Communications is important for every business, especially for those of you that own a trucking business. Your internal communication plan establishes business objectives in communicating with employees, and your internal communications strategy is the blueprint for success in internal communications.
In building an IC plan, you ensure that there are clearly defined steps to follow every step of the way.
What Do You Need For An Internal Communications Plan?
A well-planned internal communication strategy will ensure that your employees are engaged in their work. An engaged workforce is more productive, more creative, and provides higher customer satisfactionlevels than less engaged organizations.
Many studies have shown that employees work (and feel) better at work when they are engaged in what they do.
- Engaged employees contribute 20% more revenue compared to less interested employees.
- According to Harvard Business Review, 71% of managers of companies with 500 employees or more felt that employee engagement is one of the most important factors for a company’s success.
- Companies with engaged employees perform 200% better than those without, according to Culture IQ reports.
- If you extend your investment in employee engagement by only 10%, you can increase your profits per employee by $2,400 per year.
- Fabick CAT, made a 600% return on investment, just by investing $500,000 in its people.
- Employees who are disengaged, cost companies $450-550 billion every year, according to a report from Gallup.
- Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization than disengaged employees.
There are a number of reasons why communication strategy plans are important. For instance, they provide drivers with an overview of upcoming changes, address issues in the company or industry, and provide a roadmap for putting strategies into action.
Anytime you need to get a message across to teams or employees, you should consider using a communication plan. It will show you how to transfer information properly and how best to articulate your point so that it resonates.
Here is a practical framework you can use to create your internal communication strategy. Based on eight questions, this is a proven way to start developing your internal communication plan.
Where Does Your Trucking Company Stand Right Now?
Before you start developing a new internal communications strategy, you should assess your current circumstance.
In other words, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach to internal communication. How far did your last strategy get you toward your goals?
(1) Are you on track to meet your internal communication goals?
Your previous internal communication planning should be evaluated for strengths and weaknesses. Starting by identifying the goals you’re trying to accomplish in the future will allow you to create a plan or strategy if you didn’t have one before.
(2) You’re going to need to run a full audit of your company.
Analyze what’s working and what’s not working before making any changes. An audit consultant can be a big asset to you because they provide a fresh, independent perspective.
(3) Running an internal survey to get some feedback is a good idea.
Surveying your employees is an effective and direct way to gather their feedback. It gives your drivers an opportunity to voice their concerns, needs, recommendations. The data is invaluable.
(4) Consider getting groups of employees together
Within a large organization, it is nearly impossible to speak with everyone. That is why group interviews are an effective means of gathering feedback. A group representative of all departments and teams will give you a complete view of your company.
(5) You can’t measure it if it’s not tracking.
Is it possible to track your internal communications with tools? It is imperative that you find a tool that will provide you with everything from social interaction metrics such as views, comments, and likes to survey results.
(6) We’d recommend using timeframes for each plan.
This and everything above is going to give you an informative and charted description of your current situation. Your communication plans should run for a specific time frame – whether that is 3 months, 6 months, a full year.
What is your internal communications strategy?
Strategies are the specific methods you’re using to achieve the goals and objectives you have planned for your trucking company. That’s great, but hold up a second – don’t make the mistake of jumping in without a proper strategy.
You want to keep the big picture in mind – you’ll need to identify which strategy best serves your goals and objectives. The best way to do this is with trial and error. In short, you want to A/B tests everything you’re doing to find the best possible communication routes with your drivers. When you have specific data, you can narrow your objectives down to the ones that are most effective for your company.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your strategy is always on point:
- Review your internal communications strategy plan on a regular basis. The best communicators are the companies that are meeting regularly. It’s a great way to evaluate which part of your internal communications plan is working and what areas are going to need changes.
- Always focus on your plan. Your IC plan should be consistent across all of the communication channels and tools that your organization is using. As a result, you won’t have to change the way you communicate every time you start using a new tool.
- Make sure you’re reviewing your communication channels. Keep in mind that one size does *not* fit all. You should look at what channels your audience is using most. In most cases, the channel that works for remote workers won’t work as well for your regular office employees.
- Measure your internal communications data. Keep track of how well your communications are performing within your organization. Pay special attention to e-mail open rates, click-through rates, and survey feedback.
- Share your internal communications plan. You want to be as collaborative as possible and get help from the right people when developing your communication plan.
- Feel free to experiment with new channels and campaigns. Don’t be scared to try something different such as introducing new channels of communication (if you think they can work better compared to your current ones.)
There’s no question that strategies can provide you with a blueprint to achieve your internal communications objectives, tactics show the specific tools you use to deliver your internal communication plan matter. Let’s close it out with this.
What Channels, Tools, Tactics Should Our Company Use?
Once you have a strategy in place, you should begin focusing on the tactics that are going to help you achieve your objectives quickly but efficiently.
When you start building these tactics, here’s what you need to remember:
- Existing and new communication channels.
- Details such as roles for key members.
- To review your tactics every once in a while and ensure they still support your strategy.
After you have established your tactics, it would be best to schedule them in a calendar. This will help you anticipate what’s coming your way so you can avoid any surprises.
Introducing a timeline will also help you because all of your suggested tactics will work together over a period of time. Make sure to include all the details when creating your timeline.
Now that you understand your current internal communications situation. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, you know what you have to do to move forward.
The next step is to assess all the tools you have available at your disposal and analyze what you need from each of them.
How are you going to ensure that everyone is ready to participate in your internal communications plan? How are you going to engage your stakeholders and employees? What tools are in place to help create meaningful two-way communication?
Can your employees easily communicate with you? Could you run surveys, polls, pulse surveys etc?
Is there a process that helps employees find and communicate content or information to their colleagues about the job that needs to be done?
Is there a way for your staff to articulate their feedback, share their ideas, or raise concerns they have?
All of these forms of communication require different tools. However, before you start adding more tools to your digital workplace, you should consider the channels and platforms you already use.
Let’s look at the logistics. What are the internal communication tools currently available in your company?
You’re far more likely to engage and grab your employees’ attention from across your organization if you use a variety of channels. This is because not everyone communicates in the same way. Some people prefer face-to-face meetings. Others prefer surveys and online chats.
It would be best to strategize potential tactics and channels with your team. Create a brainstorming session where everybody can share their opinions and ideas. This way, you’ll find the best approach to the internal communications process.
The best practices for internal communications strategies are:
- Face-To-Face – You won’t beat the personal connection face-to-face interactions give you. We’d recommend your employees meeting face-to-face.
- Meetings – You definitely want to hold meetings to give all your drivers the stage to share their feedback.
- Notes – if you need to keep details from your meetings or reference certain dates, this is by far the best approach.
- Emails – they work very well for those who have frequent access to their computers or phones. So… everyone ? .
- Videos – when you want to appeal to visual and audio senses and communicate your story, you should create short videos to help get your message across.
- Social Media – Social media can be an effective tool for communications. This is a great way to build a company culture around collaboration and encourage rapport among team members.
Now that you’re familiar with the best ways to practice internal communication, you should decide how frequently you’ll use your channels (and how you’ll keep track of progress.)