Communication is an essential part of business operations and improving communications where possible is always desirable. However, this effort tends to focus on external communication - focusing on how the business and those within it communicate to the outside world, with clients, customers, suppliers, etc. Internal communications can often fall by the wayside, but there are many benefits to improving internal communication however possible. Here are some of the likely positives :-
Good internal communications drive positive engagement by showing employees that their ideas, their thoughts, their feelings, and their experiences are valuable to the business. Engaged employees also tend to be happy employees, and happy employees are more inclined to embrace their creativity and develop more practical and unique solutions to problems. This applies in every aspect of the business, from production planning through to administration and beyond - when employees feel they're heard and valued, they naturally want to become more involved.
Employee retention is a dilemma all businesses face because every employee is an investment, and when an employee leaves, they're taking everything they've learnt away with them. Good internal communication encourages retention by allowing employees to feel valued and appreciated. When employees feel they are being ignored and that their feedback is not encouraged, they will be more likely to be dissatisfied. Staff retention can also be a powerful tool to help attract new employees as they may be attracted by a culture which communicates effectively and encourage valuable people to stay.
Innovation is not always a "top-down" prospect, in many cases some of the best ideas come from those who are more hands-on in the production and manufacturing process. Good internal communication means that ideas generated from those who are on the shop floor, the production lines, or the front line of distribution are heard and given appropriate consideration. Good communication works both ways, allowing feedback on those ideas to flow back and forth, ultimately resulting in a succession of beneficial ideas to implement.
When it comes to your business, who are you? What do you do? What are you about? If your employees do not understand these simple things, a disjointed employee culture could form due to the lack of clarity. Rumours, poor working practices, and lowering standards can all develop when everyone isn't clear on what they're supposed to represent. Strong internal communications allow business ethos and ethics to be reinforced regularly, ultimately improving business culture as a whole, and developing an invaluable sense of employee unity.
Multiple departments must be able to work together to track simultaneous projects, project development departments must all be pulling in the same direction, and distribution channels must be as cohesive as possible. Communication underpins these operational processes, the better it is the more likely it will have a positive impact on the overall efficiency as well.
Improving internal communication is an investment that all businesses stand to make considerable gains from, in all aspects of the way they operate, if they are willing to implement key strategies.