Internal communication has always been and is one of the most important aspects of organizations and companies. Willis Towers research argues that companies perform 3.5 times better than their peers when the internal communication is effective. One of the main questions in this field is “what is a good internal communication for businesses?”. At Databoard we believe in a transparent and creative internal communication, here is our recipe for an ideal internal communication.
1. Strong leader – like a Viking
A good leader or several leaders are important because leaders are the ones that directly and indirectly determine the organizational culture, power distribution and also the internal and external communication. On top of this, a study by Tower Watson Willis states that the number 1 factor for a successful internal communication is “Leadership”.That’s why you need to be tough, noble, disciplined and honorable as a Viking leader (we Danes love to refer to our ancestors). A good disciplined leader will be more effective and inspiring when he or she is consistent in what he or she says and does. This kind of leadership is especially important when a leader shares the internal news with its employees.
90% of all the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visual images are processed 60,000x faster than text. As a result, it has been shown that 40% of people will respond better to visual information than using plain text. – axerosolutions
All the facts in this quote should motivate you to use visuals in your internal communication to inform your employees better and easily. Visuals make your life as an internal communication employee easy in two ways:
- You can describe and explain complicated processes with less to zero words because visuals illustrate these much better than words. So less writing for you and less reading for the employees at your company, which brings us to the second point.
- You, the person making and sharing the internal news, and the employees that receive the visual will save a lot of time. This time can be spent on other projects.
A good example of a visual that transforms information easily to its receivers is infographics. You can use infographics to inform employees about (new) rules, guidelines, job postings or any other internal news.
3. Gamification of internal communication
Gabe Zichermann – “Gamification is the process of engaging people and changing behavior with game design, loyalty, and behavioral economics. It’s taking what’s fun about games and applying it to situations that maybe aren’t so fun. It’s about applying that feeling of flow to everything from employee motivation to research studies to marketing campaigns.”
There are two forms of gamification one is structural gamification where you receive a reward (in the form of badges, points, and leaderboards) when you engage with content. To give a simple example, you can give points to colleagues from 1-3.
- Means you have read or looked at the content that has been sent to you and
- Two means you interacted with the content by liking it or sharing it
- Can be that you gave feedback to the writers after you read or looked at the content.
The other form is content gamification where the content is delivered in a playful way to teach or inform the ones receiving it. A simple way to explain this method of gamification is, you teach or educate someone through a game; in schools, for example, they use games to teach children math.
Gamification makes serious and boring content fun and it keeps you focused on the main message or lesson, depending if the content is to inform you or teach you something. Before implementing gamification it is important to know what you want the “player” to get out of the game.
Videos are ideal to use for internal communication. Videos are powerful than any other media because you can get to the point of something faster, also the combination of giving instructions while showing it is more effective and stored easier and longer in someone’s brain. In short, it speeds up processes and passes information from one team to another or to new peers easier. With video, you can share information or give instructions in a short time (e.g. 1-minute video), it won’t consume the viewers time.
5. Be personal & relevant
The important part of internal communication is to understand what is relevant to your employees. The news may be about a new direction your company wants to take, for example, sharing this news is important but it is more important and relevant to explain to your employees how they can contribute to this change and how it will influence their daily work. Explaining which strategic action they should take is more interesting for them because it’s in line with their interests and is relevant to their daily work life. To pass this message in a personal manner it can be their supervisors that share the message through video, text or an image.
6. Real-time data
Sharing real-time-data is relevant for employees in all departments for different reasons. It will make them work better and faster because they will discover client needs, errors or a development much faster. A good example is the Marketing department, with real-time data they can react faster to trends by adapting their campaigns to them, they can interact with visitors live on social media and on your website, they can test out campaigns and measure the impact with real-time data which helps Marketing teams to make accurate and good decisions about them. In short, it will make the productivity of your employees better and of higher quality.
7. Goals & vision
It’s essential to the success of your organization to share the company goals and the company vision to your employees on all levels. There are three benefits from this, (1) it will work as a unifying force bringing everyone in the company together, (2) vision and goals can act as a guide for decision-making processes, and (3) the company goals and vision can become a source of inspiration for employees.
8. Watercooler chat
When sharing something internally, employees will want to talk about it with each other or with their supervisors. It is important to create an environment where employees can talk with co-worker or supervisors. The traditional watercooler is a nice place to do this, but if you don’t have a water cooler in your office then find a space where you can create a similar sphere, like the coffee machine or kitchen maybe.
9. Highlight team performance
Highlighting which team has performed well compared to other teams in your company is not necessarily something bad, it can create a positive competitive environment. To keep the competition healthy it is important to celebrate each achievement made by a team and make sure that all teams understand that their achievements together bring the company closer to its goals, so they don’t work against each other or feel uncomfortable.
10. Serve information in different forms and channels
When sharing the news with your company workers it is important that all of them receive an update on the channels they use the most and feel comfortable with. That’s why it is important to know which channels your employees are using (intranet, email, posters or social media & social media groups) to stay up-to-date with company news. Because not all employees use all channels or check all channels, some might use one and others might use several.