Internal Communication Web2.0 Scenario and Beyond
Just as a successful marriage requires an honest flow of information and exchange of ideas, for an organisation to achieve its goals it is essential to have open and frequent communication between the management and the employees. The common thread that links the successful organisation from the not so successful one, is that the former communicates openly and regularly with their employees, whereas the latter hardly communicates or communication whenever it happens, is clouded.
Filtered or incomplete information becomes the nucleus for rumours, misunderstandings and disloyal behaviour amongst employees. Such uninformed or less informed employees tend to become disloyal and poor ambassadors for the company. The damage, such employees caused in the 90’s was minimal and localized. However, the current technological development allows undesirable information to be propagated instantaneously.
The emergence of Web 2.0 tools facilitates communication, information sharing, interoperability and collaboration leading to development and evolution of web based communities and applications such as social networking sites and blogs. This has enabled the ill-informed or misinformed employees to spread their version of the message about organisational aspects quickly and effortlessly to a large audience.
Managing internal communication is no longer a trivial activity but a serious business to be handled by professionals who not only understand the finer aspects of internal communication but also the power of web based communities to influence opinion. The internal communication strategy of an organization needs an overhaul in its design and deployment to derive maximum benefit from Web 2.0 applications and other emerging mediums.
Some of the best aspects of internal communication that can be imbibed in the organisation psyche could be:
Sharing open and honest information- Apprising employees about organisational problems, opportunities, challenges, successes and failures, can go a long way in making employees appreciate the organisation and tune their behavioural pattern to achieve organisational goals. Honest communication has positively cascading effects on employee loyalty and helps organisations to obtain trust and commitment of the employees.
Making promises that can be kept- Make promises that are realistic and implementable. Not making a promise is better than not honouring the same after it is communicated.
Establish clear and easy platform for dialogue- The Web 2.0 applications available has made it easy to communicate unambiguously and quickly in a cost effective manner to all stakeholders. It also allows the management to get its communication validated by a cross section of employees through polls and surveys before disseminating to the entire section of employees.
Frequent communication- Communicating frequently with employees is the key to success in the flat globalised corporate structure. Companies with offices across the globe should make use
of the technology to share information on real-time basis as they do at their headquarters. It’s worth emulating practices followed by leading IT companies on the amount of information they share with employees.
Provide soft information- Communication should not be limited to top line growth, profitability and number of customer acquisitions. It should also focus on employee satisfaction, employee involvement, values that the organisation cherishes, etc. The candidness, responsiveness and honest efforts to promote seamless communication will have an important bearing on the company’s productivity, relationship with employees and its image in the real and virtual world.