By Eva Calo
Canela has recently been part of a working group organized by the Association of Public Relations and Communication Consulting Companies (ADECEC), focused on giving value to internal communication within companies. In addition to jointly creating the “Internal communication, the great ally of the new business models” manifesto, it has also participated in the organization of a day in which the internal communication tendencies were analysed, from the point of view of the company and the communication and public relations agencies.
This session allowed attendees to enjoy a relaxed talk about what is important in internal communication today, and to assess the trends that are becoming increasingly successful in companies. The first thing that must be taken into account is the radical change that communication is experiencing in companies. We live in the digital age where social networks occupy a large part of our time, and therefore we should always consider this type of channel when planning the communication of the company with its employees. This communication must be bidirectional, and consequently we must understand that formats such as the intranet, the newsletter or the bulletin boards must evolve adapting to the current situation.
The main objective must be aligned with the one that companies seek in their relationship with their clients. If a company works its external communication to get its trust, it must do the same to motivate its employees, through a close communication and with its feedback. The secret lies in what is now called engagement in the language of social networks, that is, the degree of commitment of a consumer with a brand. Applied to internal communication in companies, this engagement would be the commitment made by employees to the company… Is there a better ambassador in a company than its own employees? Definitely not.
Employees must receive an adapted communication to their work, and companies must adapt the internal communication in the same way as if it was a personal communication. It is very important to involve employees, and therefore the option to receive feedback from employees must always be present. It is essential to keep employees always informed, to avoid surprises, both in the good and in the bad, so the resolution of problems will be easier. Trust is a fundamental asset, so it is important to work hard to achieve it and maintain it.
Another issue that cannot be avoided is the generational variety that we find today in companies. The arrival of the Millennial Generation means that companies need to use new technologies and digital resources to attract their attention. As these needs arise in the world of external communication, advertising and marketing, internal communication must also adapt. Companies must take advantage of digital channels to communicate with their employees, in order to speak to them in the language they understand best. The content needs to be attractive, and include videos and images, the formats that reign at present.
This strategy must be planned and organized, but, above all, it must have the approval and involvement of all areas and levels of the company. There is no point trying to attract young talent to a company, with a campaign in which social networks are not considered an important part of its dissemination.
Just as it is useless to want to have a closer communication with employees without a personal communication. Direct contact with the team is one of the basic pillars for a fluid communication. Finally, it is very important to convince the company’s Board of Directors of the importance of this strategy. Digitization is here to stay. Each company can suppose a different case, for that reason it is necessary to make a previous diagnosis before proposing the strategy, but above all it is important to know the audience and listen to it. The challenge must be to retain the talent, and for that we must always look for ways to make the employee feel fully engaged with the company.