Internal communication – key to build strong organizations

December 16th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

PR/Communication has become an important and integral part of an organization’s messaging to the outside world. Do it right, your company will earn praise (examples), on the other hand, do it wrong your company will attract a lot of bad press and in some cases legal action (example). As these examples suggest, companies have taken external communication very seriously and have spent millions of dollars to get the right message out.

What about internal communication? Do companies need to focus only on external communication? Our class presentation on internal communication found it otherwise. Irrespective of the size of an organization, we found internal communication is as important as external communication. It is essential for companies to build a brand from within first.

From my past work experience, I found internal communication is very important especially in case of mergers/acquisitions. I have worked for two companies in the past that went through ownership change. The way these two companies handled internal communication about the ownership change decided the course for company’s future.

For example, the senior leadership of the first company (we will call company X) scheduled town hall like meetings with employees at each of two campuses in the country. The intention was to communicate this information first hand and alleviate any concerns employees may have. The leadership team took time to answer individual questions and explained why this was a better move. Result: Employees were satisfied and focused on work rather than unnecessary gossip or worry.

This was not the case in the second company (we will call company Y) I worked for. The two partners were in disagreement in selling the stake of the company. Their disagreement led to confusion about the future of the company. With each passing day employees were worried about their future and the partners didn’t try to address that worry. Result: Within two months two-thirds of the employees (including one partner) left the company.

In conclusion, we see that internal communication at times is even more important than external communication for an organization and its survival. Every company – big or small – needs to invest time and resources to build a solid foundation from within via internal communication.

Abhinav Gupta is a 2013 MBA candidate focusing on Strategic Management. Prior to Smith School, he has worked as a management consultant in Singapore. He is currently a Leadership Fellow with Office of Career Services at Smith School of Business and Vice President of International Student Affairs of MBA Association. In his spare time Abhinav loves to cook and fly kites.

 

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