Internal communications should go at least in two directions: from the leaders to the people and from the people to the leaders. Employees should receive regular updates from management about the company and should be informed about planned changes, successes achieved in the company and how their efforts have lead to good outcomes and wins for the company. Communication should also go in the other direction where employee opinions and feedback are sought and captured to help managers make better decisions and improve efforts in areas where company actions or activities are not as effective as they had imagined.
Ensuring that employees receive important and relevant information internally on a regular basis and in the right ways is mostly the responsibility of the HR function. In some cases HR shares this responsibility with the Communications department. Whomever is responsible for managing this, there should be planned moments of checking outcomes of the internal communication plan against original objectives set.
Internal Communication Checkup Survey
Effectiveness of internal communication should be evaluated periodically. I would not repeat a survey like this one on a monthly basis unless you are going through a specific change initiative in this regard and would like to ensure you have a good understanding of how well your change process is going. Once per year or once in 18 months should be a good evaluation period. Keep it short to optimize your chances of getting good feedback and a high level of participation.
- Ensure your questions are specific and simple – survey respondents should know what exactly you are asking about. Do not combine more than one question into one.
- Always make a post-survey action plan and share that with survey respondents and other stakeholders in the success of internal communications.
- If you are an HR Director or in HR Management – stay close to the creation of internal communications. Read everything before it is released or published internally in your area of responsibility. The tone of communications and the contents of messages that are sent into the company very closely link to how employees are interpreting how the company’s management “feels” about them and you will often find disconnects started with some internal message that was misinterpreted.