A Cinderella Story

by Stratton Craig

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“After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and-and-and boring, and-and completely… Completely wonderful.”

                                                                                    Cinderella, 1950

Internal communications has long held its title as the Cinderella of the comms disciplines. It’s the function that traditionally focuses on quite mundane tasks and fulfilling the wishes of others across the organisation. While marketing, PR and social media steal all the glory and have fun at the metaphorical ball, without internal communications they wouldn’t function half as well.
The truth is that internal communications can change a business (for better or worse) – wave the magic wand and you can create something pretty special. But leave it to gather dust and things fall into a state of disrepair.
“Well, hop in my dear. We can’t waste time.”
According to a recent article on the Institute of Internal Communications website:
‘In many employee surveys across the private and public sector, there is a common refrain from employees: “communications within the organisation are poor or non-existent” this is particularly the case since the credit crunch.’
Match that with the fact that many headcounts have been reduced and job insecurity has increased and internal communications is one of the most vital tools a company has. It’s the influencing factor in owning and controlling the changes that businesses in all sectors are constantly striving to achieve.
Getting your house in order
Good internal communication requires many things – openness and transparency, clearly defined objectives, jargon-free language and regular contact. It should always be a conversation – it’s not about talking at people, but more about understanding the best way to engage with them and the best mediums to use. It covers everything, not just written but also verbal and non-verbal touch points.
Happily ever after
The internal communications fairytale wouldn’t be complete without a happy ending. The below may seem like out-of-reach miracles to some organisations, but with effective internal comms, they’re not so hard to achieve after all:

–      Mutual understanding of the business, and what is expected of each individual to achieve success

–      Motivation and empowerment

–      Efficiency and productivity

–      Smoother change management and decision making

–      Coordination and control

–      Mutual trust

–      Employee satisfaction and low staff turnover

–      Wider sharing of information, creativity, ideas and best practice

Such internal gains inevitably lead to positive outputs – better customer service, a strong and consistent brand, effective and accurate communication and increased revenues, to name just a few.
In our next internal communications blog post, we’ll discuss the principles of good practice in more detail, plus the tools at your disposal for implementing it. If you’d like to add some magic to your internal comms in the meantime, why not get in touch?

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