Creating a private internal blog for your company will allow the workplace to feel a bit more friendly for your employees by providing a safe place for them to share information, suggestions, and personal stories.
I founded a business blogging service (that only works with external business blogs) but we run a private internal blog for our team too. The benefits we hear from our team regarding our internal blog and the complements we hear from our clients regarding their external blogs are surprisingly similar.
Mainly I'm talking here about how it creates a feeling of community and culture.
Blogging opens up avenues for self-expression where individuals can speak up with their unique perspectives on workplace topics and discussions. This allows them to look at each other as more than just simply co-workers, but actual people with thoughts and feelings!
If you run a business with several employees, and you are interested in ways to foster a positive culture, keep reading for four ways adding an internal blog can help!
1. Internal blogging promotes knowledge sharing
Allowing your employees to participate in the creation of an internal blog allows co-workers to easily communicate ideas or insights.
It also provides unique training opportunities for new employees, with all of the information in one place and easy to access.
It is also much easier to communicate through blogging rather than email, where there is a risk of spamming employees with information and having some of that slipping through the cracks as they try to filter through everything.
2. Having a blog increases productivity
Whether productivity is a part of a company’s culture is a question best left to philosophers, but we want to touch on it quickly here. Since everything is in one place when you are running a business blog, information is easier to access.
This allows searching for things a lot quicker, which will open up time for more things to get done. In 2012, the McKinsey Global Institute completed a study that found that internal blogging saved around three hours each week.
3. Blogging helps to build employee bonds
Being able to communicate openly through blogging allows conversations between employees that may not happen under normal circumstances. By sharing personal stories and meaningful insight into how the workplace is being run, it can also be a good tool to gauge the well-being of the workplace and what to do to improve it.
4. A blog encourages people to speak up
Everyone has been there. You start a new job and notice things that may need to be improved on. However, you feel as if you do not have the authority to speak up on this, and you continue about your business even though you don’t agree with everything.
This can lead to inner conflict among employees, and in the long run may even make it hard to hold on to good, hard-working people.
Having a blog that allows self-expression and open communication gets rid of this problem. It shows the employees that the supervisors or managers are willing to listen to the voices of everyone that works at the company.
Setting Internal Blog Ground Rules
Since we have covered several reasons why it would be a good idea to introduce a blog for your employees, here are some rules to keep in mind if you decide to do so. It would be beneficial if everyone is on board with these so the blog can remain a worthwhile endeavor:
1. Show empathy for others
Although there will be moments when a debate or two may occur within the workplace, everyone must keep things civil. Make sure your blogging content allows room for empathetic communication so that things can be taken care of smoothly. Be aware of both sides of the issue so no one feels unheard. Practice safe nonviolent communication skills to solve any conflict that may arise.
2. Don’t question or debate how others perceive themselves
In today’s society, it is no longer okay to display discrimination within the workplace. Always be open-minded when it comes to those who view themselves as living an “alternative” lifestyle.
Never just assume someone’s identity, and always let people express themselves the way they choose to. Always be aware of personal pronouns (she/him/them) and make sure racial profiling is never an issue.
Also, take into consideration that there may be cultural and religious differences that could come into play, and plan accordingly to ensure that everyone’s needs are getting met when operating the blog.
3. Have the understanding that some things are better left unsaid
This is very important: just because the main communication in your company may take place in blog form, this does not mean that everything should be put online. Judge each situation accordingly and take appropriate action when things may need to be taken in a different direction.
Certain events or personal issues between employees may need to be handled on a face-to-face basis rather than through written form.
4. Take accountability (transparently) when mistakes are made
Nothing ever done is done perfectly. As much as you may strive to avoid mishaps, there will be times when something backfires. When this happens, make sure that you are ready to admit to whatever mistakes have been made so that you can take care of things quickly.
Always keep in mind that you have implemented an internal blog to provide open and positive communication between your team.
Feel free to talk amongst each other to figure out how to go about making things better. Remember that blogging should be considered a fun thing to do, but that it can also be used as a valuable tool to incorporate learning and growth. Take things slowly and be willing to adapt to changes as you go along with the process.
So, there you have it. Four reasons why blogging could be beneficial and four rules to keep in mind. Although there could be much more added to this list on the topic of internal blogging for business, it should be apparent that this would be a very valuable tool to incorporate if you are looking to enhance company culture!