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13 Nov 2015

Anniethology: Why we care about internal comm

Communicating to your own staff often gets the short shrift. Sometimes you can be so focused on getting your message out to your customer, you forget that important audience of those closest to you. It might get passed between public relations and human relations. Maybe no one really has time for it. But we should make time and here’s why:

  • Employees who don’t think they are getting information are disconnected and dislike their jobs. In a poll last year, it was found that the top three causes of negativity at work are all communication-related. If employees aren’t invested, will they give good customer service? Will they stick around? High turnover hurts the bottom line in the cost of finding and retraining new employees. But it also hurts your reputation overall. If no one wants to work for you, why would anyone want to do business with you?
  • Without internal buy-in, your initiatives might fail. We can spend a ton of time and money coming up with a great new marketing campaign. But it may not get out of the gate if it’s just pushed on employees rather than including them, especially if they play a key role in implementation.
  • Employees have good ideas. Internal communication isn’t simply telling employees what they need to know. It’s also listening and engaging them just like you do with your external audience. Many are on the front lines and know firsthand the needs and wants of those you serve. They have valuable information that can help inform your next campaign. Don’t discredit their experiences!
  • Staff can be your biggest brand ambassadors. Imagine a whole team of people who live and breathe your brand. But they need to be informed to get the message right. They need to know your organization’s strategic goals. And they need tools to help them share. Nokia has successfully turned its employees into brand champions and has used social media as a way to keep employees engaged.

I’m excited to learn from Northern Quest Resort and Casino about how they reach and engage employees at next month’s breakfast. We know they are an important audience, and no matter the size of your agency, it’s a good bet you could be doing a better job of it.

By Annie Gannon, Spokane MarCom President