Effective internal communication is a key driver of success at organizations large and small. Both peer-to-peer and top-down communication should be optimized by refining employee skills and leveraging new technology. When it comes to driving employee engagement and retention, a transparent top-down communication strategy is critical.

Below are some simple tips to improve internal communication throughout your company.

1. Emphasize two-way communication

Communication shouldn’t be one-sided. For employees to be engaged and happy at work, they need to feel valued and heard. Reiterate that feedback and open discussions are welcomed so that employees feel comfortable talking with their peers as well as their managers and supervisors. Don’t forget to follow through with this request and give employees an easy way to contact their peers and management. Whether it’s through in-person meetings or a mobile communication app, employees need to be connected.

2. Use Direct Top-down Communication

When companies rely on information to trickle down from the C-suite to management to employees on the front lines, it simply doesn’t work. Corporate teams need to be proactive and direct when sharing important updates. All too often though, this means sending an email blast or posting to an Intranet. While this may work for office workers, frontline employees who work in front of customers, not computers aren’t going to see it.

Reaching these “deskless” employees requires a mobile-first approach. Zinc, an All Mode Communication platform, enables corporate and management teams to effectively push information using Broadcasts. These alerts are pushed directly to employees phones on the same app they use for everyday communication, ensuring information is actually read. Broadcast metrics even allow senders to see who has read and interacted with their message.

3. Use Modern Communication Methods

Relying solely on traditional methods of communication is a mistake if you want to stay competitive. Providing modern communication tools, much like the ones we use in our personal lives, is necessary not only to improve internal communication but also to attract and retain millennial workers. Companies that innovate and provide a great employee experience are the ones who will succeed.

Additionally, intuitive, mobile-first communication technology is essential for mobile workforces. These workers, such as field service technicians, hospitality workers and home health care professionals, need real-time communication while on the job and email just doesn’t cut it.

4. Reiterate Information & Make it Easy to Refer Back to

When important information needs to be communicated to the workforce, a single push isn’t going to suffice. Research on the Forgetting Curve shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of what they heard. And by the end of the week, they’ve forgotten about 90 percent.

So when there is a new policy or procedure to share, or an important safety hazard employees need to be aware of, be strategic in how you share and reiterate the message. Use an eye-catching alert notification, such as a Broadcast. Then ensures that the information persists for employees to refer back to.

In conjunction, take advantage of the different modes of communication that mobile technology offers. Repeat the message across various channels (making sure to send the message to only the relevant employees) to increase the odds that employees will retain the information.

5. Don’t Delay Communication

Much like everything else in life, communication must be balanced — you don’t want to overshare and create so much noise that employees tune out, but you also don’t want to neglect to share important or timely information.

Employees should never have to rely on third-party sources for news and information about the company. When organizational changes happen, it’s crucial to deliver information quickly and transparently to prevent speculation and keep employees engaged.

Ready to Improve Internal Communication Skills?

There’s always room for improvement in business, especially as technology creates new opportunities for change. With a modern communication platform and a thoughtful approach to internal business communication, you’ll be much more successful in getting information out to the workforce and making it stick.

ABOUT Kristen Wells

Kristen is the senior manager of corporate communications at PTC and editor of Field Service Digital. She is passionate about elevating the stories of women in field service and improving communication between the field and the office. Prior to ServiceMax, Kristen held content marketing roles at startups such as Zinc and cielo24. Kristen holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara.