What makes a company meet its targeted goals? In what process it implements its mission, objectives smoothly? What makes it approach towards 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, 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 essentials.
10 Effective Ways of Developing Internal Communication
Table of Contents
- 1. Know the Organogram
- 2. Verify the Reporting/Approval Process
- 3. Make Your Goals SMART
- 4. Engage Your Employees
- 5. Plan Limited Meetings
- 6. Share Meeting Minutes
- 7. Develop Effective Cross-Functional Reporting
- 8. Update the Reporting Tools
- 9. Find the Communication Gap
- 10. Customize for Developing Internal Communication Process
- Related Posts
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 basically 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 structured more since the reporting system in tall structure has many demerits including time-consuming, the effect of Chinese whisper (reports tend to get modified in each stage of hierarchy and ultimately results 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 from you and your seniors will eventually confuse the subordinates and cause miscommunication, misinterpretations of their work.
Now, this has higher demerits due to the fact that communication gap in a certain hierarchy will also affect the cross-departmental communication causing a 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 back 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 the work objectives are aligned in each stage of the hierarchy.
3. Make Your Goals SMART
As much as it is important that goals and objectives are aligned in each stage of 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 the employees’ KPI (Key Performance Indicator) becomes easier, but also targets and communication become clearer and 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 the 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, within Time-bound.
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4. Engage Your Employees
Certain decisions of work may solely rest upon you. However, before you take decision know your employees’ opinions. They are the ones who can provide you insights about customers’ or suppliers’ or vendors’ perception since employees are in direct contact with them.
When you take 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 the gap in communication.
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 the 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 meeting 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 meeting, 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 many planning but not the actual implementation of those planning.
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 personal 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 barrier or delay of 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 finance team ensures the 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.
As a matter of fact, there should be a fixed way of reporting among the cross-functional departments in order to make the 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 a social network to open chat groups for constant communication, 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 in any of the social sites so that they can communicate in a particular direction. A fixed process and updating tool make the 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 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 creating any gap? Does the existing model tend to create gap or misinterpretation?
10. Customize for Developing Internal Communication Process
There’s no hard and fast rule to adopt a specific internal communication process. Each organization can form their own internal communication system considering the complexity of their hierarchy. So yes, you can adapt, create, customize your own form of a 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 target as per plan, boosts up the rate of work and increases the unity among the employees. An 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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Jamil Ahmed, CEO of “Reinforce Lab”. Pharmacist, with experience in numerous fields in Pharmaceutical Companies and also worked in several pharmaceutical Companies for over 5 years in International Business. Digital innovator, Personal Branding, Small Business, SEO Marketer and Marketing Consultant. Named as the Top 3 Business Intelligence Marketing Influencer in 2018 by Onalytica. Top 20 eCommerce Online Seller & Influencer by SaleHoo and Top 8 eCommerce Influencer by FitSmallBusiness. Regularly Share tips and tricks for effective Personal Branding, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Latest Technology Integration in Business by building relationships, and by telling stories. Read more about him.
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