Internal and external Business Communication process
The headline is a clear declaration of intentions: use communication as a tool for attaining notable achievements in the company’s objectives.
A headline that inevitably needs to be associated with another concept that employers find hard to assimilate: communication in general, and internal and external communication in particular, should never be identified with ‘expense’, rather, with ‘investment’.
Companies need to invest in raw material, in technology, in sustainable energy consumption, but the fundamental pillar for everything to work better is internal communication. It’s not only the best investment, it’s the top investment.
Modern theories talk about Internal Communication 2.0, based largely on the tools that new technologies make available to us, with a special emphasis given to new personal communication channels.
Those in charge of Internal Communication are forced to recycle their knowledge continuously with the new developments that mark the technological evolution, which certainly seem never ending.
It’s true that these tools favor communication—I’m not going to argue that—and if they are used properly, they can provide greater efficiency in this process between a company and its employees.
Objectives and strategies of Internal Communication
The main goal of Internal Communication in any company, regardless of its size, is to create a corporate culture, stimulate a pride of belonging to the company, and hence ensure greater employee involvement and participation in the company’s objectives. In short, it’s about motivating employees, something that only can be done vertically, from top down, never the opposite way.
To develop these objectives, Internal Communication uses different strategies with a tendancy towards a common destination:
- Readdressing and reconciliating the work-personal life balance
- Promoting the retention of talent, stimulating teamwork
- Saving money through better resource management
- Improving the public image of the company
- Managing knowledge
- Supporting the free flow of information on the company’s progress.
Internal Communication—and there’s reason to it—helps to reduce incertainty and prevent the feared ‘rumorology’, one of the main enemies of any company.
All manuals on ‘Internal Communication’ generously quote concepts like ‘the company’s mission’, or ‘employee loyalty’, identifying employees as the ‘internal customer’.
So in other words, according to this theory, companies not only have to sell their products to the outside world, but also sell themselves to their own staff.
We’ll analyze at this delicate issue at a later stage.
So far we’ve revised the main lines of theory marked by Internal Communication, but what is the real environment in which companies move nowadays?
Unfortunately, the crisis is causing thousands of SMEs to disappear and staff to be ‘restructured’ in large companies, which in many cases translates into mass redundancies.
It goes without saying, it’s not usually dealt with from the best of contexts, i.e. asking employees to become motivated, loyal, identify, etc. with their company.
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How to improve internal communication and teamwork in an office environment
Of course it would depend on the size of your office, and the type of things you are doing already, but something simple to start with is a newsletter. A newsletter can be sent through email and is fairly easy to put together. Although you will need someone to be in charge of content, layout, etc. Don't be overambitious! You may need to start with a quarterly newsletter, not a weekly one.
If you are a larger company a company intranet is also very useful (if done correctly). Sometimes it may seem hard to get employees to pay attention to these things so try incorporating things like e…