I would strongly argue that internal communication is just as important, if not more important, than external comms. Your people are your brand. They are the ambassadors for your company. If you want to develop a great reputation and relationship with your stakeholders you must first address the way you communicate with your team.
There are a number of ways of you can improve your internal comms. One is simply to communicate clearly with your staff. Make sure they understand all policies and procedures. Ensure there is two-way communication – do your staff have someone they can go to at any time to discuss questions they have? Do you keep your staff updated with the latest information about your business, whether that’s the opening of a new branch, the recruitment of additional staff, or a new bonus scheme? How do you keep your staff updated? Do you have regular meetings? By regular meetings, I mean more than once a month. Do you have an internal newsletter or blog where you can share the success of staff members – inside and out of the workplace? Do you recognize when someone you employ reaches a milestone – say their fifth year of employment? Do you have an employee of the month program or an internal awards process?
If you develop clear communication with your staff when the going is good you’ll have a much easier time when things get tough. If you’re unlucky enough to experience a crisis the first person you should tell is your public relations consultant and the first thing they will tell you is to inform all staff so that everyone is on the same page. In my experience, if you are going through the closure of a division of your business or redundancies an open line of communication with those involved will prevent rumors and upset from the outset.
If you don’t have an internal comms plan then I highly recommend that you speak with your public relations team about creating and enacting one. Happy staff mean happy clients and a better bottom line.