In any company or organization, it’s important that there is clear communication among the different business units so that goals are aligned and employees are focused on the right things. When everyone is on the same page, there’s less cause for misunderstandings and bigger chances of tighter collaboration, which leads to greater productivity. This creates a healthy work environment where employees are satisfied and motivated and the company continues to grow.
One of the most common causes of employee turnover is a toxic work environment. People are likely to leave if they find it difficult to get along with their boss or coworkers or if they feel that the company’s culture isn’t for them. This shows how important it is for a company to have a healthy work environment in order to retain the best of its people.
Effective internal communications is a key factor to a healthy company. It provides a safe and objective way to ensure everyone is informed and voices are heard. It encourages engagement among employees as they feel more comfortable sharing their sentiments and ideas. It helps foster a positive and even nurturing climate that then contributes to a strong company culture, which will set the tone for how people will interact within the company.
Company culture is, essentially, a company’s personality or identity. Building a strong company culture isn’t easy as it involves aligning not just values and goals but also practices across every level in the company. This is where internal communications comes in. Internal communications can help communicate it to the rest of the company, which then reinforces that culture and feeds its growth in the process.
Here are some ways to strengthen your company’s culture through internal communications:
- Be transparent with news and updates
Employees don’t like being kept in the dark. They want to know what they’re working hard for. Being transparent then about what’s happening with the company – whether good or bad – is an effective way to build trust and boost morale. Employees will appreciate being trusted with such information. It’s also a way for them to get to know the company better.
Business doesn’t always go the way we want it to, and even in the best of times changes are inevitable. Announcements regarding these changes will ready employees for what’s to come and ensure a smooth transition. This not only builds a culture of trust between the company and its people but also unites all stakeholders in adjusting to the changes.
- Encourage employees to speak up
Communication is a two-way street. Unfortunately, there are companies that are unable — or don’t see the need – to create an environment where employees can freely share their feedback or engage in discussions without being judged or displeasing management. Because of the lack of such a platform, many employees would rather keep to themselves or discuss concerns with other staff, which does not really help address issues and might even fuel a feeling of us against the company.
Make employees feel heard by actively listening to their suggestions and concerns, whether this is during meetings or a one-on-one talk with them. Create avenues for them to voice out their thoughts such as online forums, polls or surveys to see what the company is doing right and what needs to be improved.
For such communication avenues to work though, employees must also take an active role in wanting to effect positive change. They should empower themselves to articulate their concerns but also be open to listening to the other party.
- Celebrate employee achievements
Sharing employees’ success stories on the company blog, newsletter or social media pages is a great way to inform people about the company’s current projects, who’s working on what and what goals have been achieved. It’s also a great way to encourage other team members.
Recognizing a job well done, however, doesn’t always necessitate a public post. For smaller achievements, a pat on the back can be done through everyday conversations, whether in person or through chat. Showing appreciation for a job well done makes employees feel valued, which in turn spurs them to work harder, learn their strengths and further develop them.
- Watch out for employees who champion the culture
It isn’t just the information that circulates among employees that’s important. The way this information is shared is as vital.
Who are the influential people in your company? These aren’t always the ones in higher positions. Many times, even junior team members or new hires become well-liked for their charisma, positive attitude or work ethic. Perhaps you’ve noticed employees who thrive in your company’s work environment. These are your best influencers.
Influencers within the company have the ability to inspire others into action and make an impact on the work climate. A positive work climate will lead to a favorable company culture.
Provide these team members with opportunities to demonstrate this culture to others in their own teams or in other departments. At the same time, help them hone their skills within the company as part of your investment in their professional growth.
- Get on social media
It would be a missed opportunity not to use social media when chances are most of your employees are active on it. Your social media pages are also some of the easiest ways people can find out about your company. Use these platforms to your advantage by posting updates about your company that would reflect the culture.
You may also consider allowing your employees to contribute content on these social media accounts. A sneak peek into a day in the life of an employee of your company may spark interest and provide a picture of what it’s like working in your company.
Jobseekers these days look for a company that not only compensates well but also has a culture that’s aligned with their own values and beliefs. When they ask you to describe what the work environment is like at your company, how will you answer?
Companies with a strong company culture know who they are and will be able to find the right people to hire – and keep. Are you able to communicate this company culture with your team members? Perhaps it’s time to ramp up your internal communication efforts.