Internal Communicationsby Val Lawson
Internal communication is an increasingly powerful tool for organisations. It encompasses how an organisation defines itself and the value of being an employee within it. As companies are being pressurised to improve the bottom line and build the right strategy, it is imperative for them to realise that their most important asset is, in fact, their people.
Internal communications may be used to
- Exchange views and ideas
- Issue and receive instructions
- Discuss problems
- Consider developments.
The day-to-day experience of ACAS staff that comes from involvement in workplaces across the country constantly reminds us that information and consultation are the basic building blocks of good employment relations. Employment rights and management decisions are never automatic in their effect. Critically important is that it is the dialogue that information and consultation makes possible that breathes life into the employment relationship, whether or not a trade union is recognised.
Internal communications are concerned primarily with the managed sharing of information and ideas within an organisation. It is also worth noting that your organisation may be affected by legislation about communicating with its workforce.
Internal communications start before employment and continue into induction and the presentation of processes and procedures. Ongoing communications may be through a company newsletter or magazine, team briefing, staff notices and formal corporate meetings. And there is still communication to do when people leave the company.
Whatever the size or type of your organisation, people talk to each other, so it’s important to make sure that they’re all getting the same messages about the values of your business and news about what’s happening.
Effective communications can be the lifeblood of an organisation, carrying key information and engaging people at all levels in a common purpose – where they see your business as their business!
- Imagine a scenario where every person in your workforce has a positive influence on the popularity of your services; can promote the benefits and value of your products; is interested enough to say ‘what a great place it is to work’ – and helps you attract more customers, high calibre staff and bigger orders.
- Picture a situation where your biggest challenge is selecting from a handful of great suggestions for new products; ways of working to improve turnaround; solutions to a specific problem; enhancements that will give you a competitive edge.
Communications can impact on staff retention, productivity and performance – can you afford to ignore them or allow them to be anything less than effective?