Good internal employee communications can ensure the entire workforce is informed and aligned with the vision, values, and core principles of the organization. Leveraging the best practices in internal communications can help with keeping everyone engaged, building mutual trust, and influencing them to participate and contribute.
In this guide, we'll cover all you need to know about internal communications, from its benefits to the steps to building an effective strategy and trends to watch out for.
Table of Contents
What Is Internal Communications?
Internal communications (IC) is the process of improving conversation practices between teams and individual staff members, with the purpose of better knowledge sharing, building synergy, and empowering employees.
These enable a successful flow of information through effective and fair communication practices and behaviors. These involve systematically informing and motivating your people on every company level via relevant two-way channels, whether physical or digital. Internal communications should pave the way for employees to listen as well as be heard.
The top-rated digital agencies can help with this. Not only do they assist with growing your online presence for higher revenues, but they can also help you come up with communications strategies in the organization’s internal digital space.
Benefits of Internal Communications
Let’s take a look at the seven benefits you can expect when you have smooth internal communications in place.
- Employee Alignment
- Employee Engagement
- Better Employee Performance
- Enhanced Brand Image
- Crisis Management
- Reduced Security Risks
- More Open to Feedback
1. Employee Alignment
The right internal communications strategy communicates your vision consistently. This familiarity and a good overview of the organization’s structure and its vision attract employees to be more involved. They will be able to contribute more effectively if they are fully aware of your strategies and the direction the enterprise is moving toward.
When they understand the objectives more vividly, it will also be easier for them to work on and reach their individual targets and KPIs.
2. Employee Engagement
Positive employee engagement helps improve job satisfaction and increase the retention rate. This is directly linked to symmetrical internal employee communications. These help with a closer, more collaborative nature of employee-company relations.
Your people will be more engaged in the workplace when you actively ask and listen to their input.
3. Better Employee Performance
Constant, open, honest, and transparent conversations impact a positive professional environment. When your staff feels a sense of purpose and that their jobs matter, they tend to be happier and more valued at work.
You can do this by being specific about their projects and tasks, educating them about how their work fits into the overall objectives of the company, highlighting their milestones, and rewarding these, especially during employee evaluation, assessment, and appraisal.
4. Enhanced Brand Image
Employees are the face of your organization. They are your most important assets and advocates. This is especially true for client-facing organizations, as your workforce’s behaviors reflect the brand experience and image.
They can improve their ability to ferry brand-specific information to non-members of the organization through enhanced staff communications. They will perform better and more consistently in branding-related ventures.
5. Crisis Management
High-quality internal communications enable you to reach your employees more overtly. This is crucial in times of crisis management, an integral part of public relations programs that deals with difficulties and urgent company news.
A good track record of transparent internal communications helps manage the repercussions of a crisis and candidly discuss PR strategies moving forward.
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6. Reduced Security Risks
Employees are considered a significant cybersecurity risk because they can unknowingly cause serious damage to the company's sensitive data.
With improved internal employee communications and overall security, technical information that can sometimes be difficult to grasp can be communicated more clearly through the right messaging via efficient channels.
Staff members need to stay on top of any changes in policies, mandatory updates, and security breaches. This will help heighten your data security and privacy.
7. More Open to Feedback
Communication and conversations should always be two-way. That is why an organization should have a proper system and platform for recommendations for problem fixes. This helps employees feel heard when they have sentiments to share or issues and wrongdoings to report.
Four Steps to Building an Effective Internal Communication Strategy
Here is a four-point guide to building an effective employee-organization communication strategy.
- Step #1: Define Your Audience.
- Step #2: Set Concrete Goals and Performance Metrics.
- Step #3: Optimize the Distribution of News, Messages, and Content.
- Step #4: Evaluate Your Progress.
Step #1: Define Your Audience.
It is vital to identify your audience before arriving at an effective workplace communications plan. Avoid treating your workforce as one large demographic since different teams and divisions have different requirements, needs, and preferences for communication channels.
For instance, your IT department’s communication needs will likely differ from those of the marketing team. Hence, you should allocate more time to segmenting your audiences into proper groups based on their roles and expertise. This way, it will be more efficient to deliver their needs.
Step #2: Set Concrete Goals and Performance Metrics.
