Internal Communication: Information & Delivery
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION is at the core of any organisation. Most successful organisations have a very strong communication system supporting them.
Wikipedia describes Internal Communication of an organisation as any formal or informal communication to close stakeholders. ‘Stakeholders’ is a nice word further described as those people with whom it has a relationship that requires support, principally direct/indirect employees and/or members.
Experts and veteran communication professionals assert that you can never have too much communication; but also warn against confusing between communication of information and data.
But what is internal communication really??
- To put it very simply it is a thread that binds an organisation and its employees together.
- It makes systems, policies, procedures, roles and levels transparent, reducing the grey areas.
- It addresses the basic human need of being aware of and in tune with their environment.
- And at the end of the day it adds an element of light heartedness in the dreary drudgery of the daily routine.
However, what is even more critical than having in place the system of internal communication is having an effective and efficient system of delivery. Many a communication campaign has failed due to delivery delay or failure.
So what is this delivery mechanism that can make or break a communication?
The various channels of communication readily available in an organisation are of course phone, email, intranet, common areas…The challenge is to convert them from fluid to structured channels. That it not to say that people will no longer be allowed to talk on the phone…just that instead of burning the wires with hot baseless gossip they would be discussing confirmed information resulting in a more productive interaction.
Any good internal communication program should have a range of well thought out channels that would enable the delivery of communication and cover the organisation in a number of ways across levels. Some of the innovative and increasingly popular internal communication tools are interactive screensavers, scrolling newsfeeds, desktop alerts, e-mags, pop-up quizzes and surveys, blogs, discussion forums and helpdesks.
Interactive Screensavers are highly effective internal communication tools that don’t burden you already burdened inbox. The desktop alert message pops up on the targeted employee’s computer screen, bypassing email altogether. Scrolling news feeds keep staff informed of the latest updates and news without interrupting their work. Simple staff quizzes increase skills and knowledge of the employees and can also work as a mechanism of taking feedback for the management.
Effective internal communication should actually be considered a tool of competitive advantage that increases productivity and can reduce workplace conflicts.