful company-wide newsletter via email. Or you could invest in a company feedback app to give your team the ability to provide meaningful feedback in an anonymous format.
Make internal knowledge more accessible
Every company has internal knowledge that isn’t immediately obvious to new hires. This can range from the mundane – like a door that you have to open a certain way – to the important – like an internal shorthand within a key app that’s not intuitive.
When you hire new employees, this type of information is communicated in bits and pieces over time, on a need-to-know basis. This can create a situation in which your new hires aren’t well-equipped to carry out their key responsibilities as effectively as possible.
This is why it’s important to try and make internal knowledge more immediately accessible to your team.
You can do that by taking the internal knowledge and making it explicit in training manuals and user guides. That way, you aren’t reliant on employees keeping key pieces of information in their head and sharing it with new workers. You automate that process, instead.
Create a culture of communication
You can take all of the steps we’ve already covered, and you still may find that your team isn’t communicating as effectively as you want. If that happens, then there’s a strong chance that your company’s culture isn’t conducive to free communication.
This can happen for a few reasons. For example, maybe people have tried expressing complaints or problems in the past and they were criticized for doing so. Or, perhaps they just weren’t taken seriously the last time they spoke up. This could discourage them from speaking freely again in the future.
This is why focusing on building a culture of communication is a key step in ensuring that your team gets as much out of the changes that you’re making as possible.
There are a few ways to do this. One is to encourage your leaders to be receptive and understanding of all feedback and criticism that team members provide. Remind them that you want honesty, above all else.
You can also open up avenues for employees to communicate with leaders anonymously. That way, they can speak their minds without fearing reprisals.
Stay prepared for internal communications with VODIUM
Video conferencing software like Zoom has never been more popular – especially as teams become increasingly remote. But it can be hard for a meeting leader to keep attendees engaged without wasting time. VODIUM is specifically designed to help with this.
Our video conferencing teleprompter is easy to add to whatever video meeting app your team uses. It’s lightweight and includes helpful features like scrolling customization, transparency controls, and teleprompter placement.
With VODIUM, both you and your team leaders will be able to communicate more effectively in key meetings. This could be just what you need to unlock the full potential of your team’s internal communications.
So why wait? You can sign up for a free trial of VODIUM today to experience its value directly.