When we think about the terms branding and communication, we often think about external efforts targeted at consumers of products or services which are normally the purview of marketing agencies or internal marketing teams. However, internal corporate communications to our employee base is critically important in determining our ability to align our teams around one united purpose or mission and to effectively launch programs in support.
Developing an internal communication strategy necessitates that we consider the following:
Audience – Who is our audience and what do we want them to hear? Are we speaking to senior executives, investors or to our employee base? If to the employee base, t what level should the communication be written? Speaking to a group of data scientists may be different than speaking to a group of retail employees.
Channel/Format – which channel(s) will be most effective when delivering this message? IS this a message that can be communicated in writing or is the intent likely to be lost? Should a live feed be followed up with video available to all who may not have been able to attend? Is the expectation for all people leaders to waterfall the communication down through their teams?
Goals/Objectives – this can be further broken down into the following categories:
Decision Making – where the goal of the communication is to listen, understand all viewpoints and come to a consensus in order to be able to move forward
Information Sharing – where the priority is around getting the information out and disseminated quickly, efficiently and accurately
Status Update – meant to connect employees to areas of focus
Team Building – crat alignment around short and long term goals and foster personal relationships on your team
Problem Solving – often linked to a discussion focused on deliverables and how you as a manager, can remove roadblocks to allow your team to progress
Innovation – brainstorming sessions that can focus on how to drive the company forward and gain a competitive edge
Schedule – decide how often and when this type of communication needs to occur. There is a fine balance between over and under communicating
Responsibility – who should have the responsibility for crafting the communication and who should have the responsibility for delivering the communication. Inherent in everyone’s responsibility is the need to follow up to ensure that the message you wanted to deliver was indeed received.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that communication plans and channels will take care of themselves. A well-orchestrated plan with all of the above components will help to ensure that your company is both aligned and informed!