The company departments that are standard across most businesses have a newcomer. Marketing, HR, finance, sales and R&D have been supplemented by the new kid on the block: internal communications. More and more companies are realizing the integral place that internal communications has to all company functions. From employee engagement through to customer service and sales, internal communications has a fundamental role to play. As a result, lots of businesses are employing internal communications specialists which has led to a plethora of recruitment advertisements for internal communications jobs. But what functions does an internal communications specialist perform and how can they help my business? Read on to find out more.
What Is An Internal Communications Specialist?
There’s no single, widely accepted definition but in general terms an internal communications specialist is concerned with developing communications systems and processes that will inform, engage and motivate employees to fulfill their potential at work in meeting the organizations’ purpose. It’s all about winning over the hearts and minds of employees and getting them to sign up to the company’s vision and values. And it’s also about finding mechanisms that allow staff members a voice within the organization and a two-way dialogue with management.
The Role Of Internal Communications
The world of business is changing. Increasingly, we are seeing more people working flexibly and remotely, growing customer demands – particularly in relation to personalized interactions with businesses, together with more transactions taking place on digital and social media platforms. This is the context that has fuelled the desire for specialist internal communications professionals as organizations seek to find new ways to encourage company-wide innovation. This is in addition to improving connectivity and engagement with employees that may be working across multiple continents and time zones as well as telecommuting from home. The importance of doing so was succinctly summed up by Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup who once said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”
And so from Buckingham Palace through to The White House via Google, Apple, and all stops in between, many global corporate companies are utilizing internal communications specialists and there are plenty of ways in which smaller businesses can benefit from their expertise too.
What Do Internal Communications Specialists Do?
The day-to-day functions of an internal communications specialist will vary depending on the size and nature of the organization but are likely to include some or all of the following elements:
- Ensuring employees are kept informed and motivated through a range of channels including company intranet, staff newsletters, team briefings and staff conferences as well as any other media utilized by staff such as email.
- Responsibility for developing an internal communications policy: this sets out the methods and processes for internal communications within a company, the aims and objectives for internal communications, the performance measures and the review mechanisms. Developing an internal communications policy is a great way to raise its profile and to give it sufficient organizational priority no matter how big or small your company is.
- Overseeing employee engagement within the business: because internal communications and employee engagement have a close, almost symbiotic relationship, internal communications professionals are often also given the responsibility for monitoring and reviewing employee engagement.
- Facilitating staff members’ understanding of business goals and strategic decisions: this is all about staff members appreciating and signing up to the company’s vision and values and having an understanding of what their role is in the achievement of that vision.
- Acting as a corporate strategic adviser on all communication matters, both internal and external. And this also means making sure that the external brand image, marketing material and communication channels are aligned with the internal ones and present a consistent message.
What Challenges And Difficulties Do Internal Communications Specialists Encounter?
Perhaps the most difficult challenge internal communications specialists face is in measuring and monitoring organizational performance. Coming up with meaningful key performance indicators that are neither too broad nor too specific is a fine balancing act. The trick is to involve the rank and file in the evaluation process and to not be too ambitious – it’s better to have two or three well-chosen performance indicators that really tell a story and that you can build on over time, rather than a whole series of indicators where the full picture gets lost in the detail.
Another challenge is managing the sheer number of internal communications platforms in any one organization. These often range from digital platforms such as the company intranet through to all-staff emails, internal social media and video conferencing to more traditional communication channels such as team briefings, printed newsletters and bulletins and staff conferences. And with these channels being used for two-way communication with the staff body, managing, monitoring and reviewing the direct conversations with staff is also a challenge.
How Can An Internal Communications Jobs Add Value To My Business?
If you are looking to improve employee engagement, enhance staff morale, increase levels of productivity and the quality of your customer service then appointing an internal communications specialist could well set you on the road to doing so. You see, good internal communications are at the heart of every business. And in organizations in which internal communications is given the priority and authority that a senior level professional can bring, then companies are better at achieving their goals. They are better at valuing the contributions of staff and at demonstrating how they make a difference. They are better at providing a positive customer experience because their employees are motivated and enthused. And as a result, they achieve additional sales, better results and generate more revenue in the bank.
Are you struggling with internal communications in your organization? Are you an internal communications specialist that is reviewing communications channels in your company? Or perhaps you’re a business owner that simply wants to improve communications with your staff members. Then have you considered introducing a company intranet? MyHub provides cloud intranet solutions that can improve internal communications and employee engagement as well as providing a range of other business benefits. Get in touch with us today for a free trial and demo of our intranet software.