The Success of Internal Communications Depends on the Leaders As Well, and not Just in the Way You'd Expect

Due to the business environment and employee expectations, it is not surprising that the internal organizational structure is regularly changed, modified and shaped by decision-makers and the employee community. However, many businesses' internal communications are handled by HR, marketing, or the public relations team instead of receiving the attention they deserve.

Of course, if you think about it, this is logical. As a general rule, external communication is directed at customers and focuses on the company's products or services, while internal communication is more broad and can cover any topic that could have an impact on the workforce. This could be about the company's product, or information such as fringe benefits, internal training, or simply the message that Tamás Barathi put forward in his podcast discussion on the subject:

If we're OK, and the company's business is going well, let's tell that to the employees! Especially in this time of crisis, it is also an important message that we are doing well!

Moreover, an employee group is also a community, with its own organizational culture and human relations. A "theater within a theater", if you will, i.e. a community within a wider community. In many cases, with the same dynamics, sociometrics, relational bonding patterns, as well as conflicts, tensions and competition.

Just like water...

“Internal communication is just like water: if it doesn't have a channel or some kind of framework, it will find its way," Zsuzsi Steigerwald, Valueteam's organizational development trainer, tells Connect Magazine. However, she acknowledges that depending on the size of the company, there is a dilemma of which department should run it, be it HR or marketing.

At the 2022 Connect Conference, Barbara Jánosa also spoke about this, presenting best practices, under the title "We own the space" - agile culture and empowering internal communication at Roche - recalls Zsuzsi Steigerwald.

What is the role of the leader in internal communication?

“In my opinion and experience, a lot depends on the leader in terms of the effectiveness of internal communication processes, since it is primarily the leader who has to define, or rather facilitate, the organizational dialogue,” emphasizes the Valueteam expert. She believes that while some leaders may have a natural knack for "using" internal communication channels and content, others may have a harder time adjusting to the ever-changing landscape of communication tools, such as video messaging.

There is nothing wrong with this, because the most important thing is for the manager to communicate, and to find the form of communication that they feel most comfortable with, whether it is a weekly written newsletter to employees or a video message. The key is establishing two-way communication in your company!

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