Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Kellie Wostrel, APR

Some of us have been there. You hear that effective immediately, the organization you work for is about to undergo a major shift in management. With this internal change, your organization is also looking at operating the business differently and will be making some significant changes to that big project you’ve been working on all year. You find yourself wondering why you haven’t heard any of this before today, and you just found out this valuable information while talking to your work bud by the water cooler.

Internal communications is the very core of a business organization. It helps foster one-on-one relationships. It motivates individuals and teams to strive for objectives and achieve goals, and it cultivates collaboration, culture and community. A lack of internal communications can lead to poor workforce development and business performance. It’s really one of the most important functions of a business.

When you think about the world of communications – it’s ever changing, and internal is no different. The more traditional top-down (or cascading) method of communications is going away, and in many cases, no longer works. Today’s workforce wants to receive communication in a high-speed, multi-directional way. A generation of digital natives will be the majority of the workforce by 2025. The traditional Enewsletter delivered to the inbox no longer cuts it. Employees want information delivered to them in a number of ways and through multiple channels. That could include social media and mobile/text as well as more long-established methods like face-to-face, emails and bulletin posts.

At Swanson Russell, we develop strategy that fosters a Real Connection™ between a brand and its customers and stakeholders. Providing information to target audiences that is relevant and builds trust is the root of our business. We need to be thinking the same way about our internal communications. If you’re not certain your internal efforts are making a Real Connection with your employees, then it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy and conduct an audit. An internal communications audit can help define the value of your communications methods, determine barriers within that communication and identify opportunities for change. As a result, it can tell you a lot about your future needs and how to best communicate to your internal audiences. This could include personnel and technology changes, the frequency of your communications, additional methods of outreach to consider, the use of your brand identity and so much more.

It’s easy to overlook the need for internal communications, but like I (and so many others) have said before – your employees will always be your best advocates. Internal communications can help you build trust within your organization and encourage your employees to do great things for the business. It helps your employees understand that everyone is working toward a common goal – and that can be highly motivational, especially if you receive information in a way that is valuable to you and helps you do your job better…and you didn’t have to learn about it while talking to your work bud by the water cooler.

Want to learn more about our internal communications audit process? Feel free to contact me at 402.818.1114 or via email at kelliew@swansonrussell.com.