EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS – PART 2
Last week, we saw why internal communications are important from an employee’s perspective, and the challenges faced by an organization. In the second part of this series, we explore the second challenge – Will internal communications satisfy the need and intent?
Use the below to further weave in a communication strategy to your ideas:
Messaging – Use minimum text and make your messaging crisp. Use visual representations, info graphics, diagrams/charts etc. Your messaging should not be a story.
Visuals – Curious yet relevant images always do the trick. You can also use abstract imagery which will raise curiosity and make the reader spend more time on the message.
The messaging should be structured to get the following as an outcome.
- Audience should understand the message easily
- Expectations should be laid out clearly
- Should make the reader responsible as he is part of what is being said
- Respect the reader – Do not send anything that a person or a group does not need to know. This is one of the biggest negative factors where the organisation loses its readers due to behavioral patterns. If I get 3 to 4 messages which are not very relevant to me, I will delete all of them including the one that could be important to me.
- Identifying and grouping your audience is extremely important to succeed in impactful messaging. The tone and style will be different for different levels in the organisation based on the information.
- Achievements are another important thing a reader would look for in the message. Try and bring out that essence in the message. Talking about a newly implemented solution; the latest technology used; a big deal won with a differentiator will bring a sense of achievement to the reader.
- Learnings – As we all know, nothing works better than a knowledge offering. If there is something to learn, it will not only interest the reader, but also hook him up for more!
From my experience, there are a couple of fundamentals I have seen missing with respect to communication at the workplace:
- No sensitive info – Do not send sensitive information through mass communication. Face-to-face is still effective (small group meetings)
- Too much info graphic and visual representation – Radiates intelligence but does not necessarily work for all levels
- One type fits all – Different types of messages need different representation and mediums. This will enhance the strength of the message
- Level of communication – Defining the framework for different levels to set a specific style and tone usually is a long term process and should be done based on the learning rather than definition
- What went right and what went wrong – To certain levels, organisations should also communicate what is not working or did not work. This will not only build trust, but also give away a lot of learning for subsequent times.
- Never use your regular channel for crisis communication – Face-to-face meetings are still the best way to go
- This article is mostly based on direct internal communications like e-mailers, white papers, Newsletters etc. A lot more insights will have to be used for generic messaging for internal purposes
Defined factors and a framework built at an entry level, from a consumer viewpoint, would make direct internal communications very effective and engaging.