Internal Communications – Why staff wellbeing is good for the bottom line

As an agency, we often find that internal communications are overlooked in favour of the greater perceived value of an external PR programme.  Businesses both large and small tend to put their focus on external communications, to help drive sales and highlight positive messages to shareholders and other stakeholders.  All of that is essential of course and far easier to measure against set KPIs, but what could be more vital to the business than the people who deliver your products or services?


So, what is internal communications?

Fundamentally it is the conversation between an employer and its workers.  It is the sharing of information to contribute to the success of the business and achieve its goals.


Why is it so necessary?

A successful relationship between management and staff is vital to the smooth running of any company. A disengaged or worse outright hostile workforce will not be working for the greater good of the business and will in fact significantly work against it, sometimes in an embarrassingly loud and social media-led way.  We all as human beings, need to feel valued, motivated and heard.  If your employees don’t know what direction the business is taking, don’t buy into its goals or don’t feel as though their skills and opinions are respected, then they are not going to be giving you their best efforts, or potentially even their mediocre ones.


A common misconception is that only large companies need to work on internal communications, but as the first line of contact between your business and its customers and suppliers, they are your most vital asset and the most difficult, time-consuming and expensive to replace or reinvest in as needed.  And that’s the same whether you have 10 employees or 10,000.  In a time when so much focus is on our physical and mental wellbeing, the spotlight is very much on employers stepping up their game and taking employees welfare seriously – not just their safety and financial security, but their happiness too.


How can I ensure an engaged workforce?

While in times past employee relations required a formal and strictly role-defined relationship, in modern times the opportunities to reach your staff are endless.  From face-to-face briefings with the opportunities for staff to ask questions of senior management or meet them in informal surroundings, to digital solutions such as e-newsletters, intranet sites or online events there are no end of options available.  What is important is that you think carefully about the messages you want to put across, then you can consider the mediums in which you do so.


Our advice – be honest, be involving, be engaging and above all make the most of the tremendous experience and skills you have on offer.  It might take some significant time and investment to set up a regular dialogue with your staff, but don’t fall into the trap of pushing it too far down the to do list – ask anyone who has lost it – the goodwill and loyalty of your employees is priceless.