Internal Communication Strategies: A Definitive Guide

Struggling with developing an internal communication strategy? We’re here to help

Simply put, an internal communications strategy helps entrepreneurs define business goals. Once the objective is specified, the next step is conveying it to your employees. Convey how these activities would be controlled and planned for your staff members. A robust communication strategy is a blueprint for guiding your company. It helps lead your venture toward an era of success. Forming an internal communication strategy isn’t like pulling a rabbit out of thin air. But it is much more complicated than that. You must take some clearly defined steps if you want a streamlined communication strategy

Internal Communication Strategies: Importance

The importance of having an internal communication strategy can no longer be undermined. Having such a strategy in place helps initiate relevant discussions. It helps unite leaders, associates, and staff to concentrate on internal tactics. The aim is to enhance involvement and efficiency. 

Encourage employees to voice their thoughts and perspectives. It helps make them feel appreciated and heard. This inevitably helps increase engagement rates across the board. Active engagement fosters motivation and drives employees to perform better. You should efficiently conduct these conversations. It can be done via internal communication channels. But be careful not to indulge in prolonged, unproductive meetings.

How Do I Create One?

Assessing Before Creating 

When a company comes to life, having an internal communication strategy is a must. So it’s very likely that a venture already has an action plan. It’s best to start with research and evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Before making any changes evaluate your venture’s current performance. 

You should ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is my current strategy gauging promising results?
  • What are my biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can I turn my weaknesses into opportunities?
  • What is the company’s hierarchy, and who makes the decisions?

Once you have answered these questions, determine your action plan and how you want to get there. You must answer these questions and implement any required changes. This will ensure that any standing issues are resolved promptly. 

Be Realistic and Goal-Oriented

Creating a new internal communication strategy won’t result in immediate changes in employee experiences. It’s important to set realistic goals and understand that it will take time to see any promising results. 

To set smarter goals, consider internal benchmarks. This will help you focus on areas where improvements can be made quickly. Additionally, surveying to gather employee feedback can provide valuable insights. It pertains to what employees expect from the program.

Here are some questions that you need to answer: 

  • What are my short-term and long-term goals? 
  • Which elements are working well, and which ones need further improvement?
  • How quickly should I be able to reach my goals? 

By addressing these questions, you will better understand the objectives of your internal communication strategy. These goals will serve as the foundation for developing, implementing and continually improving the strategy over time.

Be SMART when it comes to devising a goal-oriented strategy. If you are confused about what it stands for, allow us to expand: 

  • S– Clearly define the objectives in simple terms that everyone on the team can understand.
  • M– Establishing milestones and targets to track progress towards the goal.
  • A– Making sure the goals are achievable and realistic.
  • R– Ensuring the goals align with the development of your team and the overall business model.
  • T– Assigning a specific time frame to reach the goals to hold accountability and evaluate performance.

Identify Key Metrics

Measuring the effectiveness of your internal communication strategy is essential, just like other aspects of your business. It is necessary to select key metrics that will indicate the strategy’s success. These metrics will help you understand if the resources provided are being utilized by your colleagues. 

By analyzing the data, you can identify areas that need improvement. Additionally, you can also understand what metrics are working well. For example, you may discover that one communication channel is preferred over others. Some departments may prioritize communication from executive leadership rather than other team members.

Here are some key metrics to consider: 

Social Shares

An important metric often overlooked is the number of social shares for the content. Research suggests that employees have, on average, ten times more connections on social media than a typical brand. Encouraging employees to share business updates can increase their sense of connection. 

It also aids in achieving business objectives. You can utilize an internal communication tool like Sprouts. It is possible to analyze the total shares by network, content, or user to better understand overall reach.

Employee Engagement Metrics

Evaluating overall content engagement metrics can provide insight into what employees find useful. Your human resources and people teams may also have additional information on employee engagement. 

Depending on how they collect data for their own programs. If you are not working with them regularly, consider reaching out. They may be able to supplement your internal communication reporting with data.

Concerns With Project Management

The shift to remote and hybrid work has significantly changed team planning practices. Project management has become digital. This can facilitate communication in some areas. But can also create challenges in other aspects. 

