Employees are any organisation’s most important advocates. Companies can spend millions on advertising and targeted PR – but if an employee publicly refutes the message being communicated, reputations can be tarnished overnight. Our research tells us that 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation.
We know already that channels of communication are converging. Employees can live-tweet their own redundancies and mistakenly post sensitive information online. We also know that, with the advent of social media and a busier digital landscape, audiences are switched on to this – the age of communications to distinct markets is well and truly over.
What employers tell their employees in an all-staff meeting should not contradict what they tell their customers in an ad campaign. Values and core messages must run consistently throughout all communications.
And this approach is more important than ever in a post-Brexit landscape. In this period of political and economic uncertainty, organisations face the tough task of articulating a motivating vision for the future when they may be unsure of what is to come for their business in the weeks, months and years ahead.
It is vitally important that organisations maintain a drumbeat of steady, well-informed and authentic internal communication with their staff through this time.
Consistency is vital. Employees will immediately recognise if your communications are contradicting themselves. The uncertainty of Brexit has the potential to drive confusion across your organisation – it is the job of effective internal communications to provide uniform, informative insight wherever possible in order to deliver confidence.
Take a considered, appropriate position on a variety of issues – and stick to it. We know that businesses may have to make difficult decisions, but we also know that many problems can be identified in advance if the correct materials and processes are in place. Taking the time to explore the potential crises on the horizon can ensure that if any problems arise further down the line, your teams are equipped with the tools to manage these difficult internal communications with the care and strategic direction that they require.
Finally, authenticity is paramount. There may be impending challenges for your employees going forward – but the potential negative outcomes of these issues will be exacerbated considerably if they are not positioned in the right way. Your business decisions, whether positive or negative, will directly affect your people – an acknowledgement of this is key.
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