Depending on the size of your team, department, or company there are various factors which would influence how to approach conducting an internal communication audit.
Generally the process begins with a conversation with senior leaders to determine what hints they are picking up that some form of intervention is now necessary, and this may only be due to the fact that they have not ever intentionally considered their internal communication.
With a clearer idea of what senior leaders are looking to achieve, I would then start the process by interviewing the individuals which make up the teams that are being audited.
As staff are inherently reliant on their leaders for their employment, it is understandable that they will use mitigated speech (will dilute their opinions) when describing their frustrations and inefficiencies at work, as the very act of naming these challenges may have a negative impact on their job security or career advancement opportunities.
By comparing the interviews from the individual interviews, themes can be identified and an action plan to improve these areas can be developed.
It may also be necessary to double check these themes against the collective experience in the team to ensure the correct focus areas are worked on.
The added relationship building opportunity between external facilitators and the team means that when new habits are implemented, they will be more easily be accepted due to an existing trust level with the external facilitator.
In follow up consultations senior leaders sign off on these attempts to implement new internal communication strategies. As with all habits, changing the ‘normal’ will take more than a few conversations, and this commitment to a longer term intervention doe smuch to increase employee engagement, as they can see that it is not a ‘box ticking’ process but rather comes from an authentic desire on the part of the leaders to improve their teams lives and experience at work.