Lay out clear goals and devise reasonable timelines. This will add a more robust blueprint to your planning, conceptualization, and execution processes. Additionally, this will set up your enterprise for successful internal employee communications solutions.
Follow the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) formula. Set realistic, relevant, and quantifiable goals that are kept on track and delivered on time based on achievable deadlines.
Step #3: Optimize the Distribution of News, Messages, and Content.
Minimize information overload while ensuring every staff member gets the right information at the right time. It is essential to distribute internal correspondence and content via the correct channels.
You should also customize your content and messages according to the specific needs of your team members. The content they receive should be aligned with their roles and individual career aspirations, so they can get the most out of the content they are handed.
Step #4: Evaluate Your Progress.
When revamping your strategies, be sure to review what you currently have. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of adjusting and amending your present strategies.
Assess the following about your currently implemented IC:
- Strengths and weakness
- Channels and software being used
- Impact on company culture
- Primary complaints received about them
These will be your baseline for where to begin improvements or the creation of an entirely new plan.
Internal Communication Trends for 2023
As businesses increasingly prioritize employee engagement and collaboration, internal communications in 2023 will see a shift toward these trends.
- Change Management Processes
- Relationship Management
- VR Technology and 3D Content
- Prioritizing Mental Well-Being
1. Change Management Processes
IC is a powerful factor in the success or failure of any change management. Your ability to communicate strategically will impact the structure, implementation, and sustainability of these changes.
Employee resistance, skill shortages, and delivery bottlenecks are some of the challenges associated with organizational changes. When forecasting adjustments and amendments in an organization, proper change management will be your companion. While most companies think of managers first during times of change, employees typically take the back seat.
2023 is the year of change management as an inclusive process in which everyone takes part.
Combat difficulties by making it a point that each employee has a clear view of the reasons behind impending changes. They should be well-informed and reassured that while the workplace is a dynamic environment, it does not have to be uncertain. Let them know that changes are being made for the long-term survival and the general good of the company.
2. Relationship Management
Better relationship management is another top trend in IC in 2023. It is important for the company’s existence because it influences the overall corporate culture. Teams joining forces are taking place, and resources and services will continue to be consumed accordingly when employees are informed of their availability.
Consider your IC strategy a manual you can consult for communications issues. By bridging gaps between teams and departments, you can have more successful projects that are a product of collaborative minds.
Support your human resources by discussing employee experience and self-service. This is essential for management and IC development.
3. VR Technology and 3D Content
New communication technologies are arising and evolving, making it a trend to integrate these into IC.
There is a growing need for bridging distances, especially with the new hybrid work models and the continued rise of the work-from-home setup. Therefore, alternative communication formats should be considered.
For example, recruitment and onboarding can be performed in VR workrooms to help people interact more comfortably at a shared table without leaving their homes. Immersive experiences such as this should be developed to complement 2D content for greater engagement and more effective discussions of complex issues.
4. Prioritizing Mental Well-Being
Mental health is a recurring global theme. It is also an impactful discussion from an organizational standpoint. Internal communicators should convey goals and requirements while also paying attention to mental well-being and providing the support employees need, so they do not reach their breaking point.
World events — particularly those affecting jobs and employment — are causing people stress and mental strain. The expansion of the use of digital tools is another trigger of mental strain that may take its toll on stakeholders.
Avoid overwhelming employees with too much internal news. Give them the opportunity to take a break. Remember that the content you distribute should be relevant to the recipients. This will allow you to reach everyone in the company on a personal level without bombarding them with unnecessary news.
Internal Communications: Conclusion
Internal employee communications should take the front seat in any business, especially since the workplace is evolving continuously.
It is vital to keep the business abreast of the new changes and trends in platforms for workforce communications. This will help you identify which channels to integrate into human-centric processes, plans, and strategies.
Internal Communications FAQs
1. What are the best practices in internal communications?
The best practices for positive IC involve:
- Ensuring the right content is received by the right people
- Drawing up sustainable strategies that work and eliminating those that do not
- Allowing for a two-way channel for an efficient feedback loop
- Keeping a consistent stream of correspondence
- Being open to digitalization
- Reducing complexity and veering from information overload
- Evaluating the effectiveness of IC plans and strategies
2. Why are effective internal communications important?
Effective IC that keeps employees informed is integral to overall organizational health. It creates a sense of belongingness, openness, and transparency that people value and respect.