Twenty years ago, if an executive had said the words "internal communication" there's a high probability that the concept would have been met with a blank stare. However in present day business, internal communication has become just as important to the running and success of a business as external communication with clients.
Your employees are your greatest asset. They are your customers' point of contact with your business. They deliver on your brand values. Do they know what these are?
Internal communications is what helps employees of a business understand how the business works, what happens in the business and why. This begs the question, why is this important?
If employees know what's going on - the strategy, results and brand promise - and how they fit into the process, they work better and make more effective decisions that benefit the business.
These days many businesses, especially big businesses, are far more complex in their structure and service offering than in years gone by. This has created an opportunity for many employees to be left in the dark, feeling like a forgotten cog in a machine. If employees don't understand why they need to do what they do, then there is a disconnect between their interests and the business' interest.
When employees are informed and understand the workings of a business, they are far more likely to make better decisions - decisions based on the best interests and objectives of the company.
Performance management and internal performance are arguably some of the most important activities a manager will face. Yet historically this engagement attracts nowhere near the budget or analysis of traditional external communications and advertising.
And while most businesses these days appreciate the business case for internal communications, few know how to go about implementing it strategically and creatively. The key here is turning information into inspiration.
Effective external communication is often hinged on effective internal communication to the people who deliver what the business promises to their customers.
These communications need to be simple, consistent and creative - both in terms of their messaging and their medium. Employers and managers also need to know how to segment their audience appropriately - and how to address different levels effectively.
An email may not be the best channel for everybody. Staff who are on the road may prefer face-to-face meetings or even messages via an audio medium. Companies need to work out a bespoke communications channel that works effectively for them and their employees.
Keeping things clear and simple when strategising for internal communications is also useful to staff when their job spec comes into play. When an employee is one hundred percent aware of what they are expected to do, plus one hundred percent aware of why they need to do it, that is two hundred percent in favour of a successful and well run company.
Making a job description explicit is one highly successful way of building a good internal communication structure, especially when line managers are involved.
In big corporations, line managers are the connection between the directors and every single employee in the enterprise. If a line manager is unsure of what is going on, or what to say/how to say it to the employees positioned under him, there will be trouble ahead.
When line managers know what and how they need to communicate with their staff, the likelihood is that the rest of the staff will benefit, in turn helping the company perform better and get a better financial return at the end of the day.
In his publication "The Employer Brand: Bringing the best of brand management to people at work", Richard Mosley discusses the importance of building a strong internal business brand.
Keeping the values and culture of a company and their own personal brand as a priority is something which increases employee satisfaction. There is undoubtedly a connection between employee satisfaction and driving business performance and customer satisfaction.
Every business is going to experience change at one time or another, whether through the relative market, regulations, innovation or competitors - all of these factors change, but consistency and effective internal communication can smooth the way during these changes.
When an employee can identify why strategies, results, brand promise and other factors vital to business function are so important and the role played by them and the other employees, every member of a company will be able to make more informed choices that benefit the business and business functioning.
Author Bio: [http://www.sogiants.com/]Shoulders of Giants is an online business resource for directors, corporates, students and employees featuring various giants and [http://www.sogiants.com/giants]business experts in their respective fields sharing their expertise, knowledge and experience through a series of publications and products, such as Richard Mosley, an internal communications and employer brands guru.