The age-old saying says that “information is power,” and I find it to be true in all walks of life—in relationships, with your health and at work. The more we know, the more we’re able to make smart decisions, create great solutions and ultimately make our customers and clients happy.

Although it’s in the business world’s nature to properly inform our customers about company news, sometimes it’s easy to forget our most important audience—ourselves. Internal communications is just as important (and in some ways, I might argue more important) than communicating externally.

Your employees are your champions and brand ambassadors. If they’re not armed with the proper information, effective communication and company health can implode. Here are three reasons why proper internal communication needs to be moved up on your to-do list:

1. It can (and will) boost morale. Nothing sucks the life out of an employee more than to learn news about your position or company from someone else. Research proves when management properly communicates news internally, your employees feel important. According to Jelf Employee Benefits, 29.5 percent of employers see inadequate internal communications as being most detrimental to employee engagement.

2. Proper internal communications gives you control. Just like being first to communicate news to customers helps a company control its message, internal communication is the same. If you’re not upfront and honest from the beginning, the game of telephone can start and employees may hear news or rumors from another source. When news breaks, good or bad, quickly regroup with your company’s key decision makers on an action plan. Informing your employees should be the first to-do, even if it’s a general announcement of promises for more detail to come.

3. Employees have the power to destroy. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard horror stories of angry employees outing confidential company information or sharing incomplete news. Although there’s a fear factor involved, not properly arming your team members with the correct information may be detrimental as well. Be sure to spell out proper steps that employees need to take before information is shared publicly, if at all. For example, when AKHIA learned the news about its new CEO and president, we were also told when it would be shared with the community and when we could start talking about it. Not only was it exciting, but everyone felt happy feeling prepared for the release to go live.

The next time your company is planning an announcement, be sure to weave in an internal communication plan and put it at the top of your list. You’ll be surprised what an open dialogue can bring your way.

How does your company handle internal communication?