I recently attended a C-Suites Perspectives breakfast hosted by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. The keynote speaker, A. Eugene Washington, M.D., president and CEO of Duke University Health System, posed a very important question to the room, “What is a company’s greatest asset?” In unison, and with great confidence, the room responded: people.
In our day to day, we are so focused on the numbers and the deadlines that we sometimes forget to measure success from the inside. From time to time, it’s important to take a step back and check in on our most important assets. Employees are a company’s most dedicated brand champions, and it’s important to invest in internal communications just as much as external – for one can most certainly affect the success of the other.
At BAERING (formerly MMI Public Relations), we offer our expertise to clients through a wide variety of external communications tactics. Many wouldn’t suspect that our strengths also lie in the realm of internal communications campaigns. Focusing on internal communication can boost employee morale, bring the company’s positive business culture to life and keep leadership in tune with their employees’ thoughts and feelings towards the company’s overall progress and operations. Here are a few ideas to kick-start an internal communications campaign at your company.
- Start and lead an ambassador program. A common misconception is that all employees, no matter how big or small the company, understand everything there is to know about their company’s industry. An ambassador program is a great way to not only educate employees about industry trends but also prepare them to better communicate with external and internal stakeholders about pressing issues that may be affecting the business.
- Create and distribute a monthly newsletter. You may be leading a staff of 10 or a staff of 200, but either way it’s important to keep your employees in the loop with company happenings. You can include upcoming events, corporate philanthropy volunteer opportunities, company successes, employee spotlights, etc.
- Conduct timely surveys and collect responses. Employees like to know that their voices are heard. By reaching out to your employees with anonymous surveys, you are creating the opportunity to receive honest feedback on a myriad of subjects, from organization operation to opinions on leadership styles. It is then the leadership’s responsibility to react to this feedback accordingly, making sure to share updates with the team in regards to new ideas and directions being explored by the company.
- Create tools to educate your employees on the company’s industry. In addition to an ambassador program, it can be refreshing to introduce different creative learning opportunities to teach employees about different facets of your industry. These can range from an educational video series to a lighthearted comic strip to illustrate conversations that can happen outside of work. It’s important to prepare your employees to be educated advocates for your industry in any situation.
- Have leadership conduct quarterly “coffee talks” with employees. Sometimes, employees may feel like they can’t go to leadership to ask questions. They may appear to be too busy, have their doors closed or may be in constant meetings, rendering them unavailable to their employees when they need them most. By hosting quarterly coffee talks, leadership figures direct their undivided attention to their employees in a comfortable setting, allowing them the opportunity to chat and ask questions. This shows that leadership cares about their employees emotionally and that they place importance on one-on-one communication.
By introducing internal communications campaign elements into the workplace, you’re investing in your greatest asset. For more best practices for internal communications, check out this article! Do you have any examples of internal communications campaign elements that worked well for your employees? Share them below!