Recent years have raised many internal communications challenges. With remote working the new norm and the pace of digital transformation picking up, this year is equally demanding – if not more so with the growth of AI-driven and how that’s already making an impact in the workplace.
So how do internal communication professionals adapt within an evolving world to create efficient and seamless communications across a distributed workforce? By viewing the challenges as key opportunities to recalibrate for success.
As we look to 2024 and beyond, our challenges demand that internal communicators remain agile and adaptable. What’s more, with our State of the Sector reporting the top priority for internal communicators as engaging people around purpose, strategy and values – plus 83% of internal communicators now reporting growing influence with senior leadership – there’s never a better time to step up your internal communications practice.
To do this, your work must absolutely be underpinned by an internal communication strategy – and yet you can’t have strategy without purpose.
Internal communications purpose enhances employee engagement
Your purpose is your compass. In the same way that organisational purpose is a core component of organisational culture – and the reason the company exists – so your internal communications team requires the same.
An internal communications purpose provides your team with direction and focus. In defining your purpose, you’re also able to define roles and responsibilities within your team. In turn, this helps to align internal communications activities with broader organisational goals.
What’s more, in clearly articulating your purpose, you create a positive perception of internal communications across your organisation – the more that employees across the organisation understand your ‘why’, the greater the engagement you’ll achieve.
Internal communication strategy strengthens delivery
Now you have your purpose, you need the roadmap that will help you deliver it. An internal communications strategy is a document that provides this. It outlines how your team will achieve its goals, and how this supports long-term organisational objectives.
Your internal communication strategy is key to the communication and execution of corporate strategy, as well as your employee value proposition. To be effective, it must set objectives and define the ways that you will meet these – for example, the channels and frequency of communication needed to ensure consistency, clarity and relevance. You’ll also need to define desired outcomes and how to measure these.
More than anything, your strategy must be an ever-evolving document – one that you constantly review and adapt as your business, employees and the world around you changes. Find out how to create an internal communications strategy.
Purpose and strategy have never been more important
The pace of digital transformation is such that organisations are being called to pivot in many ways – not least as AI promises to transform the way we do business. This puts the spotlight on internal communicators, not only to communicate these rapid changes, but to help execute on them.
Having both strategy and purpose is essential to this process, and all the more so in this world where employee communications and the digital landscape are evolving so rapidly. A strategy enables you to evolve what you do too. It structures your approach towards addressing specific problems, while a purpose informs action towards achieving goals – both yours and those of the wider organisation.
In combination, a purpose and strategy give you the necessary focus to implement channels and tactics that are better aligned with both your business and your user – the employee. This is how you harness new digital tools to ensure efficient and seamless communication across a widely distributed workforce. It enables you to cut through the noise and ensure your messaging meets the right audiences at the right time.
What’s more, with increasing scrutiny over costs, a purposeful and strategic approach not only helps you deliver your objectives, but also demonstrates the value that internal communications add to the overall employee experience – which ultimately drives business results.
Keep evolving to stay relevant
Demonstrating value and impact requires a measurement framework. Reviewing your internal communications strategy and channels on a regular basis is good practice – for example, completing an IC Audit every two to three years is recommended, but it’s also worthwhile implementing measurement tools that allow you to demonstrate both value and impact outside of this timeline. Keep leveraging the digital tools and employee feedback you have available to maintain a clear view of the state of your internal communication practice and your progress against your priorities.
Communication lies at the heart of any organisation’s ability to navigate both challenge and change. In applying and adapting all of the above, internal communicators can therefore seize the opportunities this presents. With a clearly defined purpose and a highly adaptable strategy in place, you’ll have the keys to unlocking future success.
Let us partner with you in shaping this future success. Our team of internal communication consultants are well-versed in supporting organisations as they face business transformation in a changed world. Get in touch.