Internal communication shouldn’t be understood as a simple goal within the company, reducing it to a mere exchange of information, either among employees or among them and those managing work teams. In other words, it is pointless to have the best talent available if the flow of communication is not adequate enough to generate motivation among professionals, in order for them to be more productive and have a healthier work environment.
Internal communication must be seen, instead, as a long-term strategy oriented to accomplish a series of structural objectives, around which profitability and permanence of an organization depend largely on.
Among these objectives are: to avoid different interpretations on what an overall goal or a specific duty requires from employees, to prevent any loss of crucial information at senior levels about issues or updates on a project, and to keep vague or contradictory messages from happening since that may end up causing frustration for the staff.
An efficient internal communication process must ensure that the company has resources which allow to have correct information available constantly, so that work teams can take immediate action.
On the other hand, Susan David, a prestigious psychologist at Harvard University and visionary of coaching, states that there’s another purpose to internal communication, and perhaps the most crucial of all: to enhance commitment on the part of the employees to the mission, values and goals of the company.
“Involvement cannot be mandatory, but it can be triggered”, argues David, who advocates for internal communication to be the solution “to make its people, particularly those more committed employees, to be able to share stories and ideas, and disseminate the best practices all over the company”.
Another of the key factors to achieve a more effective internal communication lies in promoting leadership development, since specially committed employees are the ones who lead others and the ones who feel that their superiors and colleagues value their ideas and initiatives.
Also, it’s advisable to create transversal groups comprised of members from different departments who share similar goals and interests. The effects of this strategic decision are an increase in knowledge inside the organization and a greater skill development on the part of the professionals involved.
The Forbes Agency Council –an international community of experts in corporate communication- points out, among others, the following advices to improve internal communication: to bet on a project management system that allows documentary evidence of decisions; the use of easy-access formats for information exchange; avoiding the use of email for internal communication; and a clear determination for transparency, since the most committed professionals are also the better informed. Success must be shared, but also failure.
An effective internal communication process must also rely on the democratization of information and the promotion of identity and sense of belonging among the members of the staff.
All in all, good internal communication improves individual and collective productivity, while enhancing motivation and commitment among the members of the organization.
Sources: Universidad de Montana, Forbes, y Cinco Días.