Why internal communications in the workplace are more important than ever

August 16, 2021

The past 18 months have seen huge changes to the office landscape, with home working set to stay for many, and businesses working even harder to raise their profile in a crowded online market.

But while your business may have increased its presence on social, revamped your website and done all in its power to raise awareness of your offering online – what about your internal communications?

Dawn Strange, Managing Director at Media Matters, PR and digital marketing specialists, said: “With so many staff working largely in isolation from converted dining rooms, bedrooms and garages, there is a danger they become invisible to their line manager and a further worrying risk that they start to feel disengaged, unfocussed, undervalued and no longer part of a team.

“Internal communications have never been more important. Keeping staff informed, engaged and involved is an essential element of their on-going welfare – whether you are all office-bound, are running a hybrid model, or homeworking.”

The recent PR disaster for BrewDog typifies when employers lose touch with their workforce. In this case, more than 60 ex-BrewDog employees signed an open letter, posted on Twitter, alleging the brewery had created a ‘toxic’ culture of fear within the workplace.

While BrewDog was quick to offer a full apology, promising to “listen, learn and act”, the damage had already been done with brand reputation and future recruitment drives, in particular, both taking a hammering.

The Brewdog scenario demonstrates how easy it is to take an in-house grievance and amplify it to the world, causing untold damage potentially.

Dawn added: “Far from being segregated to just our personal lives, social media transcends into our professional space and employers who ignore this fact and the implications of it, could be putting themselves as well as their employees at risk. You need protection for everyone – a social media policy is a must.

“In light of our new homeworking world, it’s important to revisit and review all of your policy documents and ensure they accurately reflect your own specific employment landscape.

“But let’s hope there’s little or no need to reach for any of your policy documents because internal two-way communication is healthy and happening throughout your organisation.”

That’s great because if it is, the positive outcomes will speak volumes:

– You’ll have engaged employees who want to go that extra mile because they feel included and on the same journey with you.

– You’ll know you have created a proper ‘team’ that looks out for one another and is supportive of fellow colleagues as well as the management.

– You’ll see employees responding positively and creatively – they know the objectives and direction you want to take the company, they want to help it succeed and so will feel motivated to offer tangible support, not just lip service.

– You’ll see less negativity and reduced grievances to spend time resolving as staff are given a platform on which to express an opinion, are invited to provide real feedback and feel they genuinely have a voice that can be heard and is listened to.

Dawn added: “It has to be a two-way street and with the potential of fragmented workplaces and isolation, the lines of communication need to be stronger than ever.”