The importance of internal communication7 September 2017
Effective internal communication creates greater employee engagement, efficiency and productivity, to improve guest services and to be more successful in business. EHMA president Hans Koch explains how new media can connect employees with each other as well as with guests to solve problems, answer questions and engage in conversations, while raising a company’s profile.
Effective communication between hotel employees is crucial. It helps to ensure that every team member is working towards a common goal, which, in turn, leads to greater productivity and, ultimately, a better service for guests.
Hotels must not take communication for granted. Routines and guidelines must be worked out, and then committed to.
Use every sort of modern communication technology and trend. Today, most employees carry mobile devices, the most common of which is the smartphone. Often, employees use their personal devices for work simply because they are often better than the phones issued by their companies; the more attractive features available on their own equipment may actually improve their efficiency.
Smart communicators will find new ways to use images to tell stories and deliver messages. Images will dominate shared content, as engagement levels and interaction with pictures are significantly higher than with text, as content consumption shifts from fixed desktops and laptops to mobile phones and tablets. It is therefore vital to increase the use of video as a means of communicating with employees. Companies are increasingly adopting a YouTube-like approach towards video, introducing libraries that enable employees to search for videos, comment on them, tag them, embed them and upload their own.
Engagement can also be bolstered by improving the channels through which employees’ collective and individual voices are heard. Another way is to recast communications based on groups with which employees identify – work groups, project groups and the employee-supervisor relationship.
Adopt and thrive
Putting the focus on engagement will prompt a shift away from email towards internal social media. Although social software has already been deployed in many organisations, employees generally haven’t adopted it. This is crucial; organisations that don’t adopt social software will be left behind.
The tool that attracts most employees is the activity stream, which is a Facebook-style intranet news feed on which employees can see what their peers, bosses and other employees are doing, thereby increasing engagement.
Organisations are giving up their magazine and newsletter-style approaches to share news, and are instead injecting their articles and other content into the stream.
Streams also provide a real-time view of issues and interests on employees’ minds, which can be converted into articles and other content that addresses those issues and interests, answers questions, and increases the importance of the communications team’s efforts.