Many organisations endure the consequences of poorly managed internal communications. They put up with stagnating Intranets that don’t surface out the type of News content that’s desired and effective. While ‘Better Internal Communications’ usually appears on the list when it comes to business improvements, it rarely materialises in the way companies want it to.
People want to work in a place where they can share input and build relationships with co-workers and colleagues. So why can internal communications be left without the support and infrastructure it dearly needs? The true cost can be significant. Poor communication is liable to result in:
- Poor perception of leadership/company vision
- Limited company ability to optimise performance
- A lack of unity and visibility – leading to misaligned employee and company goals
- A culture of distrust
- Poor Intranet adoption (assuming your Intranet is the main outlet for company news!)
- Limited employee engagement
- Lack of staff commitment, poor morale (and eventually a rising employee turnover)
- Uncertainty and ineffective customer interaction
All the above have lasting effects on the way your business functions, your brand, your output and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Here are some best practice tips our consultants at Business Agility would recommend when it comes to effective content publishing using a SharePoint news site:
Utilise modern SharePoint news
Modern SharePoint news allows you to craft and post good-looking content. Using SharePoint’s design principles, our consultants often craft news sites that are accessible, fast, dynamic, and most importantly – useful. You can read our blog post here about Modern SharePoint.
Effective management of approval and control
Internal News is just as important as the information you publish externally to your clients, prospects or customers. Occasionally, this mindset is forgotten, bad habits are formed, and mistakes can be made. However, by applying appropriate permissions, you can ensure the correct people are posting information in the right areas. We often provide sessions on compliance and data management; news publishing is treated the same way.
Audience targeting for internal communications
Having the ability to target specific groups of people with certain content is a must-have for SharePoint users. Set up your internal groups of people properly, and set them as the audience for any file, including news and pages. (An audience can include Office 365 groups and Azure Active Directory groups.) Audience targeting within SharePoint news sites wasn’t always easy to configure. However, SharePoint’s Modern experience is continuously evolving to pay attention to audience targeting functionality moving forward.
Speaking of permissions when it comes to internal communications, it’s been noted in the previous scenarios the importance of setting appropriate permissions when it comes to news posting and sharing. (Arguably, this is an important point for all areas of SharePoint. From data, to records to document management, we’d ALWAYS work from a point of securing information as a priority!) Security is made easier within SharePoint when your information architecture is well defined.
Depending on the organisation’s setup, user adoption can be a difficult or pretty simple undertaking. Our primary recommendation when it comes to SharePoint user adoption would be for users to have a good level of understanding. They should know why particular practices should be used, and what happens when those practices aren’t enforced. At Business Agility, when we work with clients we’ll collaborate with them to set up a simple architecture with complimenting processes. This works for user adoption especially because with a well-oiled SharePoint environment brings positive feedback from the users themselves.
Managing the life cycle of company content and internal communications
Once your SharePoint intranet is brimming with news and engagement, you may find yourself with the opposite problem. Too much news and not enough places to store it! Before you know it, you’ve got random, old pieces of news dotted about your SharePoint environment. With a suitable architecture you can ensure expired news lives in the right place. Not only this, but it should be archived in an accessible way, too – for either auditing purposes or just ease of use.
Improving your internal communications won’t happen overnight. However, there are small things you can work towards within your organisation that can lead to better processes. Internal communication is increasingly growing in importance. More of us work from home or in even in separate countries – so it’s vital to get the internal stuff right.