What makes a company meet its targeted goals? In what process does it implement its mission, and objectives smoothly? What makes it approach its vision?
If you think the answer is internal communication, you’re wrong. The answer is the RIGHT INTERNAL COMMUNICATION.
Hence, developing internal communication is essential for not only the growth of the company but also for achieving the targets unitedly, for bringing strong assertiveness in teamwork and motivations, and for smooth functional operations of the company.
What is the right internal communication?
Although there’s no specific definition, the right internal communication is something where every member of the company is clear about their targets, duties, and responsibilities, communicates the changes effectively, and most importantly where there is a minimal communication gap.
So, no matter which designation you’re in, know these basic ways of developing internal communication and also know why these are essential.
10 Effective Ways of Developing Internal Communication
1. Know the Organogram
Every organization, no matter how big or small, has an organizational hierarchy. Know the hierarchy by heart. The chain of command is established from the hierarchy.
Position yourself in the organogram. Know how your reporting will affect the whole hierarchy system.
This is important because the reporting system here can be the root of miscommunication too. Different organizations vary in their hierarchy-they have either tall structured or flat structured.
Often books encourage flat structure more since the reporting system in tall structure has many demerits including time-consuming and the effect of Chinese whisper (reports tend to get modified in each stage of hierarchy and ultimately result in misinterpretations).
2. Verify the Reporting/Approval Process
You know who you’ll be reporting to and who will be reporting to you. Make the approval system specific and clear. Make sure you’re guiding your subordinates according to the targets given by your supervisor. The different chain of command between you and your seniors will eventually confuse the subordinates and cause miscommunication, and misinterpretations of their work.
Now, this has higher demerits because the communication gap in a certain hierarchy will also affect cross-departmental communication causing huge chaos. This is especially true for the complex organograms of big organizations.
And finding where the mishap happened in the whole communication process and reverting to the hierarchy to resolve it is time-consuming. This hampers the lead time for the customers, suppliers, vendors, and other partners too.
Therefore, it is significant that every approval process and reporting of the work objectives are aligned in each stage of the hierarchy.
3. Make Your Goals SMART
As much as goals and objectives must be aligned in each stage of the organogram, it is also important that the goals be SMART.
S= Specific; Goals be better specific to each employee. Generalized goals can create perplexed perceptions among employees about their responsibilities.
M= Measurable; The more quantifiable the goals are, the better it is. Not only does the employees’ KPI (Key Performance Indicator) becomes easier, but also targets and communication become clearer and more specific.
A= Achievable; There’s a difference between challenging goals and vague or difficult goals. The challenging goals also must be according to the capability of members of the organization. Thus, goals better are achievable.
R= Relevant; The goals and targets of each employee must be aligned with the mission and vision of the company.
T= Time-bound; The goals should be set by specific time-bound to achieve.
How do SMART goals help in developing internal communication? – you might be wondering. SMART goals help to make internal communication easier and less complex. Besides, such goals are easier to communicate with every employee. And just like goals, internal communication should be Specific, Relevant, and Time-bound.
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4. Engage Your Employees
Certain decisions of work may solely rest upon you. However, before you make a decision know your employees’ opinions.
They are the ones who can provide you insights about customers’ or suppliers’ or vendors’ perceptions since employees are in direct contact with them.
When you make a decision based on your employees’ views, they feel engaged and motivated. In addition, they will be more engaged in communicating with you. There will be fewer chances of a communication gap.
Furthermore, communicate the reasons or logic behind your decisions. In effect, every member of the team gets to know the bigger picture of your vision and the communication becomes stronger.
You might even find a loophole in your decision if there is a devil’s advocate (one who points out constructive criticisms) in your team.
5. Plan Limited Meetings
The significance of meetings cannot be denied although it is also true that too many meetings delay the actual implementation of the work too.
So, plan your meetings wisely. Limit the number of meetings. Instead of daily meetings, form a system of taking daily updates.
Then according to those updates, you might determine how much you’re progressing and when is the meeting required. Too many meetings may create much planning but not the actual implementation of those planning.
6. Share Meeting Minutes
After each meeting, share the meeting minutes which should highlight the discussion and decisions of the meetings. This is important to communicate because your employees have the right to know how you’ll be progressing.
Additionally, they get clear ideas about their upcoming responsibilities and they may schedule their way of working aligned with your directions.
Besides, others will have knowledge of your work which helps them to connect their work with yours.
7. Develop Effective Cross-Functional Reporting
Perhaps this is the most challenging step in developing internal communication. A mishap in internal communication here has the potential to create greater chaos, resulting in barriers or delays in achieving the overall target.
Each department in a company should exist like a cobweb- that is, they should remain connected. For example, the sales team ensures revenue generation and the finance team ensures revenue collection.
The brand team needs to know the marketing budget set according to the estimation of the finance team. Thus, communication among the cross-functional teams is vital here.
There should be a fixed way of reporting among the cross-functional departments to make communication effective and smooth.
8. Update the Reporting Tools
With the higher usage of technology, office communication has become faster and easier. Aside from email, various office uses the social network to open chat groups for constant communication and updates.
Upgrade your communication tools according to the latest technology.
Together with email groups, form a certain daily/weekly/monthly update format for your employees on any of the social sites so that they can communicate in a particular direction.
A fixed process and updating tool make internal communication effective and beneficial for the whole company.
9. Find the Communication Gap
Of course, you’ve got an existing internal communication system in your organization. Determine if there exists any communication gap. And when you find it, also analyze the root cause of such a gap.
The cause helps you to resolve the gap effectively. This might take a bit of time but it’s worthwhile in the long run.
Moreover, determine if you need any modifications in the existing internal communication. Question yourself- Is the existing internal communication organized? Is it effective?
Is the current system too complex to handle? Is the process of creating any gap? Does the existing model tend to create gaps or misinterpretations?
10. Customize for Developing Internal Communication Process
There’s no hard and fast rule to adopting a specific internal communication process. Each organization can form its internal communication system considering the complexity of its hierarchy.
So yes, you can adapt, create, and customize your form of the communication process.
Keep in mind while mapping out the system- employees should find it easy to communicate, simple processes are sometimes the most effective ones.
Effective communication practices within an organization are believed to enjoy 47% higher returns to shareholders. [Source: Towers Watson Study] The significance of developing internal communication can be realized by seeing its effect.
A healthy internal communication saves time, helps to achieve the target as per plan, boosts the rate of work, and increases the unity among the employees.
Effective internal communication helps effective communication with customers, suppliers, and external partners too.
Hence, develop your internal communication wisely. Even if a change in the process is not in your hand, communicate your opinion of changes to the relevant person or your supervisor.
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