How do you usually hear about news or happenings at your company? We hope that your answer isn’t “at the water cooler!” Regardless of the size of your workforce, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the events, news and announcements. With the many needs of a business, internal communications can be easily overlooked. Research has shown that communicating with employees as internal customers has noticeable effects on employee satisfaction and performance that in turn positively affects external customer satisfaction.
|At Concur, a handful of employees are responsible for improving employee engagement through communication. Annie Dumond, Senior Internal Communications Manager, explains why her role was created: “We heard from employees that they wanted to be recognized more, and communicated with, as well as have a closer tie with management. My job is to improve communications on the team̶ which means we’ll have a more engaged workforce.”||Annie Dumond, Senior Internal Communications Manager|
In its simplest terms, internal communication is all about spreading messages within an organization. It includes both official communication, such as memos, policies and procedures, etc. and the unofficial communication that goes on between employees. Our Employee Communications Specialist, Jody Wilkins, loves to bring the stories of employees and executives to life. He reflects on storytelling at Concur:
“People want to do good work. In many ways, it’s up to me to give them every reason to keep doing it. One needle I know we’ve moved is shortening the distance between the tools and information they need to do their job. And with the human interest stories, such as “#WeWorkWithAwesome, we’re shortening the distance between people—even within their own business units and office locations.”
|Jody Wilkins, Concur Employee Communications Specialist||Using a mixture of video, newsletters and emails, our internal communicators get to share Concur employees’ stories, helping to create a more cohesive workforce. Everyone talks about how important it is to provide global content—and it is—but we receive so many emails that say, “I had no idea Trevor ran a 100 miles for a friend,” or “I didn’t know Bob in Security lives with MS,” from people that have worked together for years.|
Another benefit to having an internal communications team is the increased productivity. How else would you hear about department wide complaints and suggestions? One unexpected aspect of Dumond’s role is how she surfaces issues. “Part of my job is to just listen and, when warranted, give advice. I really try to keep a pulse on what the team is thinking about and where we can work to make improvements to make the team run smoother", Dumond explains. "A lot of times, I investigate what people share with me and raise awareness around their issue or raise a red flag with folks– all in the name of making sure we’re taking care of our most valuable asset: our people.”
We’ve found that the investing in internal communications has had an extreme increase in employee satisfaction and productivity. After all, every employee has the opportunity to help write and define the Concur story. People need the tools or knowledge to do their work, but they also need to feel good about the work they’re doing, so, the two are inextricably linked.
How does your company handle internal communications? Please tell us the in the comments below:
The following are a couple of stories from our internal communicators.