Don’t be fooled by the title of this article. There is nothing mystical about achieving internal communications nirvana. What it does require is a clear understanding of how to successfully commune with the three spheres of internal communications.
The First Sphere: Your Employees
All organizations - large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit - need to communicate consistently to their employees. Unfortunately, some organizations either neglect or mishandle this important task.
Successful organizations engage in regular communication to their employees. They recognize that successful and engaged employees have a clear understanding of the organization’s values, objectives and milestones. In addition, employees that understand where an organization is going are in a better position to help it get there.
The Second Sphere: Your External Stakeholders
External stakeholders like investors, industry experts and others are also critical to your internal communications effort. This is because employees pay close attention to what these stakeholders are saying about your organization. Any disconnect between what is being communicated internally and what outside observers are saying is a problem. At best, your employees may think they are misinformed. At worst they may question the veracity of the organization’s leadership.
A rule of thumb: Always ensure that your communications to stakeholders about the organization are consistent with what is being said internally.
The Third Sphere: Your Customers
Your customers can have a tremendous impact on your internal communications effort. Their opinion on the value of your organization’s products and services can positively or negatively affect employees’ perceptions.
Organizations should pay close attention to what messages customers are communicating to employees. If inaccurate perceptions exist, the organization should work to correct them. Doing so will ensure that employees feel good about the product or service they are delivering and that customers have appropriate expectations.
Successful internal communications requires that organizations pay close attention to what is being communicated to employees, stakeholders and customers. Be sure that the messages your organization delivers to all three spheres are cogent, credible and complementary.
(c) 2005 Fard Johnmar
Fard Johnmar is founder of Envision Solutions, L. L. C. , a full-service healthcare marketing communications consulting firm. Envision Solutions provides innovative products and services to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Envision Solutions’ goal is to make our clients more efficient and successful. For more information about Envision Solutions please visit our Web site.