If the recession taught us anything, it is that an organisation’s HR and PR fucntions are inextricably linked. Brought together by crisis theirs is a marriage that serves as a sobering reminder of the need to give parity to communicating what is happening within the organisations as well as what is going on ‘out there’ too.
Yet although the contribution of it’s people to the overall performance of the organisation has never being clearer than it is now, there remains a significant number of organisations remiss of an effective internal communications strategy.
Perception of HR and PR has always been mixed. For years, HR department’s (or ‘Personnel’ as they were often referred) were seen as an administrative function with responsibility for little more than administering payroll and employee benefit schemes, and sometimes organising the annual company outing.
But faced with the unenviable dual challenge of streamlining operations without compromising on quality of delivery, characterised by a prolonged period of cost cutting and forced redundancies, HR’s value within the organisation has increased immeasurably over the last 5 years.
Today, HR is viewed as strategic partner tasked with leveraging human capital throughout the organisation, with many businesses now having a HR Director on their Boards – something that was previously the exception to the rule rather than the norm.
PR for it’s part, had long been caught in the shadow of Marketing. With marketing budgets slashed during the recession, savvy organisations quickly realised that they needed to plan for the long term, whilst recognising the need to maintain their share of voice and presence and more importantly – to retain their top talent over the short term until the storm subsided. And this brought a union with HR.
Both HR and PR have had to work harder than any other department such as Finance or Marketing to demonstrate their contribution to the organisation and their impact on its bottom line, and both have emerged from the global downturn in better shape than what they were previously.
Although internal communications is nothing new, the events over the last few years have conspired to show that those organisations that focus on improving employee engagement are the ones who gain the lead on their competition.
These organisations are increasingly benefiting from having a workforce that is committed and prepared to go above and beyond the basic requirements of their current role. This by default, results in improvements in the organisation’s efficiencies and effectiveness and of course, its profitability.
Indeed, according to Towers Watson, effective communication and financial performance are strongly related. It claims that companies who are highly effective at internal communication are 1.7 times as likely to outperform their peers.
So there should be no reason not to implement an internal communication strategy within your organisation.
What impact can internal communication have on business?
If your objective is to maximise your organisation’s equity by attracting, motivating and retaining the best talent, you need an internal communications strategy.
Attracting external candidates and positioning your organisation as an employer of choice is one thing, keeping hold of your best people is another.
Internal communications will enable you to re-engage your internal employees who are critical to continued business success. By distinguishing your business from your competition, conveying your values and playing to your strengths you can ensure that your organisation stays ahead of the game and becomes an employer of choice.
See next article: 10 benefits to having an internal communications strategy.