The way we communicate and share knowledge in our place of employment is crucial to developing a healthy company culture.
With that in mind, we have to understand that internal communication cannot be reduced only to basic information sharing. Inter-company correspondence is so much more than that. Employees use internal networks to stay updated on recent company news, to share all business-related information, and exchange knowledge on various subjects. But also, they use intranet channels to share personal stories, jokes, and other non-work related content.
All this combined, as well as the overall tone of communication between employees, all of it shapes the way outsiders perceive an image of a company in more ways than some might think.
A few years ago, content strategist Brett Lofgreen argued that the most important audience for any content marketing is the company’s very own team. This is, by our own experience, very much true. Simply put, team managers who strive for success need to educate their employees on such matters as why their work is important and how their well-being affects other team players across the organization. And the best way for them to succeed is to get the employees excited about the work they do.
In her popular TED Talk on reasons why we need to treat our employees as thoughtfully as our customers, expert in organizational behavior Diana Dosik speaks about the potential benefits of the highly motivated, loyal, and imaginatively innovating workforce. Her opinion is that companies that nurture a pleasant work environment and effective internal communication also create smarter and better companies, and we could not agree more.
There is one more thing managers need to understand and it comes to this: the greatest benefit of working with a team of people who are excited about their work is the fact that they will surely spread the good word about it. This is exactly why all employees, in any business, should be treated as valuable brand ambassadors.
How this works?
There are numerous factors that affect employee behavior and engagement in a company, and some of them are not even related to communication methods used within departments. Working hours, salary, benefits, and opportunities for professional progress are usually the basic factors that attract quality employees to the company (or repel them).
Yet, since company culture and internal correspondence are our fields of expertise, we will focus on this factor more than any other. Because internal communication, when developed wisely, could affect the overall image of a company on a larger scale.
1. Invest in your newbies
You know how they say that the first impression is of the utmost importance? Well, this well-known fact should also be implemented in every employee engagement strategy out there. This means that all newcomers to the company should be properly introduced to the company culture, its brand, and work environment. A well-structured company wiki or a manifest could be the first step in the right direction to gain their trust and boost enthusiasm.
2. Publish content that attracts the right kind of employees
More often than not, company blogs and social presence are structured not only to attract new clients, but also a certain type of professionals that will fit well in the company. If this is the case, the same type of content and tone should also be integrated into internal communication tactics. Because satisfied employees are more likely to suggest suitable candidates for newly opened positions and attract a quality workforce.
3. Engage with employees on social networks
As stated above, mouth-to-mouth marketing is crucial to developing a likable company brand, and nowadays the mouth-to-mouth principle has largely moved to social networks. Motivating your employees to start using their social profile in a way that emphasizes how much they enjoy working in their company is a hard task, and you should never make that obligatory (because most employees visit social sites on their personal time). But creating interactive content that targets employees on social platforms is definitely desirable.
4. Organize frequent training and workshops within a company
Company-funded training provides employees with a possibility to move forward and develop new skills beneficial both to the company and the workers themselves. This is why every company should define a yearly budget for employee training. The best way to organize all interested parties is to do it via internal communication channels.
5. Integrate public company content with the content published internally
Internal company newsletters and blog posts are great sources for developing a stronger content strategy. In some cases, it could be desirable to share your internal content with a wider audience. Online internal blog platform such as BlogIn has features to support this type of content sharing.