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Communication

Internal Communication – Definition, Types and Benefits

Published by: Hitesh Bhasin

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Internal communication is a type of organizational communication used to connect and inform internal employees working within the organization. Employees feel connected and informed when organizations use internal communications to develop a shared understanding of company goals, mission, vision, values, latest activities, and guidelines.

It is important for letting employees be up-to-date with all key information that they should know. It works as the voice of authority within an organization that optimizes trust within the organization and eliminates rumors, confusions, or misunderstandings. It is used for facilitating streamlined, concise, and clear communications across many departments to optimize the workforce.

What is Internal Communication?

Definition: Internal communication is defined as a type of effective communication within an organization used to exchange information with employees, so they can do their jobs effectively and stay motivated.

Internal communication is one of the best ways to enhance the productivity of a workplace. It is said that internal communication can have a direct impact on the business that you are running.

Different types and elements of internal communication are required for different organizations. For some, campaigns are provided on behalf of a particular firm while in some other cases, training is also provided to the team.

The basic purpose of internal communication is to keep the process of communication from the upper level to the lower level or again from the lower level to the upper level transparent and smooth. This helps in offering a better understanding to the employees due to which they perform much better than before.

So, internal communication can be referred to as a process through which effective communication can be achieved. It is a transparent communication method that includes all the levels of the organization.

Importance of Internal Communication

Reasons Why Internal Communication is Important

It is due to several reasons why good internal communication is extremely beneficial for organizations. It informs and empowers employees, plus also strengthens external communications like public relations, customer services, etc.

Here are some of the ways, how great internal communication becomes a potentially important element for any company.

1. Transparency

When the company keeps on updating different essential things about the organization such as changes in employee lists, new policies, or many others, the employees find the culture to be quite transparent.

When the culture is transparent and clear, the employees are more comfortable in relying upon the policies of the company.

Also when the company is letting its employees know about the smallest events happening in the firm, the employees consider themselves important. Thus, this motivates the employees to a great extent and that enhances the performance of the team too.

2. Enhanced Engagement

One of the prime elements of internal communication is two-way communication. The senior management does not just share news and other announcements about the organization but also expects the employees to share their views and other ideas for the betterment of the company from time to time. Thus, it is a two-way process of communication.

When the communication is through both ways, it enhances the engagement of the employees in the team. This not just helps the organization to maintain transparency within the system but also makes its team ready for special cases.

When the employees see that the company is listening to their ideas and their thoughts, they consider themselves quite important in the eyes of the company. Thus, they feel a responsibility towards the company and always prefer to stand strong with the firm at times of crisis and need.

3. Better Crisis Management

Internal communication is very much helpful in handling and managing crisis situations in a much better way.

Through regular updates, the company already maintains a transparent situation with internal communication. Thus, the employees are already aware in advance whenever such a crisis is approaching them.

Apart from this, such companies also such internal communication systems from time to time to keep the employees calm through different strategies such as motivational emails, or so on so that the employees do not lose trust in the organization and keep on standing strong by the side of the firm.

Employees will often respect such a communication system and will surely keep up the good work so that the organization can cope up well with the crisis situation and survive well.

4. A Better Place to Work

What happens when you offer a transparent place to work to your employees where you are sharing every big and small event and issue with your employees?

Not only this, but you are also allowing your employees to share their thoughts and ideas on different particular topics and points.

Of course, the employees will feel comfortable working in your organization. Such a communication system transforms the workplace into something more comfortable and enjoyable to work in. What else do you need?

When your employees find your workplace to be a great and happening place to work in, they feel motivated and offer their 100% at work to boost up the productivity margin. No doubt, the best results are achieved here.

5. House of Innovation

One of the best things that any organization does to maintain great internal communication is to welcome feedback from the employees. Whenever feedbacks start flowing in, there are a number of feedbacks that can be really helpful for the organization.

When an organization considers its employees to be someone on which the organization can just command, then this becomes a dominant relationship and half of the innovation is lost here. New minds can pour in fresh ideas that can be very much helpful for the organization.

Often there are times when the company is caught up in some kind of serious issue and the company heads are not able to come up with an idea or solution.

In such a case, if the organization seeks help from the employees, there is a high possibility that some new and brilliant ideas can come up from fresh minds. The company can evaluate and analyze these ideas and can find out the right solution to the problem.

Types of Internal Communications

In an organization, there can be different types of internal communications that take place.

It can be downward communication from top-level management to lower-level employees or upward communication, or it can be meetings, project-based communications, crisis communications, etc.