Adopting new technologies at an organizational level can be difficult. It can lead to a sense of disconnection and dissatisfaction when remote workers aren’t kept in the loop.

In some cases, prompt them to seek new employment opportunities. To maintain employee engagement, proactively address project management obstacles. There may be benefits to establishing communication standards by tool or platform.

Generate An Approval Process

A crucial aspect of developing an effective internal communication strategy is implementing a content approval process. This helps ensure accuracy and prevent the release of confidential information. Start by identifying who is responsible for managing the internal communication strategy. This aids in determining which stakeholders from different departments should be involved in the approval process. 

Often, the marketing team is well-suited for this role, as they are skilled at conveying the company’s voice. It helps build brand image while also being able to curate current content. Entrepreneurs can also share content with relevant industry resources. Additionally, marketing teams have a natural ability to create concise and impactful social messages. This helps determine the appropriate for different platforms.

Identify Internal Communications Tools

Various types of messages may require different channels for optimal impact. Internal changes and updates may be best conveyed through email. In contrast, short announcements may be better suited for an internal messaging platform like Slack. 

There’s technology infrastructure in place for internal communications. This can be crucial in creating fair and positive experiences for remote and in-office employees. A recent study showed that remote workers believe they are treated justly at enterprises with sophisticated tech-oriented solutions. Investing in technology infrastructure can therefore help maintain employee satisfaction.

The Do’s of Internal Communication Strategies (Source: TalkFreely)

Internal Communication Channels: Recommendations

Multi-Channel Intranets

An intranet serves as a central hub for internal communications. This allows employees to share and access information. Including company notifications and other resources. It can also be customized to focus on specific subject areas and departments. 

It helps improve internal communication. This helps connect employees across locations, simplifying onboarding. It provides organizational clarity and promotes collaboration when implemented with inclusivity in mind.

Make sure that the communication tool is: 

  • Mobile-Responsive: Employees can access the company intranet on the go through a mobile app. It can be downloaded from app stores onto their personal devices.
  • Segmentation: You can use an Employee Experience Intranet to tailor to your specific needs and wants. With segmentation, you can even personalize.
  • Learn And Manage Easily: You don’t have to write extensive lines of code. Allow access to add multiple local editors and get your message out in no time. 

Once you have implemented these technologies into your communication strategy, measure your progress. 

Plugins

Effective lateral communication in the workplace can boost productivity. This is done by streamlining information sharing, resolving conflicts, and fostering collaboration. Moreover, how employees communicate with each other. This plays a crucial role in creating a friendly work environment. 

Therefore, tools that promote effective communication among employees are crucial. This pertains to organizations with remote teams or significant departmental divisions. An effective plugin would be Donut. This integrates with Slack. Employees can get matched and even arrange a Slack call. 

Get Things Rolling With Video Conferencing Tools 

It’s important to have a video communication tool in place. Especially for remote teams or organizations with large departmental barriers. It allows for more natural and effective collaboration. There’s an absence of body language and facial expressions in text-based communication. This can lead to miscommunication. It may even cause loss of critical information. 

Video chat allows for greater understanding of the speaker and how others react to the given information. I recommend opting for Zoom. You can easily get started with the first session of 40 mins. But to avail unlimited time, buy the paid version. 

Best Tips For Creating Internal Communications Strategy

Create a Two-Way Feedback 

Allowing employees to have a say in internal communications can greatly benefit the company. Too often, internal communication strategies only involve sending out directives from management. But this approach limits the exchange of information to one direction only. It is important to create a two-way dialogue to create a seamless communication strategy. Particularly for remote workers who may feel disconnected from the main office. Allow your employees to give feedback and offer suggestions. You empower them to have a voice in the organization. 

An effective way to improve internal communication is to gather input from your employees by conducting surveys and polls. This can provide insight into job roles, company policies, and working conditions. It gives you an improved understanding of the company’s well-being. An internal communications app can also be useful in scheduling these surveys. Such a platform provides employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback.

Maintain a Regular Stream of Communication

Maintaining a steady flow of communication with employees is essential. This helps keep individuals informed and engaged. A haphazard approach, where a plethora of messages are sent in a short period of time followed by long silence. It leads to disengagement, particularly among remote workers. 

