ENGAGE

The role of internal comms in business strategy

By 27 January 2020September 2nd, 2020No Comments

Communicating a company’s business strategy effectively is a critical aspect of the internal communication team’s role. In fact, it really should underpin everything you do. From sending out company newsletters to creating online training videos, it’s important to communicate the company’s vision, objectives, values and business model consistently across internal comms activities.

It’s not a one-off job following change and transformation, acquisitions or mergers; but an ongoing task of embedding the company’s business strategy throughout the organisation. When it’s done well, internal comms become a critical asset for the leadership team, getting buy in with employees and ensuring that all stakeholders understand the business strategy, and align their activities with it.

Internal comms is marketing to employees

Marketers take a brand proposition and market it to target customers. Internal comms teams can do the same with the business strategy and market that to employees.

For example, marketing professionals create a range of content to engage customers. Some content will be created to raise brand awareness and will focus on selling the brand to customers, not specific products. While product marketing content, designed specifically to promote a product or service, will also reflect the brand identity, values etc.

Internal comms teams can take a similar approach. They can create content which highlights company values, vision and objectives, and sells the business strategy to employees. And they can also ensure content designed to engage employees with other activities or news, is also aligned with the business strategy so it’s further embedded across the organisation.

Here are our tips for communicating your organisation’s business strategy effectively:

Tell stories: Develop a strategic narrative that communicates your organisation’s vision for the future and what it stands for. Create versions of this narrative for different audiences (levels of seniority, markets or functions.) Make sure the narrative is compelling yet realistic, helps employees understand their role in achieving the business strategy, and gives employees confidence in the organisation and leadership.

Create guidelines: Use your values, vision and mission statement to create guidelines for all internal comms content. This will help increase consistency across all communications and aligns the business strategy with a diverse range of content. Simple techniques such as using the same terminology and tone of voice, helps reinforce these ideas. There’s a crossover between internal and external comms so it’s worth aligning your guidelines with your marketing team’s brand guidelines too.

Survey employees: Regularly survey employees to determine whether they understand the business strategy and key factors. If there’s a lack of awareness in some areas you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

Make content relevant: Use marketing techniques such as developing content specifically for niche audiences and dialling up the factors that are most relevant to that audience. For example, create targeted video content for specific departments or markets, and feature people or avatars which the audience will relate to.

Align content production with company values: If you want to motivate employees and engage them with your message, practice what you preach! E.g. if your organisation’s values include concepts around quality and professionalism, your internal comms content must reflect these too. A poorly worded email or message on the company intranet, or a badly designed poster in the breakout area won’t help to embed those values across the organisation.

Here at NRG we work with many internal comms teams to help them communicate their strategic narrative effectively to employees and stakeholders. If you would like to find out more about our work, discuss how to drive engagement and successfully embed the business strategy across your organisation, please get in touch.

Debbie Hills

Author Debbie Hills

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