We all want a workplace that is productive and rewarding, don’t we? A strong company culture is the essence of a thriving organization. Yet, we find ourselves stumped when trying to meaningfully execute a culture strategy that actually works.
Building a strong company culture is not easy. After all, it involves addressing a gazillion different elements that need to be aligned and reinforced across every organizational level.
We know how complex this can be.
To effectively build a strong workplace culture, communication needs to be your secret weapon. Creating an environment of active listening and sharing is key and there are many ways to do this.
But first, what is company culture and why does it matter? Read on to find out why it is important and how you can use communication strategies to improve workplace culture.
Why Workplace Culture Matters
Before we go into how you can create a strong company culture through internal communications, it’s important to understand what exactly workplace culture is.
Workplace culture is the unique set of values, communication style, company structure, beliefs and behaviors that make up an organization’s personality. Workplace culture influences the organizational climate, which is how people work, feel and interact within a company. While both culture and climate are similar, the key difference is that the culture is what organizations strive to build. On the other hand, the climate is how employees perceive the work environment.
When we interview candidates, we look for people who will fit into the company culture. However, if the internal climate is problematic, even employees who are a cultural fit, become disengaged and less productive. Building a strong company culture is key to creating a healthy climate that reflects what your organization stands for.
How Internal Communications Affects Company Culture
How do internal communications and strong company culture go hand in hand? There are numerous benefits you’ll enjoy when you make effective communication your benchmark.
Consider these six advantages as you develop an internal communications plan to strengthen your company culture:
1. Strong company culture will make employees will feel a greater sense of engagement
According to Gallup, engaged employees are “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” As per the State of the Global Workplace survey, 85% of employees are disengaged in the workplace. Clearly, there is a lot of opportunity to improve employee engagement.
When they are engaged, employees are genuinely committed to the company’s vision, mission and goals. In addition, engaged employees are motivated to put their best foot forward and, in some cases, stretch their limits to help the organization achieve success. They feel a sense of pride and alignment with the company’s culture. They are also more likely to believe in the company’s leadership and future success.
You can increase employee engagement by building a strong culture of communication.
Using a multi-touch approach that uses newsletters, surveys and other tools is a smart way to improve communication effectiveness. This way, you have a greater chance of ensuring that everyone in the organization is on the same page.
When your employees feel like they belong, they are more inclined to put their best foot forward in everything that they do.
Want to Improve Your Employee Engagement Scores? Book a Free Internal Communication Demo to See How!
2. A positive company culture is great for mental health
Mental health and company communication are closely linked. A strong and healthy company culture creates an environment where employees feel psychologically safe. Psychological safety is a sense of security that makes one feel that they will not be judged, humiliated or condemned for expressing their thoughts, concerns, blunders, etc.
When a person feels stifled and unable to articulate their ideas, it negatively impacts their mental health.
One effective way to create a communicative and safe work environment is to encourage employee feedback. This will help show that you value your employees’ opinion and want to listen to what they have to say. Anonymous surveys are a useful way to build trust and get honest feedback from your employees.
3. You will improve employee retention
Employee turnover is considered one of the most costly challenges faced by organizations. For one, companies have to bear “productivity costs”, which means the time it will take to complete a transition and onboard a replacement. In addition, it costs companies approximately one-third of an employee’s salary to find a replacement.
It is integral to communicate frequently with team members and keep employees informed on company updates. Internal communications can be used to reinstate company goals and values. This will help keep employee aligned and in sync with the culture of the company.
Improved retention means that you’ll have a company with stronger team members who are used to working with each other. It creates synergy that makes efficiency and productivity far more likely.
4. Your company will be far more productive and effective
Strong internal communications will make your company more productive and effective than it has ever been. A study by The Alternative Board shows that 86% of respondents believe company culture directly influences productivity.
Effective employee communication is crucial to building a strong company culture, fostering employee engagement and improving workplace productivity.When you decrease miscommunications, you improve your overall effectiveness.
Improving communication also helps communicators break down goals and objectives, improve the way members of the organization meet each objective, and how well the team is able to do so.
5. The message and vision of your company will resonate more
If you are a leader in a company, it isn’t always easy to know your message is hitting its mark. The last thing you want to be is a leader that is detached from the true thoughts and feelings of your employees because you aren’t open to real, meaningful conversations.
Being open to direct and transparent communication prevents this from happening. As a result, you will be able to show that you and your employees are playing for the same team, and focused on building for the future.
6. Employees will feel a greater sense of camaraderie
While respect and willingness to help are important traits for employees to possess, you will see selflessness and propensity to go the extra mile from people when they truly love the company.
When employees feel a sense of affiliation with their colleagues, they are more inclined to take positive actions, such as taking part in after-work socials,
Improving communication creates a sense of camaraderie. When people in your company truly look out for each other’s well-being and enjoy collaborating, a lot of the work that comes with the territory will become effortless.
How to Create a Strong Company Culture with Effective Internal Communications
Company culture is in essence your organization’s personality. Effective internal communications will help you tell your company story in a way that resonates with your employees and helps them align your company values and culture.
