You found our guide on internal communication with definitions, examples & tips.
Internal communication involves interaction and discussion among employees of an organization. Effective internal communication is a cornerstone of every thriving business. Examples include formal, informal, vertical, and horizontal communication. Improving the efficiency of your team’s internal communications can improve your team’s performance.
This article aligns with creating a positive work environment, exemplifies collaborative leadership, and can help improve employee satisfaction. You can also read our top communication books for work.
This article includes:
- definition of internal communication in business
- the importance of internal communication
- internal communication examples
- internal communication tips
- internal communication tools
Here we go!
Definition of internal communication in business
Internal communication is how employees inside a company communicate with one another. This concept also commonly refers to the messaging between leadership and the general workforce. The sphere covers all communication styles, including written and verbal forms of communication, as well as informal and formal conventions cutting across the tiers of the organization. Optimal internal communication employs several communication styles so that employees may communicate more productively and efficiently.
The importance of internal communication
Establishing strong internal communication channels is one of the most important aspects of running a successful company. Internal communication serves numerous purposes inside an organization and provides several advantages.
1. Promotes a Company Culture
A company has to establish its brand to succeed. Therefore, new hires will quickly adjust to the company’s culture if they know what to expect. Also, companies with positive and communicative cultures tend to have better brand reputations and attract talent accordingly.
One of the most crucial elements in establishing a company’s culture is the quality of its internal communications. In addition, the dynamics between a company’s employees shape the culture of a business, both at the peer level and across levels of management. When employees feel supported and comfortable inside the workplace, they can better deliver their best for the organization.
Here is a list of company culture books.
2. Maintains Understanding Inside the Workplace
Workers should know their roles and expectations. When there are open communication channels between employees, every team member is aware of their responsibilities and deadlines. Employees should know their employer’s expectations to achieve goals and keep the company performing at a high level, and internal communication facilitates this process.
3. Ensures Staff Members Have a Voice
All members of an organization should feel like their ideas and concerns matter in the workplace. For the same reason, keeping the lines of communication open is crucial so that employees with brilliant ideas for the business may voice them without fear. Mid- and upper-level employees can better evaluate recommendations and choose the greatest potential to boost productivity when the organization has a great communication channel.
In many organizations, employees have official channels to make comments and submit requests, facilitating the upward flow of information. For example, if a salesperson has a suggestion for improving product offerings, then they could share it with their manager. If the manager thinks the advice is solid, they may discuss it with a higher-up in charge of sales package choices. If the proposal gets green-lit, they might make the new feature accessible to all sales personnel.
4. Improves Employee Satisfaction
A study that appeared in Forbes shows that 83 percent of HR executives rank employee satisfaction as “important” or “extremely important,” yet few know how to make a difference. Again, your in-house communication is the key. When workers see how their efforts benefit the company, they have a sense of purpose and are likelier to go above and beyond. Therefore, how well you communicate internally will greatly affect the quality of employee experience.
Having an open dialogue about an employee’s performance and how they have contributed to the company’s success is crucial. How employees see the company and their place within it influences morale, motivation, and satisfaction. Building strong internal communication is essential to enhance the employee experience.
Check out this list of job satisfaction statistics.
5. Keeping Morale Up
One of the most critical aspects of running a successful company is keeping morale high among employees. When workers are happy, they tend to perform better. In addition, staff members who are happy in their jobs are less inclined to leave their present organization, which makes it simpler to retain essential employees and reduces the number of open positions.
Making internal communication channels simple to use can contribute to boosting employee morale. Employees who believe their bosses value them are more likely to speak openly.
Here is a list of ways to boost morale.
6. Helps with Crisis Management
In the event of a crisis, whether internal or external, it is crucial to keep employees informed. With effective internal communication, businesses can manage the message they deliver to employees during times of crisis. The information gained from employee encounters can influence official messaging. For example, these messages can address any queries or concerns from staff and ensure a good attitude among employees.
