The 30th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series features Arathi Biradar of Itelligence India Software Solutions. Arathi builds a case for aligning staff to drive corporate reputation. She believes strongly that internal communication is a key influencer in improving brand image.
Arathi leads the marketing and communications for Itelligence India. She has 14+ years of experience in developing go-to-market plans, executing marketing communications campaigns, building brand reputation, managing PR & media. She holds a double post-graduation in marketing and computer science, enabling her to drive marketing communication programs aligned to business goals.
(Views expressed are personal)
5 Reasons Why Internal Communications Matters Now – More Than Ever
Many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are trying to grow beyond their capacity in to enter the league of premier businesses. They face challenges in terms of customer satisfaction, delivering quality and growing the employee base while keeping their employees happy and motivated. As they expand their remit they are either unaware or tend to ignore or undermine the value of internal communications. Most businesses manage internal communication with the help of skilled professionals who are equipped to handle media, PR, and crisis communications. SMBs on the other hand, due to lack of focus, hand this function over to HR, Marketing, or sometimes to CEOs/CTOs (who are very busy) to manage this domain along with their primary business functions.
With the outreach of the social media and its impact on businesses, internal communication has become a necessity. Ignoring it can be disastrous for organizations.
Here are five reasons why internal communications is a key business function and is more important to consider it now than ever before.
- Aligned employee and organizational goals results in superior outcomes
Be it while managing change or implementing an ambitious strategy, it is the employee who can increase production, contribute to the organization’s initiatives and go over and above to drive success for the business.
Enhancing employee understanding of the company’s mission and development goals equips them with the knowledge to interact more effectively and confidently with important external stakeholders like investors, customers, corporate leaders and potential clients.
In short, good internal communication involves regular and effective two-way interaction with all members of staff and at all levels. A critical success factor for the company, it leads to increased employee morale and engagement. Internal communication boosts the performance of employees and, in turn, the reputation of the organization.
- Building the organization’s brand image and reputation
Employees are the greatest strength of any organization. Timely communication helps to build relationships, promotes mutual understanding and enables employees to contribute to organizational success.
From a communications perspective, employees feel appreciated and valued when:
- they are the first to hear important news
- they are regularly consulted
- they are listened to
- their suggestions are acted upon
Therefore, a good internal communication leads to greater commitment from employees, increased productivity, and an improved customer experience. All of these help the company build a strong brand image.
- Removes departmental silos
…and fosters the effective inter-departmental working relationships that creates an environment of shared responsibility and shared purpose, resulting in sharing the best practice and improved business performance
- Enhanced employee involvement/contribution/interaction
…by providing channels for upward communication and listens to what employees say. Employees appreciate communication channels that listen to their needs and feel motivated when their input is used for organizational decision making.
- Creates a culture of communication
Communication is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous process. Creating a culture of open communication, trust, transparency at all levels of the organization leads to positive action by employees and generates positive business results.
Effective internal communication needs consistent effort, if implemented in methodical way it brings a positive impact. Resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction, profitability, and the overall improved performance of a company. It is a key business function inspires and aligns the whole organization.
- What does internal communication mean to you?
It is the heart of any organization. Without communication (both top-down and bottom-up), the system will go haywire and soon will perish.
- What is the biggest challenge you face while going about managing internal communication?
I would say it the lack of focus. Organizations, especially in the SMB segment, do not see internal communications as a need.
- What according to you is the biggest opportunity that internal communicators have?
The biggest opportunity is to:
- Engage employees at all levels. Happy employees leads to happy customers.
- With the advent of the social media revolution, employees plays a key role in building the brand image across platforms, especially digital.
- How can internal communicators add more value to the business?
- A good internal communication involves regular and effective two-way interaction with all members of staff at all levels. A critical success factor for the company, it leads to increased employee morale and engagement.
- Enhances employee understanding of the company’s missions and development goals equips them with the knowledge to interact more effectively and confidently with important external stakeholders like investors, customers, corporate leaders and potential clients.
- Builds positive reputation for the organization
- What is your advice for people who are keen to join internal communication and make a career? What skills must they have or develop?
Communications is just not about having good English writing skills. Body language speaks louder than words. You need to have positive attitude, good relationship building skills, portray positive body language. Dr. Albert Mehrabian is known for his insights on human communication. He proposed the concept that communication consists of 7% spoken words, 3% tone of voice, and 55% body language.
Missed previous stories from organizations featured on the Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series? Look them up here – Brillio, UAE Exchange, Apeland, M.H. Alshaya Co, Proctor & Gamble, Infosys, SOBHA Ltd., ICICI Securities, First Advantage, CK Birla Group, TVS Motors, GE, Suzlon, Tata Sons, Percept, Knight Frank, TCS Europe, Vedanta, Oxfam, Danske Bank, Diageo, Pandora, Symantec, ISS Global Services, Telia, Thomson Reuters, IBM, General Motors and Philips.
Intraskope (www.aniisu.com) is the first blog on internal communications in India and among the earliest around the globe. Begun in 2006, the blog has over 550 posts on topics such as employee engagement, leadership communication and employee branding and receives thousands of visits from across the world. The blog, receives over 50,000 visits every month from over 50 countries globally, offers learning resources for practitioners, academicians, and students including industry workshops, research reports, and checklists. Intraskope has been featured on leading global internal communication forums like Simply-Communicate, IC Kollectif and International Association of Business Communicators. It is hosted by Aniisu K Verghese, author of Internal Communications – Insights, Practices & Models (Sage, 2012).
If you are an internal communication leader working in a firm or a not-for-profit anywhere in the world and have an internal communication case study, campaign, research insight or a guest blog post to share please contact me on [email protected]