EXEMPLIFY CULTURE: THY PEOPLE MAKETH YOU
Roughly 8 out of every 10 companies shut down within 3 years of starting out. How do the remaining two manage to strive where the others fail? What differentiates a successful start-up from a struggling one? We may argue it’s their products, services, agenda, funding, market strategy or talented employees. You may also say that it’s actually a combination of innovative strategizing and correct implementation, accompanied with some luck.
When talking about a company’s performance, I believe there are three very important things that contribute the most towards its success, on the other hand they are equally powerful in causing bigtime business failures. They are – products/ services that they offer, its leadership and its employees. It’s not rocket science to understand how important these three are. While its products or quality of service are core to an organisation’s success, result-oriented and inspirational leadership are as critical. However, without enthusiastic and passionate employees, the first two factors will over time prove to be redundant. I like to call them the three value pillars of an organisation linked together by what we know to be “internal communications”.
Without effective internal communications, a company is bound to fail sooner or later. No matter how much leadership talent sits in the management, it will be of no use if their enthusiasm and agendas do not reach the employees. To avoid the trouble caused by inefficient internal communications let me lay out three basic fundamentals a company should focus on while trying to create an effective internal communications’ strategy.
Step 1: Understand the Benefits of Internal Communications
While internal communications isn’t a major problem in smaller firms where communications occurs very naturally, as a company grows and becomes a midsized firm it requires a strategically planned and effective method of dealing with internal communications. Often growing firms underestimate this requirement and have irregular internal communications or a planned technique is absent altogether. In most mid to large firms there is a big communication gap between employees and senior level management. Therefore, it is very important to first understand the benefits of having effective internal communications. With the help of a planned strategy a company can – increase productivity, create better workplace understanding of organisational values and objectives, reduce internal conflicts and need of micro-managing, increase employee retention rates and improve customer service.
Step 2: Let the Leaders Lead
For successful internal communications to take place, the leaders should have a thorough understanding of the company’s products, services, objectives and strategies. Those in leadership need to make sure that all the employees understand the mission and objectives of the company, and also feel motivated; they need to know the vision and make it their own. The management also needs to understand that introducing too many new communication processes too quickly may backfire. Therefore, it can be more fruitful to introduce a new change one at a time and communicating about the same to the employees effectively.
Step 3: Open up Two Way Communication
There are numerous ways for the management to communicate with the employees such as – an interesting newsletter, intranet site, posters, notice boards, group meetings, etc. It is so crucial that there is an effective communications’ channel for the management to hear out employees and understand what they feel about various issues regarding the company. Opening up 2-way communications’ channels within a company can foster better professional relationships and improve understanding between management and employees.
“I can’t stress enough on how important effective internal communications is for a company. An organisation that gives priority to having a solid internal communications’ strategy in place is more likely to have motivated and enthusiastic employees who in turn directly or indirectly communicate this externally, ensuring a better brand in the market, higher productivity and a successful run, as long as they can keep it up.