Here are 7 ways you can use internal communications to bring your culture strategy to life:
1. Encourage leadership to be more transparent
Organizations led by strong communicators have 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared with firms that had leadership made up of the least impactful communicators.
Without question, instilling a culture of communication also means instilling a culture of leadership. A lot of companies have adopted extreme ownership as a mindset of leading from the front and for the betterment of everyone else in the company.
Transparency is an important component of ownership. It helps make sure that everyone knows where you are coming from when you issue directives. Encourage everyone in your company to adopt this mindset, and the company will thrive as employees become more transparent.
Not only do people need to be aware of the company’s goals, but they also need to understand how their jobs connect to those goals. When employees believe that their work truly matters, it creates a culture of ownership and integrity at the workplace. Putting the mission first allows you to achieve the desired results.
2. Acknowledge and appreciate the good work people do
According to Smarp, 69% of employees say that they would work harder if they were appreciated more.
Recognition of employees’ efforts does not have to be confined to year-end bonuses and promotions. Expressing appreciation in everyday conversations can go a long way building a positive, strong company culture.
As simple as it sounds, not all companies have a culture of expressing appreciation toward their employees. Try incorporating Employee of the Month, birthdays and key achievements in your internal email newsletters. This will help build a positive culture where employees acknowledge and appreciate each other regularly.
3. Foster a two-way dialogue with employees
There is nothing more important than enabling an ongoing dialogue with your employees. The more a company encourages open, transparent communication, the stronger will be its culture.
Employee feedback is integral to developing a culture of trust within an organization. The best way to do this is through platforms like ContactMonkey, which help gather employee feedback through pulse surveys, emoji reactions, and employee comments.
From a qualitative standpoint, a culture of transparency and collaboration will help inform every part of your company’s communication. Push people to be open and honest with criticisms and thoughts, while making sure that productivity and problem-solving are the goals.
4. Invest in Instant Messaging tools
It’s also important that you use technology that will enhance your efforts to create a strong culture of communication. A good workplace culture encourages healthy interactions, communication and collaboration among employees.
Instant Messaging (IM) makes information sharing easy and enables timely and productive conversations. As per a recent report from Software Advice, 66% of respondents said IM use led to quick resolution of simple questions.
With remote work on the rise, IM is an especially useful way to engage remote employees, boost collaboration and build stronger relationships. Today, tools like Slack are incredibly valuable because they allow people the opportunity to check in with each other quickly and instantaneously.
5. Create an informative and effective company email newsletter
IM is great for convenience and easy collaboration. At the same time, it is not ideal for making company announcements, enabling regular, consistent communication, and recording important conversations.
One of the best ways to improve your company culture is by creating an internal email newsletter. Planned, structured and consistent communication is far more effective than dispersed, impromptu communication, which can be hit-and-miss.
Internal newsletters will get your voice heard and also encouraging everyone to feel ownership over the company. This way, employees will feel involved and informed.
When you subscribe to a service that lets you create the best email newsletters, you will see results quickly. Adopt a platform that will enable you to create beautiful, responsive emails and newsletters for your internal communications.
One of our clients, Exemplis, saw a substantial improvement in email engagement rates after using our platform to create internal email newsletters, measure response rates and track employee feedback.
6. Make use of internal communications analytics
It’s important that you get analytical about your internal communications strategy. Without data, you won’t know where you should invest most of your budget and time. By identifying which platforms and content generate the most engagement, you will be able to allocate resources to areas that reap the most benefits for your company.
For example, with internal email tracking, you will get a clear idea of who opened your emails and how they engaged with them. By doing this, you can fine-tune your internal communications strategies and enhance what works, while cutting out what doesn’t.
With ContactMonkey, you can get real-time employee feedback through pulse surveys, emoji reactions and employee comments. You can use this input to further enhance your communication strategy.
Tracking and measuring your internal communications will also boost the credibility of the internal communications strategies you worked hard to plan and execute.
7. Always invest in the best communications infrastructure
Finally, make sure that you take the time to invest in communications infrastructure. Rather than simply putting together plans, subscribe to tools and dashboards that can bring these objectives to fruition. These internal communications solutions are intuitive and facilitate convenient and quick conversations.
Having these tools at your disposal will not only help you efficiently execute your communication strategy, but also enable you to measure the efficacy of your efforts and improve them.
TL;DR: Strong Company Culture
Without question, creating a strong culture in your workplace and improving internal communication are two sides of the same coin.
The most important factors to keep in mind are:
- Ensure that leaders effectively and regularly communicate the goals, vision and mission of the company.
- Enable a two-way dialogue to build a culture of trust.
- Make the most of the technology available to you – instant messaging and emails are essential communication tools for a collaborative workplace.
- Use analytics to continuously improve your communication strategies.
You will be able to strengthen your company and its impact when you recognize the importance of strong communication and use the tools to improve it. Use these tips as a guideline, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us when you’d like to see some of the solutions we specialize in.