Effective Communication System

by Craig Berman; Updated September 26, 2017

An effective communications system can impact your company's bottom line in several ways. Your internal communications can let your workforce know what's expected of them, leading to a more engaged staff. Communicating your value proposition to customers and investors helps increase sales and keeps those responsible for funding your operations happy. And in a crisis, a well-developed communications plan can help a business quickly move beyond an unpleasant situation.

Internal Communications

Poor internal communications can negatively affect your bottom line. According to a communications study by SMB, poor communications annually cost $26,041 per employee in lost efficiency. Effective internal communications, on the other hand, fosters transparency and engagement. A study by Weekdone, a company that builds status report software, notes that highly-effective communications practices creates companies that are 4 1/2 times as likely to have engaged employees. Employees should be well informed about what's going on in other departments, and with the business as a whole. It also helps to have an internal structure that fosters team-building and encourage communication flow across the organization and between departments.

External Communications

One of the more critical groups that a business communicates with are its customers. This may take the form of sales agents communicating one-on-one with individuals, or advertisements designed to introduce a new product or service to the marketplace. Make it easy for customers to communicate with you, so they can let you know of any problems. Target communications to mediums that your audience uses for the maximum effect on your bottom line. Your marketing communications should reach people in a language they can understand on a channel that influences their buying decisions. Communicating a call to action can further spark purchases.

Communicating With Investors

Businesses have to inform investors about events material to the company. This may take the form of required documentation, such as annual reports. However, an effective communications plan that deals with investors goes beyond these required filings. Active management of investor relations may involve getting to know key investors personally, making them feel more involved in the company beyond the financial stake. Get your upper management involved in communicating with these key stakeholders, and make sure they're informed of any strategic or marketplace changes in advance. Listen to your key investors as well -- the two-way communication allows you to better manage the relationship, and keeps you informed of any pressing issues weighing on their minds.

Crisis Management

Having an effective communication system in place is particularly important when a crisis occurs that requires you to inform both staff and external stakeholders about what occurred and what your business plans on doing about it. This system should indicate who will be responsible for communicating to each group, and how the talking points will be determined. A larger company might have a media relations or external communications representative to inform the media and the public, while a senior executive or the CEO might be charged with disseminating an email to the staff.