Internal communication is the lifeline of an organization. It is the communication which happens between employer and employee and more importantly among employees themselves.
The recent economic downturn has been very harsh on the corporate world with many organizations resorting to extreme measures to survive; the worst being downsizing. This has created an atmosphere of doubt and fear among employees leading to high attrition levels and lack of loyalty towards their organization.
This is where internal communication has an important role to play. A dedicated team of internal communication experts can ensure that employees remain motivated and inspired enough to improve their overall productivity and hence help their organization sail through tough times.
As a matter of fact, an effective internal communications program can also provide much needed support to external communication efforts in communicating to various stakeholders like media entities, government agencies, shareholders and more importantly customers.
Following are 4 points accentuating the importance of internal communication in an organization:
Professional handling of top-bottom and bottom-top communication: It is often a challenge for the management to convey the right kind of message to its employees and vice versa. This gives rise to grapevine and rumors, which can easily derail any meaningful communication effort. Acting as a bridge between senior management and employees, internal communication pros can help the dissemination of right message through tools like intranet, newsletters, department meetings etc. They can ensure that the right messages reach the right recipients and also near predict the communication outcome too.
Driving co-ordination: Efficient co-ordination among various departments is fundamental for an organization’s business success. Though some sort of internal communication might have already existed in organizations, an expert internal communication professional can make the whole communication process more organized, effective and goal oriented.
Fueling motivation: One of the most important benefits of effective internal communication is its ability to fuel motivation among employees. Fostering a clear and honest communication process in a corporate environment can go a long way in ensuring that employees are motivated and loyal towards their organization. Involving employees in decision-making process or at least keeping them informed on the organization’s activities, will encourage loyalty, as well as build mutual trust, leading to increased job satisfaction and customer service levels.
Handling crisis communication: Crises seems to occur when it is least expected, and also this is the time when the importance of internal communication in an organization is most strongly felt. Even a small piece of seemingly irrelevant communication can wreak havoc and can make the already tense situation worse. Internal communication pros facilitate fast and effective decisions and ensure easy access to the right information for stakeholders to arrest rumors and grapevine; hence effectively minimize the negative impact of a crisis.
To conclude, I believe that, if you don’t control the internal communication of your organization, someone else will and that might lead to an undesirable outcome.