Unleash the power of your people: the secrets to internal comms success

Mary Paslawski

25 Oct 2022

Getting internal communications right is a clear challenge for brands – especially in the wake of a shift to hybrid working, and the cascading crises of world events. But these hurdles shouldn’t be viewed as one-offs, caused by unforeseen circumstances.

Employer-employee relationships have evolved – today’s workforce expects their employers to be more than people who write their pay cheques. Businesses are expected to chare about their employees’ mental and physical well-being far more than ever before.

There’s also an expectation employers will make a clear stand on pressing issues of the day, even if they are sensitive or political. And we can’t ignore how the pandemic changed the pace of employee comms – over 90% of employees want weekly communication from their company.

Why internal comms is important

Considering all these shifts, it’s not surprising (I say as someone working in comms) that failing to recognise internal comms as a strategic imperative is now impacting the bottom line.

Just look at the numbers:

  • Disengagement costs the UK £52-70 billion per year in lost productivity
  • Organisations with high employee engagement out-perform those with low levels of engagement by 200%
  • Companies with strong cultures have seen a 400% increase in revenue growth

Setting the right internal communication strategy

I plead with all CEOs to not ramp up the pressure on often small and stretched internal comms teams. With employee engagement becoming so strongly correlated to growth, it needs to be a boardroom discussion and resourced as such.

With lines blurring, internal comms can no longer be an isolated specialism sitting somewhere between HR and the external marketing and PR teams – it needs a collective viewpoint.

Leaders should support from the outside-in, looking holistically at engagement models and delivering the hard truths needed to change, as well as engaging the right stakeholders.

In turn, your agencies need to think about where they can support you as an unbiased third party.

That’s why we’ve consolidated our take on the secret to internal comms success. We can advise on the elements you need to change or develop to get there, and can provide recommendations on how a collective view can help you turn the ambiguous ‘culture change’ into an actionable plan.

For example, do you think you lack trust and transparency to ensure strategic alignment throughout the business? Let’s look at your business vision and clearly define the direction you want or need to go in.

Do you feel like your employees lack emotional commitment, or that change is only being driven by the very top? Let’s create an engagement framework that takes employees on an emotional journey and empower employer brand advocates to drive from the ground-up.

Re-evaluating how you do internal comms as a brand when employees are clamouring for more is a big task and internal comms resources have always traditionally been tight.

But times they are a-changing and those who change with it, will see the pay off.