Internal communications

Internal communications

We know that effective internal communications is important. This we know. And the textbook tells us that if we do this right and often enough, we will have:

  1. passionate staff
  2. improved organisational effectiveness
  3. a high – energy working environment
  4. boosted productivity
  5. brand ambassadors
  6. and a whole bunch of other benefits.

The reason why all of the above remains the stuff of internal communications textbooks is that we just don’t do it well. We don’t do it with enough conviction. And the reason, ironically, why we don’t do it well is because we don’t think further than the textbooks. We just follow the bullet points – a newsletter, regular feedback meetings etc etc yudda yudda.

We should pretend that staff are in fact clients. Clients? Yes, that’s right – they choose to buy you or ignore you. They don’t have to swallow any old garbage that you shovel them. Intelligent reading is at their fingertips – they don’t read newsletters just because it comes from you.

We also need to stop saying: “Ja, we tried that but they just didn’t read our internal newsletters.”
The lazy so and so’s.

Rather ask why they didn’t read the internal newsletter. Ask if maybe you gave up on your staff too early. Like, did your biggest client buy from you after your first visit? Or, did you have to call on them a number of times and put in a big team effort just to grab their attention? And, if the client was important enough, didn’t your MD or CEO get involved in helping to make that initial breakthrough? And when you got that defining appointment, did you spend time preparing? Or, did you just roll out of bed and pitch up for the presentation?

Our clients’ CEO’s are very involved with the internal communications programmes that we run. So are the directors and senior managers, all inputting. And yes, it does take time out of their hectic schedules but they do it. Persistent, consistent. Getting their brand and company values through, getting staff behind and involved in the business.

And don’t just ask somebody to knock something together. Remember, you only get those textbook benefits if you do it well. And if the textbook suggests say a newsletter then, well, you get newsletters and newsletters. Your communications must delight, ignite and excite your staff. Or, as the internal communication textbook says – it should engage!

Gary Hendrickse
Sherpa Business Communications

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
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