Why is it important to involve employees in internal communication?
Internal communication has many advantages for companies. It strengthens the corporate culture, has a positive influence on employee involvement and motivation, and is a driving force in employee retention and recruitment.
And finally, it leads to better productivity at work and better results.
However, for this virtuous dynamic to take hold, it is essential that employees actively contribute to it. Management and managers cannot impose internal communication. They will benefit from involving employees in the process and co-constructing internal communication with them.
In this article, we will look at how employees can improve the internal communication of their company.
Virtuous internal communication gives employees the space to express themselves and participate in the decisions and life of the company.
If only the management communicates via internal communication tools, we are back to a classic pattern of top-down communication.
Internal communication requires the involvement of employees at all levels of the company: involvement of leaders, managers and also of the employees.
It is therefore not just a matter of informing employees but of involving them. Involving employees means presenting internal communication as a two-way process in which everyone is invited to contribute.
For employees, internal communication strengthens their sense of belonging and their commitment to the common project.
For the company, the support of internal communication actions and the participation of all employees is a driving force. This is the guarantee that we are moving collectively in the same direction by involving all of the teams, including the field staff.
Involving the employee is a sign of modernised communication within the company. This approach reflects a desire to establish a participatory and collaborative approach internally.
However, this does not mean that there is no limit to what people can say. It is important to inform employees of their rights. In other words, it must be made clear what they are allowed or not allowed to do. For example, the expression of political opinions on the internal communication tool could be prohibited.
Involving employees in internal communication meets employees’ aspirations:
What emerged from the Steeple survey on internal communication in 2020 was that employee satisfaction levels rose when they participated in internal communication activities.
For companies, there are 3 good reasons to involve employees in the process.
An economic impact: there is a direct link between internal communication and company performance. Good internal communication increases employee motivation. More motivated, they become more efficient and the company becomes more productive. Employees are also more loyal. Turnover decreases. Ultimately, this translates into better results for the company.
Companies with employees who are engaged see their annual revenue increase by 26%.According to Aberdeen Group
A gain in terms of image and coherence: internal communication that involves employees also strengthens the coherence of the company’s messages internally and externally. Internally, it is clear that messages carry more weight if they are widely shared and relayed by employees. But this virtuous dynamic also radiates outwardly. Indeed, committed employees will tend to carry the culture and values of the company. They can, for example, be good relays in the context of recruitment by encouraging the people they know to apply.
Building a community: the company can promote the most involved employees in internal communication. For example, it could give them a role as a communication facilitator or as a relay for “non-committed” employees. The creation of a community of ambassadors is a win/win situation for the company and the employee, who, in turn, is recognised and valued.
You have clearly understood the importance of involving your employees in internal communication. But now you may be wondering how to get that involvement.
By following these 5 steps, you can change the role of your employees in internal communication:
Internal communication only really works when the leader realises its importance. If they do not believe in employee participation or if they move backwards for fear of losing their authority or being overwhelmed by employee messages, they will fail. The leader must understand that the involvement of employees will give additional collective strength to the company’s project.
Internal communication is not the responsibility of one person. It is an impetus provided by the management, but the leader must also know how to step aside and let the employees take over. The employee is not only the target but also a participant in the internal communication.
To get employees involved, communication should be open and transparent. This means celebrating success stories but also communicating about defeats.
Trust is essential in business relationships. The leader agrees to take into account the opinions of their staff and to delegate certain tasks. In order for the process to be fully effective, they must overcome the fear of allowing employees to express themselves negatively about the company.
To encourage employees to get involved, including those in the field, you can, for example, solicit them directly via surveys, invite them to give their opinion, set up competitions or fun publications.
It is also possible to reward the most active employees. This can be done through gamification, a game-like dynamic to enhance participation.
Employees can use different internal communication channels: meetings, encounters, exchanges, emails, Intranet, newsletter, paper notice board, digital signage, Steeple, etc.
The important thing when launching internal communication is to find the channel that will have the support of the teams and will make communication between the different hierarchical levels of the company more fluid. What is the best tool to help employees communicate and exchange with each other? Why don’t you go and ask them directly? This is a good way to get them involved in internal communication!
A communicating employee is a positive influencer in internal communication.
Not only do they get involved and interact on internal communication channels, but they also act as a driving force for less committed employees by example.
The ultimate stage of this involvement is the creation of a community of internal ambassadors. Internal ambassadors are highly involved employees who will defend the brand’s image externally, and actively communicate about its offers or recruitment, giving you a real competitive advantage.
Involving employees in internal communication means making them actors rather than spectators. This requires building trust and valuing their participation. The benefits are numerous, and the key is to turn employees into internal ambassadors.