7. Controls Information Distribution
Open communication is often the aim of an internal communication network, yet there are instances when it is necessary to limit the flow of information. Some situations that call for discretion and confidentiality include investigations, proprietary information, and employee performance reports. A corporation may prevent releasing delicate data by instituting standards for transmitting sensitive information. The manager should also ensure all employees understand the company’s information distribution policy.
8. Boosts a Company’s Efficiency
Having a solid strategy in place is crucial for the success of any project, but it is not uncommon for projects to run into unanticipated issues. Internal communication is a powerful tool for addressing these issues and finding solutions as they emerge. An employee can use internal communication to find a solution and keep the project moving toward its goal, whether that solution involves relaying concerns to a manager and allowing them to decide how to proceed or speaking with a peer who has the special knowledge or available time to assist.
Internal communication examples
Being familiar with the types of communication is essential for efficient usage. The following are some examples of internal communication.
1. Vertical Communication
Vertical internal communication occurs when employees from various company levels communicate. For example, a boss and an employee in the same department may have a more informal interaction, or it may occur in a formal environment like an internal letter or a staff meeting. When you are in a position of authority, you may use vertical communication to train subordinates and ensure they are on the same page with corporate goals and objectives. Staff members may voice their concerns and express their requirements to management via vertical communication.
2. Horizontal Communication
Most communications in the workplace take place horizontally, between coworkers on the same tier of the corporate ladder. With horizontal communication, two workers on the same project may negotiate how to divide their workload. A corporation should have strong internal horizontal communication. The social dynamic of a company depends on its workers’ ability to work well together.
3. Formal Communication
Formal communication is when one employee shares information with another via established company channels. Staff meetings, emails, and performance evaluations are all examples of formal modes of communication businesses use. When it comes to setting business policies and outlining project structures and objectives, formal communication is essential. This form provides a formal record of the conversations and ensures employees know their roles.
4. Informal Communication
Informal communication includes conversations or messages between workers outside official channels. Casual conversations between staff members that do not adhere to the established business protocol are examples of informal communication.
The communication might be informal, but this interaction is vital to the smooth running of any business. These informal communication methods allow employees to discuss a project faster without the hassle of formal channels. Coworkers have casual talks with one another throughout the workday.
Internal communication tips
The following tips can help improve company-wide communication and productivity.
1. Create an Open Door Policy
A policy where workers feel safe contacting management with concerns is a great idea for internal communications. The problems may relate to the job, or might be more personal yet still affect the worker’s productivity. Managers who see their staff as human beings rather than cogs in a machine recognize that sometimes workers need to vent or be reassured of fair treatment and reasonable adjustments.
The worker should be confident in approaching their supervisor with suggestions on enhancing processes or completing tasks. It would help if you reassured your staff that you value their ideas and views as long as they are civil.
Check out our guide on open door policy.
2. Hold Team Meetings
You can gather the group regularly to assess their progress. During meetings, employees can discuss their successes and solve their problems. No team member should be singled out for not doing “enough” to help. You can deal with performance problems at a different time.
The objective is to provide every team member with the resources they need to perform their duties effectively. You may have to buy new tools, consult local specialists, or team up with an organization that already has the required assets.
3. Make Internal Communication Channels Fun
If you want more employees to utilize the workplace intranet, logging in and checking emails should be seamless. You can incorporate the corporate name and colors and train employees to use the channel. New hires should get adequate training, and old employees should update their knowledge regularly.
Some employees may not voice out their lack of knowledge. While some learners thrive in an independent environment, others do better with a guide who can answer their questions as they arise. You should ensure your staff has access to various support channels so they may choose the one that best suits their needs.
4. Start a Corporate Newsletter
A corporate newsletter is an excellent medium for disseminating information on your business and your services. You can share it digitally so your team members can access it easily. Instead of sending the newsletter to each employee individually, you may share it over the business intranet to avoid filling up individual inboxes. According to a Sanebox report, employees deal with over 62 percent of irrelevant emails and spend an average of two and a half hours daily searching for relevant data. When planning your corporate newsletter, you may want to include the following:
- A monthly compilation of staff members’ birthdays
- Facts and figures regarding the business or industry
- A featured worker’s profile
- Important date and event reminders for staff
You may also use this newsletter to spread some lighthearted ideas for internal communications.
