Without effective internal communications, large organizations are hard-pressed to build employee engagement, provide training, build teamwork — and in the end, achieve strong top-and bottom-line results. And while excellent internal communication has never been more important, it also has never been more difficult to attain. Here are the biggest challenges:
1. Finding the Right Style
Formal, boardroom-style communication is familiar to and comfortable for many large organizations, but is it the most effective way to reach and influence employees? Probably not. Adopting an informal style — one that melts hierarchical corporate barriers — can be perceived as threatening, but due to the effects of social media, and because of a strong preference for informal style among younger generations, corporations need to let their hair down … or risk getting scalped.
2. Two-Way Is the Only Way
In addition to having an informal flavor, today’s internal communication needs to flow in two directions. Employee feedback and input are essential for building engagement and enabling organizations to continually improve the relevance and value of their messages. The good news is, with interactive digital signage software, visual communication, media players, interactive surveys, and comment and review features, organizations can turn passive readers of interactive paper memos into active communication participants.
3. Leaders of the Organization, Lead!
A great source of frustration for human resources professionals and digital communication teams is half-hearted or up-and-down support from top management. For any internal communication program to work, leadership must actively and vocally support it, day in and day out. Organizations with an “ivory tower” culture struggle with this challenge much more than those where leaders jump into the trenches and gain firsthand awareness of how important communication is to getting results.
4. Multiple Platforms Multiply Success
Digital signage software and digital signage hardware enable companies to communicate in real time, customize messages to fit the needs of various geographic office locations, reach remote employees, display up-to-the-second performance metrics and emergency information — and through the use of a powerful digital dashboard, monitor and control messaging centrally while still facilitating employee interaction and imaginative content creation. Unfortunately, many organizations either cling to outmoded, static communication platforms, or perhaps worse, invest in state-of-the-art digital signage technology and use (or misuse) only 10 percent of its capabilities. (This is an area where RMG can really help — if you need digital platforms or need to use them better, please contact us.)
5. Strategy and Measurement: Still a Necessity
So far we’ve talked a lot about the need to change in terms of overcoming communication challenges, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to embark on internal communication with a clear and sustainable strategy, and then measure results to assess impact and value. The strategic challenge is to implement a plan that is neither too broad, too narrow nor too ambitious. A smart approach is to create a strategy that phases in communication activities over time, starting with simple and straightforward applications before moving on to the more complex. In terms of measurement, KPIs vary depending on the objective, but the constant key is to make sure leadership and the rank and file all buy into the evaluation framework before implementation even begins. This will spare organizations of many uncomfortable and unproductive internal arguments down the road.
RMG Is Here to Help
Want help developing your internal communication strategy and system? Consider INVIEW™ – a software tool developed to deliver internal communications to 100 percent of your workforce. With INVIEW, messages can be customized by person, team or region and include employee performance metrics and how they track to KPIs in real time. RMG is a world leader in digital signage systems, and offers consultative and implementation services to small businesses, global corporations and everything in between. Please contact us to learn more and tell us about your challenges.
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