Despite how important internal communication is, all too often it gets overlooked in companies and it can cause all kinds of issues. For example, an article in HR magazine
reported that in one company a peer evaluation process was implemented. While there was nothing wrong with the program itself, employees balked at the new process because the first time they heard about it was when their co-workers told them they’d been reviewing them! Human resources assumed managers would inform their employees, and managers assumed HR would spread the news.
If a strong internal communication plan had been in place, that company wouldn’t have experienced that kind of problem. That’s just one example of the importance of internal communications. Let’s look at three of the major elements of any company and their relationship with internal communications: human resources, operations, and top management.
Many people assume that internal communication strategy should automatically fall under human resources, and historically it has. Unfortunately, all too often that means other departments assume HR will handle everything when it comes to communications. As we saw in the earlier example, that is a recipe for disaster.
Human Resources should always have a role in internal communications, whether they are actually in charge or just a part of the strategy. But as long as all departments are on the same page, Human Resources will be able to avoid miscommunication disasters.
Why should operations care about internal communications? After all, it doesn’t sound like something that would directly affect the operations of a company.
However, a study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute
discovered that productivity goes up by 20-25% in companies with employees who feel connected and trust in their company’s internal communication system. What does that kind of productivity do to your business? Well, it has the potential to increase revenues exponentially!
All studies show the importance of including top management in an effective internal communication strategy. They may not have the time or bandwidth to head up internal communications, but it is crucial they participate. As Fast Company explains
, employees need to know they can communicate openly and honestly with their managers. And they need to see top management participating in internal communications as well, not just giving lip service to it.
Each department has a different perspective of internal communications, but they all benefit from a strong and effective internal communication strategy. It is crucial that all departments work together in order to make the most out of their company’s internal communications.
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