5. Include Video in your Strategy
You can use video to inform your staff about corporate updates and announcements. Passing this information in lengthy email forms means risking losing your readers’ attention before they even understand the message. Not all workers will read the whole document. Some individuals will read the email without fully understanding what they read, while others will misunderstand it. Having the message in video form will allow workers to review it as often as they choose.
6. Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Many businesses now encourage staff members to take several daily breaks, such as during lunch and coffee, to exercise, socialize, and recharge. The coffee breaks are great opportunities for coworkers to mingle and get to know one another. Some of these seemingly casual chats can also be valuable learning moments. According to a report by International Data Corp. of Farmington, Massachusetts, Fortune 500 firms lose an average of $31.5 million yearly due to a lack of knowledge sharing. You can encourage coworkers to chat about work and nonwork topics during breaks and coworker meetups.
7. Be Transparent with Your Company’s Plans and Goals
The sales team is sometimes the only department in the company with set goals. The only time the rest of the staff learns how the business is doing is when the company president expresses gratitude to the team at year’s end.
When workers have clear expectations laid out for them, they are more likely to work together for shared success. No one individual or group of workers should feel solely accountable for success. Each member of the firm may play a role in achieving the organization’s objectives, and after realizing those objectives, everyone in the organization will share in the rewards.
Here is a list of goal-setting activities.
8. Get Opinions and Suggestions
It would be best to poll your staff to find out how to improve the company’s internal communications. You can get feedback on what new strategies or techniques to introduce and what works or needs change. After making adjustments to your internal communications strategy, you may also solicit feedback. You can then see whether the adjustments are having the intended impact.
Here is a list of employee engagement survey questions.
9. Maintain Consistent Communication
After implementing your internal communications strategy, it is crucial to regularly keep in touch with your staff. This idea is possible with regular check-ins, company-wide announcements, or even weekly or monthly updates. You should notify your team of any plan updates and encourage them to provide feedback on the program’s efficacy. Internal communications is a continual activity that requires constant assessment and revision of your strategy.
Internal communication tools
The following are examples of tools for internal communication.
1. Chat and Messaging
In a digital world, it is only natural that interaction channels will shift accordingly. Teams may now connect in real-time, no matter where they are located in the world, thanks to messaging and live chat technologies. With these resources, team members may easily and effectively communicate with one another without having to meet in person. Chats facilitate the rapid dissemination of data and may be used to distribute files and web connections.
Intranets are a firm’s private networks that are only available to workers. Intranets allow teams to remain in touch and discuss workplace happenings in one place. Intranets allow sharing of confidential data, simplify project collaboration, and are customizable to the business’s specific requirements.
3. Collaboration Tools
It is crucial to have the option to collaborate on documents in a team environment. Team members may modify the same document in real-time using document collaboration technologies. The collaborative nature of these technologies makes them useful for a wide range of tasks, including ideation, document creation, design, and presentation preparation. Team members may need training before they can utilize it effectively.
Here is a list of online collaboration tools.
4. Project Management
Project management tools aid teams in organizing, monitoring, and carrying out projects. These resources help workers stay on schedule and monitor the development of small and major projects and initiatives. These tools also provide a means for staff to monitor progress toward goals, manage time constraints, and keep teams within their allotted budgets
Check out this list of project management tools.
5. Voice and Video Conferencing
Thanks to voice and video conferencing technology, team members no longer need to be in the same location to interact effectively. Team gatherings, training sessions, and individual consultations may all benefit from using these instruments. Team members and customers located far apart may meet virtually via video conferencing.
Here is a list of the best video conferencing tools.
Workplace internal communication has evolved into a vital function. However, the importance of encouraging communication among workers goes well beyond that. It is also important to locate and implement the most effective technological solutions and learn how to maximize their impact on productivity and efficiency. Effective internal communication is a team effort. Better internal communication increases employee engagement, boosts productivity and profits, and decreases turnover.
For more advice, check out virtual team communication tips.