Increasing Internal Communication Adoption

By Katlin Walters
October 2, 2019
5 min read

Did you know that employees spend 20% of their time searching for internal information? This time could be spent engaging in productive tasks that increase your organizational performance and profitability. Rather than employees spending significant time searching for information, why not offer them the information beforehand?

Internal communication is a vital part of any organization. Effective communication with employees has positive outcomes for increased productivity, responsive customer service, empowered employees, high retention rates, reduced conflict, and smarter decision-making. Also, it increases profitability by 22%.

However, many businesses struggle to improve internal communication adoption in their entities. They are unsure of the methods to use and the platforms to employ. In this post, we want to break down five innovative ways you can increase internal communication adoption in your business.

1. Research the current state of internal communication

Before you create measures to boost internal communication adoption in your business, start by researching your current state. It will help you understand where your company is right now and what to do about it. Start by asking questions like; is internal communication taking place now? If so, is it effective? Check out our internal communications survey example for some great question ideas to help you get started.

By getting you and your staff to answer these questions, you can make a plan on how to rectify any loopholes in internal communication that come through. Try to keep the survey anonymous to help encourage valuable, honest employee input on the matter. 

If surveys aren’t your thing, focus groups can be a great alternative as they can also dig deeper into the challenges of internal communication with an open conversation. 

2. Create an internal communications plan

Once you have researched the current state of your internal communication, it’s time to draft a plan. The internal communication plan should stipulate objectives, timelines, and responsibilities. The goals should be SAMRT (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). To help you get started, here are a few questions to help get your brain thinking in this space; 

  • What will the plan achieve?
  • After how long will you measure the objectives?
  • What problems will the plan solve?

 Your plan has the goal of guiding you on your internal comms journey and can have goals like improving employees access to information, saving time, boosting productivity, and enhancing morale, etc. Importantly, the message delivered in your plan should have a backing, and ideally align with your company’s objectives to help get executive buy-in. 

3. Use internal communication tools

You can increase internal communication adoption by using internal communication tools. Start by assessing the tools you have and how effective they are at relaying information to employees. For example, if you use emails, how effective are they? Do they convey information as they should? Also, do employees receive emails and read them? Do they click on any links that come with the email? Importantly, do they make room for meaningful two-way communication? You should answer all these questions to determine the effectiveness of your existing tools.

Similarly, if you use the intranet for your communication needs, how are you using it? Does it meet your communication needs? Does it have the features, functionality, and user experience to deliver internal communications effectively?

We know, its a lot to consider. To simplify, try starting by assessing your current tools on this basis;

  • Can employees find the content and information they need to perform their duties?
  • Can you conduct employee feedback surveys and polls on the platform?
  • Does the platform facilitate different types of internal communications? For instance, can employees engage in peer-to-peer conversations with colleagues?  

After examining your current stock of tools, identify any gaps in them. For instance, you can have great tools for formal communications but lack tools for small group or team communication. If needed, develop tools that facilitate all types of internal communications.

Today, there are many internal communication tools organizations can use, ranging from emails to chat rooms, intranet, mobile applications, and e-newsletters. The important thing is to choose the tool that best meets your businesses needs.

4. Encourage employee input

It is worthless to have the best internal communication tools if employees don’t use them. Encourage employees to use your internal communication channels to offer feedback, share updates, collaborate with colleagues, and establish strong team bonds across the company.

Do not leave out your remote workers. According to Gallup, an average of 75% of employees are not office-based. Also, around 70% of workers are actively disengaged from the enterprise. Therefore, internal communication is vital to draw these employees closer to the organization.

You can encourage employees to use internal communication channels by ensuring that the channels are safe places for them to air their views. 

You can make your internal communication channels resource centers for employees to broaden their knowledge. Employees can get informative and educational materials on industry trends and corporate best practices. Communications in the channels don’t only have to be text; making use of engaging media formats like videos, infographics, and pictures will help make the platform a fun, engaging environment for all.    

5. Measure the effectiveness of internal communication

You won’t know the magnitude of internal communication adoption if you don’t measure it. By measuring adoption, you know what works, what does not, and what requires improvement. Start by setting the KPIs to measure. The KPIs will help you determine the content and topics that interest your employees. Also, it will give you insights on measurements related to employee engagement and content.

To get you started, here are some great measures to consider;  

  • Behavioral metrics: the number of employees who view a post and the material with the most views.
  • Attitudinal metrics: how employees interact with the content you share with them. Do they offer feedback?
  • Technical metrics: does your content load quickly, and is it updated?

Ensure you measure the KPIs regularly -monthly or quarterly- to determine the effectiveness of your internal communications.

Effective internal communication is beneficial for any business, regardless of size and industry. It has positive outcomes for employees and the organization as a whole. Your internal communications will only be effective if employees embrace the communication channels you have created. Implement them in your organization and your bottom line will thank you!

To learn more about effective tools of internal communication, contact us today! 

By Katlin Walters

Katlin is a former IC team member.