What is internal communication?
Internal communications refers to the communication that occurs within any organisation.
It’s often top down – ie from the leadership to the whole business team – while seeking feedback from the frontline.
The scope of internal communications varies between organisations and generally includes:
- The delivery of important messages
- Encouraging dialogue across the company
- Developing team’s communication skills.
Internal communications aims to:
- Engage employees
- Motivate the whole team
- Maximise team performance
- Deliver the business strategy
- Persuading the team to contribute their opinions
- Showing the team their opinions are considered
- Close the gap between what the brand promises and operations delivers.
How important are internal communications?
Internal communication is important because it:
- Tells the team what’s expected of them
- Keeps the whole team updated on important matters
- Makes team feel valued
- Improves motivation and productivity
- Connects those in the frontline to the business plan.
Internal communications can help a business:
- Reach its strategic objectives
- Lower staff turnover
- Raise team well-being
- Heighten customer satisfaction.
As Engage for Success’ update discovered, organisations with a highly informed workforce enjoy higher customer satisfaction, better public reputation and, for many businesses, a commercial advantage.
Types of internal communications
Various internal communication ‘tools’ achieve different things:
- Leadership and top-down communications keep the company-wide team informed of the business strategy.
- Change communication shows a team ‘this is what we’re used to doing and this is why we need to change’ then sets out a compelling vision of ‘this is what we should be doing’. Change calls for careful planning based on what it’s really like to work in your business, at every level.
- Crisis communication helps an organisation plan for a crisis. That means when trouble strikes, you distribute knowledge – to all the relevant team members – impressively quickly which helps preserve reputation and relationships.
- Information communication equips team members with the latest information on their organisation so they can bring discretionary effort and talent to achieving the business plan.
- Bottom-up or two-way communication is when the leadership communicates with the team and request feedback. Sharing information and encouraging dialogue foster team engagement.
- Peer communication is the active encouragement of communication between team members within a workplace. It supports team members to collaborate.
- Culture communication helps team members deepen their understanding of their company’s culture – ie ‘how we do things around here’. Kinetic defines your culture in your DNA as the vision, mission and values which guide everything
- Strategic direction
- Aligns team to the business long-term objectives
- Decisions allocating resources
- Judgement calls.
- Internal communications campaigns focus on critical messages eg:
- A new company policy
- A charity initiative
- Promoting an internal event
- Shift in strategic direction.
Is your team on the same page? Use internal communications to align your team to your organisation’s vision, mission and values.