Let us have a look at some of the common internal communications types-

  1. Top-down Communication
  2. Bottom-up Communication
  3. Informal Employee Communication
  4. Change Announcements
  5. Onboarding Communication
  6. Face-to-Face Meetings
  7. Campaign Communication
  8. Rewards and Recognition Communication
  9. Social Media Communication
  10. Staff Surveys
  11. Information Communication
  12. Crisis Communication

7 Steps of Making Internal Communication Strategy

Steps of Making Internal Communication Strategy

1. Analyzing current internal communications

First of all, assessing the existing internal communication processes of your organization is needed. This will help you find what will work and what will not.

Accordingly, you should revise your internal communication goals and objectives. For making effective internal communication, you should assess-

  1. Your current performance
  2. Goals for your employee communications
  3. Communication plan within an organization to reach your goals
  4. The time needed to accomplish goals
  5. Analyzing right communication channels and communication tools

2. Setting realistic goals and timelines

If you want your internal communication strategy to transform your employee experiences and associated outcomes, then your goals need to be SMART-

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-based

3. Know metrics & KPIs important for tracking the success

It is important that your internal communication strategy is measurable, and for this, you should finalize a few key metrics to check if your strategy is working correctly.

Some of such metrics to track can be

  1. Employee engagement metrics
  2. Social shares
  3. Project management issues
  4. Open Rates or Intranet Read-Receipts
  5. Page Visits and Logins
  6. Adoption Rates for New Apps
  7. Employee Feedback
  8. Employee Turnover Rates
  9. Sales and Customer Satisfaction
  10. Employee Advocacy
  11. Mobile Usage Rates
  12. Employee Profiles, etc

4. Segmenting and mapping out target audience

After finalizing things that can support your internal communications strategy, you should finalize who your target audiences can be.

Your content should be designed accordingly by using messages and formats that could best resonate with your internal audiences. It is also good to include everyone in all the internal messages for optimizing transparency.

5. Use an approval process

By using the approval process for your internal communication, you will be able to prevent errors as well as confidential information from accidentally being shared with the wrong audiences or teams.

It will make your internal communications fool-proof and result-driven.

6. Using internal communications tools

Many organizations use a wide range of tools for ensuring strong internal communication in their organization to meet company goals. Some of those tools can be-

  1. Intranet
  2. Mobile Intranet App
  3. Internal Newsletters
  4. Employee Surveys
  5. Collaboration Tools
  6. Social Employee Advocacy Tool
  7. Instant Messaging Tools
  8. Community Channels
  9. News Center
  10. Leadership Center or Blog
  11. Employee Recognition Center
  12. Job Board
  13. Onboarding Center
  14. Video Center
  15. Employees Experience Tool
  16. Multilingual Tool
  17. Branded Tool
  18. Content Approval Workflow
  19. Follow and Notifications
  20. Analytics

7. Evaluating your progress and optimizing

You should use your KPIs and metrics not just for tracking progress, instead, you should learn from them to optimize your internal communications.

You might opt for quarterly or even monthly evaluations to make your internal communications highly result-driven.

Benefits of Internal Communications for a Business

There are a number of ways how internal communication can impact your business. Here are some of the common ways-

  1. Cross-departmental collaboration
  2. Employee teamwork and productivity
  3. Leadership
  4. Customer Service
  5. Employee Experience
  6. Employee Advocacy
  7. Employee Engagement
  8. Company Culture
  9. Employee Retention
  10. Day-to-Day Operations
  11. Strategic Alignment
  12. Productivity and motivation of the employee
  13. Innovation
  14. Empowering external communication
  15. Accomplishing goals of different departments to meet business goals

13 Best Practices for Internal Communications

Some of the best practices you can use to optimize your internal communication strategy are-

  1. Use video in your internal communications using tools like Snagit, iMovie, ScreenFlow, etc
  2. Have an open-door policy
  3. Incorporate internal social networking in your internal communications strategy
  4. Try to make your internal communications tools fun
  5. Create a wiki for sharing and building a knowledge base
  6. Use intranet software as part of your internal communication
  7. Develop and an employee-centric organization
  8. Have transparency in company goals and objectives
  9. Try to connect your organization through employee profiles
  10. Opt for publishing a monthly newsletter
  11. Try to use mobile tools
  12. Ensure that your team is organized
  13. Incorporate company traditions as part of your internal communication strategy

Conclusion!

Internal communication has turned out to be a beneficial option to achieve effective communication at the workplace.

It is due to internal communication that a lot of critical issues can be solved and the employees can be kept always motivated towards the company.

It has been noticed that organizations making use of internal communication are much more prosperous as they have a much-satisfied team of employees who are experts in offering better performance that in return helps in boosting up the outcome of the organization.

How crucial do you consider internal communications for an organization’s growth?

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Article by:

Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Digiaide and his vision is to make business knowledge accessible to everyone.