Research shows that regular updates on company news can boost motivation and engagement. A majority of the staff members stated that they are most engaged when they receive frequent upgrades. An effective internal communication strategy involves planning ahead. And scheduling regular updates and events. 

Utilizing a project tracker and internal communications app can help you stay organized. This helps you achieve a sense of control over your messaging. You can ensure your employees are informed and engaged through pre-scheduling communications. Entrepreneurs can utilize tools like newsfeeds and event notifications.

Avoid Communication Overload

It is important to maintain a steady flow of communication. Ideally, you shouldn’t overwhelm your employees with too much information. Studies have shown that employees spend a significant amount of time on email. It takes a while to regain focus after reading one. To avoid adding to employee stress and burnout, it is essential to carefully select and concisely present only crucial information. 

One of the key internal communication strategies is to keep messages clear and comprehensive. This will help to keep employees engaged and focused. It is crucial to make sure that information being shared is relevant and engaging. To effectively communicate with your staff, it is essential to target the right individuals with relevant information at the appropriate time.

Maintain Equality Across Platforms

Employee equality is a less heard about internal communications strategy. It’s only when there is a lack of balance that you start to recognize its importance. Knowledge is crucial. But only if a few employees have access to confidential information, issues may soon become prominent. The same aspect applies to voice equality. Employers should ensure everyone is given the spotlight so that their opinions are heard. 

Maintaining a standard of equality is crucial when communicating change. If absent, rumors may soon start to get to work pertaining to proper communications strategy. Providing equal access to information through appropriate communication channels is crucial for effective internal communication. 

This can be achieved by implementing a company-wide employee app. It allows for instant push notifications to reach the entire workforce simultaneously. You can include a direct feedback channel for all employees to express their opinions.

Benefits of Implementing an Internal Communication Strategy 

Employees Feel Valued

Information flow in one direction only takes a team so far in achieving its objectives. Embrace feedback mechanisms, which can come in various forms, such as 360 team performance reviews. That’s where team members review and are reviewed by colleagues and managers. 

Utilize internal communication platforms to foster a safe and supportive environment. A well-designed communication strategy can help employees feel valued and recognized. Showing employees that their opinions matter through active listening and respect from superiors. It helps break the perception of being just a small part of the bigger picture. 

Reduces Turnover Rate

Highly engaged employees are less likely to seek employment with your competitors. A digital communication plan makes it possible to engage even remote workers. Increased engagement and reduced turnover lead to a more seasoned team. 

It reduces the costs of hiring and training new hires. This level of retention has a positive impact throughout the organization. It helps create a well-established team is preferable to a constantly changing one.

Improves Employee Experience

Companies can enhance the employee experience through internal communication. It helps promote retention by conveying a positive company culture that cares for its workers. 

Internal communication can be utilized to inform employees of:

  • Company events.
  • Sports club enrollment.
  • Availability of free healthy snacks and beverages.
  • Late-night free taxi service.
  • Creation of a relaxation area.

For employees to take advantage of these benefits, they must be aware of them. Hence, internal communication is crucial for both work and leisure.

Enables Action

Internal communication drives both internal and external actions. It can give approval for a task and request communication with vendors. This helps gauge opinions through likes for a new product on an internal network. Clear and effective communication can be accomplished swiftly.

The response is more likely when a simple button press is required rather than composing a lengthy response. Especially for younger generations who have been raised in the digital age.

Future of Internal Communication Strategy

In the future, intranets would no longer be enough. There would be an increased interest in mobile-oriented communication solutions. It helps grow rapidly among companies. Especially for reaching frontline workers efficiently. Despite the clear benefits of mobile-first communication, many organizations have yet to adopt this approach. 

Companies desire easy management of both group and individual administrators. This includes policy, access control, security, and compliance permissions. They also seek administration management at various levels. Such as system, application, channel, content, and employee. Internal communications would rely on employee communication apps. The solution should integrate with their existing HR technology stack. This includes workforce management systems and content and collaboration tools.

Featured Image: Sprout Social


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