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OmnilertJun 25, 2014 2:00:00 PM4 min read

How office size impacts internal communications

Communication is essential to making sure employees, managers and other decision makers are all on the same page within the office and across locations. During emergency situations, this is even more critical.

However, a sound internal communications program encompasses numerous forms of interacting with one another. Whether it's informing workers about a faulty machine or talking about a new corporate benefits program, the goals of internal communications remains the same – to articulate a message clearly so that everyone is on the same page.

So in order to enact a sound emergency alert and notification system, the best thing you can do is establish efficient internal communications across the board. Forbes pointed to a Towers Watson study, which showed that companies with the most effective communications practices see shareholder returns that are 47 percent higher than the least effective firms.

What size means for communication
One of the biggest challenges a company can face when looking to improve internal communications is the physical limitations of size. In a mom and pop type shop, internal communication is quite easy, as the staff is relatively small and the entire company is in a single location. In larger companies, the challenge of internal communication grows, as multiple offices around the country and staff sizes are much larger.

To cope with these larger demands, a number of companies have put systems in place to address these issues through strategies like a company intranet and social media. The challenge comes with companies that are caught in the middle of these two sides.

Forbes noted that businesses that are growing often have to balance the difficult task of keeping the strong communications practices of a small business, while being able to apply them across multiple offices and a growing staff. One of the best ways to do this is through an omni-channel communication approach.

People communicate in myriad ways, whether it be an instant messaging platform, email, text or social media. While it is always important to maintain face-to-face communication pathways, with people spread out all over the country, this can be impossible for some companies.

The best approach is one that can make the best of both worlds. For instance, a growing company might want to take the time to meet with management and head decision makers, while also maintaining regular updates through digital channels. Implementing a sound internal communication system can be difficult, but it is an absolute must not just to keep your business growing, but keep employees safe in times of emergency or crisis.

What it means for emergency communication
No company is the same. What might be an emergency for a mining company could be entirely different for a tech startup. Still, the need to respond quickly, effectively and safely reigns true across industries. By having internal communication structures already in place, you can be sure that when a potential crisis arises, that these channels are not being tested for the first time.

Even if you haven't encountered a crisis yet, you can improve your ENS system by examining the success of your existing systems. Look at the last time your needed to make an important announcement and consider the urgency with which you needed your employees to respond. Did they respond quickly? Did they respond in the way you needed them to? The answers to these questions could provide some insight into the effectively of your ENS.

Once an actual emergency comes about, having the capability to assess response times and reception is critical to improving both internal communications and your ENS. By understanding how your internal communications flow, you can gain a better idea of how your message is being sent and received.

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