Ever needed to explain to a colleague, a senior exec, or a client why internal communication is a vital component of any successful business? I’ve faced that a few times over my career in Comms, so I’m sharing some facts that might help you position internal communication as an essential business discipline at the heart of a business’s success.
Money, money, money!
The bottom line is that effective internal communication improves company reputation, customer satisfaction, productivity levels, revenue and shareholder value.
According to Towers Watson’s 2013-14 Communication ROI Study Report ‘Organisations with effective communications are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.’ In a previous study effective employee communication was shown to be a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement.
There’s good reason why the likes of Expedia feature in the Best Places to Work 2017 list. Ranking #1 in the UK, as voted by employees, this statement clearly shows that internal communication plays a fundamental part in a company’s success and reputation. ‘Amazing leaders, very accessible and communicating a lot with all employees. Clear business directions.’ Glassdoor 2017 Best Places to Work 2017.
Credibility, Commitment & Kudos for Managers
But financial and reputational benefits are sometimes not enough, or the right motivators, when influencing leaders. So what is in it for them?
Effective implementation of an internal communication strategy will ensure managers understand the business and be suitably equipped to inform, inspire and align their staff behind the business purpose. Leaders and managers play a vital role in this regard, communicating business strategy via meaningful messaging to their staff; explaining the why. With internal communication supporting them, leadership credibility and trust are established – and who doesn’t want to have bags of them? With a sense of purpose and value underpinning everything, staff productivity and commitment will increase, meaning managers get so much more from their people, and for longer!
Great internal communication gives managers the tools, confidence and opportunities to connect with and understand their people. Being a credible and effective conduit between the business and all staff, managers have the added potential of improving employee engagement levels, by creating an open, supportive culture. A perfect marriage between Internal comms and Managers can help enable the voice of the employee to increase efficiencies and creativity, and reduce absenteeism, conflict and turnover rates; all great business performance enhancements for any of us to lay claim to.
Happy, healthy, confident colleagues
If you do your job effectively as an Internal Communicator you can confidently say to your work colleagues and friends that you play a pivotal role in their well-being. A recent study by the Institute of Employment Studies (2016) into the importance of meaningful work showed that employees who find meaning and purpose in their work have enhanced self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Joining the dots from an individual contributor to a greater good, is exactly why Internal Comms can be such a worthwhile vocation.
And there’s more! Don’t forget the power of the peer. If your colleagues and staff are happy and fulfilled at work, they’ll recommend the company to their friends. According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, peer-to-peer influence is increasing, with 75% saying their brand decisions are influenced by a conversation with someone like themselves. 59% said they recommended a company to a friend or colleague in the past year. Brand reputation enhanced. Talent attraction multiplied. Thanks, Internal Comms!
If you can showcase the undisputed benefits of effective internal communication to the powers that be, and create a small army of IC advocates to capitalise on their peer-power-influence, the opportunities and potential to improve your organisation through internal comms will soon be in reach. And you’ll soon be making a difference to the lives of many.
Post author: Jo Hall