Ideas · Insights · Innovations · Impact – Selected stories for business and brands
Smart Business Looks Inward
Be creative at every available touchpoint to fuel innovation and adaptivity!
Studies show that organisations that know the value of clear communication and invest in themselves tend to significantly outperform those that don’t. But more often internal communications don’t get the same care and attention that consumer-facing media does. In fact, many corporate decision-makers believe spending money and resources on internal media is wasteful or of secondary importance. Are a company’s employees not worthy of the same investment and value as the customers?
I have encountered this attitude many times so I was not at all surprised to hear it coming from a client recently. Yet, this client is actively trying to transition to a more creative and innovative work culture across a global network. A change that is vital to their business if they are to remain viable in their markets. It seems to me they have a disconnect between what they think they should do and what they are actually doing. How can you build a culture where people feel free to experiment and try new ideas when you don’t see value in providing the best tools to empower them. It’s like saying: build me the car of the future from anything you find in the scrap heap. While anything is possible, it’s not truly realistic.
Most good business and leadership books teach that change and growth for the individual come from within. This is surely also true of organisational change? By investing in better internal media, companies show commitment to their employees and empower them to be more productive and purposeful. One can argue that employees are equally, if not more important to a company’s survival than it’s customers. They can be a company’s best advocate or worst detractor depending on their work experience and many employees may also be customers. Don’t they deserve to have the best resources at their disposal?
Here are 10 reasons to take internal communications more seriously:
#1 Build a shared understanding of the company’s vision and values. Well-considered and engaging internal communications help to provide clarity of purpose and inspire employees to act.
#2 Keep staff informed about business changes and activities. Transparency and clear messaging builds trust and loyalty leading to benefits such as lower staff turnover and training costs, low anxiety, staff becoming brand ambassadors, etc.
#3 Provide perspective on how people are contributing to the company’s success. Everyone likes to feel they're contributing to the organisation's success and that their efforts are recognised. Finding ways to express people's value helps to foster strong relationships.
#4 Increase commitment to business strategy and facilitate decision-making. Whether it's senior management, stakeholders or business partners, everyone benefits from being able to visualise the business plan. Making tough decisions is easier when we truly understand the issues.
#5 Encourage career acceleration by fostering individual initiative. Developing acknowledgement programmes or systems grows confidence and drives people to achieve.
#6 Harvest valuable insights from those that know the business. Tapping into the thoughts and opinions of the people who know the business best is invaluable information to any business intelligence gathering.
#7 Improve the quality of actionable business intelligence. Better stimuli leads to better feedback. Sometimes people need to be prompted in order to clarify their own motivations or ideas.
#8 Build collaborative interdepartmental relationships. Encouraging interaction and providing good collaboration tools will bind an organisation together. This is especially significant for companies with a global network.
#9 Create a sense of community and pride in the business. Connection and purpose are core human needs so creating media that allow people to contribute and feel a sense of belonging will help to shape a favourable, and even popular, working environment.
#10 Open doors to new opportunities through better inspiration. By spending time and resources on developing more engaging experiences and tools, we open ourselves to a more creative outlook, which helps to unlock new and unexplored ideas.
The term “employee engagement” is heard quite often these days but I think most businesses still don’t understand the value of bringing creativity and insight to the communications that drive operations or maintain business relationships. Many people feel that, if there is no dollar value attached, then there is no point in the investment. Ironically, based on the evidence, it is the companies that take this leap of faith that reap the greatest rewards.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of our clients or any parties who may be referenced in the content.