Create an internal communications plan in 5 steps

Successful internal communication is a critical function of any business. Good internal communications affect the ability of staff at all levels to communicate effectively and impacts every element of your organization from the board room to the end of the customer lifecycle. A positive internal communications strategy helps to increase the confidence and happiness of your employees, as well as their ability to carry out their job productively.

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On the other side, poor internal communication structures lead to miscommunication and frustration, which, in turn, increase staff churn and reduce productivity. The end result is a reduction in customer happiness, affecting your profits and reputation. So you can see why it’s important to ensure you have a robust internal communications plan in place, but where to begin?

How to create an internal communications plan in 5 steps

#1. Evaluate current framework against business objectives

The first step in creating your internal communication blueprint is to evaluate the framework currently in use in your organization, and how it marries up with the aims of the business. Take stock of what is in place, and how effective it currently is using a range of engagement and performance metrics. Which audit metrics should be used depends on your organization and its objectives.

Examples of performance metrics for internal communication processes include:

  • Analyze engagement data for reach, downloads, open rates, participation, responses
  • Get to know your audience with face-to-face interviews with staff to gauge opinion on the effectiveness of current systems
  • Post-communication questionnaires to understand how many users understood the contents
  • Conduct leaving interviews to ascertain the impact of internal communications on staff turnover
  • Offer channels for employee feedback such as focus groups and anonymous forms
  • Carry out strategically timed pop surveys to measure current feeling

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#2. Review your communication tools

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of internal communication tools available, and every company will have chosen a different selection based on the needs, and budget of their business. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the tools available at your company and how you can utilize them to make every communication as effective and engaging as possible.

You may find there are tools being under-utilized, or not being used at all. Equally you may find that tools are sparse and need to have a discussion about bringing additional tools on board in order to be able to create internal communications that connect with your audience.

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How to supercharge your internal comms

In today’s workplace, effective internal communications are vital to business success. Engaged employees are a company’s greatest asset, but with the workplace transforming at pace, the way we communicate must adapt. This comprehensive guide offers a collection of insights to support internal communicators to supercharge their strategy for the future of work.

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#3. Build your internal communications plan

Once you have gathered enough data to formulate a picture you can:

  • Evaluate and condense the information you have gathered into a useable report designed as the starting point of your new internal communications strategy
  • Highlight the most, and least effective internal communication processes
  • Look for ways to expand the best processes to other areas of business
  • Find ways to improve the least engaging
  • Identify gaps where business objectives are not being addressed within the current internal communications framework and consider new implementations to fill these gaps

To summarize so far you have:

  • Established the objectives of the business
  • Evaluated the current internal communication structure and how it aligns with these objectives
  • Familiarized yourself with your audience
  • Reviewed the communication tools at your disposal
  • Reviewed and condensed data gathered into a report

You are ready to start building your internal communications plan.

The report you have created should be used as a springboard to start your blueprint off. The insights you have gathered will be invaluable in creating a custom internal communications plan designed to suit the needs and objectives of your business.

Use our simple internal communications template to breakdown the essential elements of your plan into an organized, actionable strategy.

Internal comms plan

Download the template to get started.

  • Owner - Who is responsible for the creation and release of this communication?
  • Objective - What is the objective of the communication and which business objective does it relate to?
  • Audience - Who is this message going out to?
  • Call to Action - What response is the communication intended to evoke? What action is the user being encouraged to take?
  • Message - What is the message being sent?
  • Channel - What medium/s or platform/s are being used to send this message?
  • Schedule - When is the message being sent and why? 
  • Tracking - Track engagement and positive actions taken in response to this message and use the data to improve internal communications

These vital components allow you to create fast and effective communications, designed to appeal to a specific audience and gain the best traction.

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7 steps to futureproof your internal communications strategy

As leaders reimagine their world of work, it is internal communications that will lead the way in aligning the workforce against this vision. Future corporate communication strategies will be decidedly inclusive, agile, and digitalized. To succeed in this new era, internal communications teams will move towards an omnichannel approach that brings the consumer experience into the workplace.

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#4. Execution

Now is the time you have been building towards. With your new, informed, planned and reviewed internal communications plan, you can begin improving processes and systems within your company. This will help to create a more positive working environment, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue for your organization.

Check in advance that those responsible for sending internal communications have everything they need to do so and are aware of the timings. Keep an eye on the data and check to ensure all communications are sent and received without issue.

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#5. Measurement

There is something to be learned from every communication and keeping track of measurement and success data will help you build an insightful and robust internal communications system over time.

Internal communications is always evolving, and you need to be able to keep up. Keep testing and reviewing your data, and look for new ways to improve your internal communications plan to help it evolve and stay fresh and relevant for your audience.

Internal communications plan template

Using the above internal communications strategy is a simple and effective way to enhance internal communications in any business, no matter the size or industry.

Use our free internal communications plan template to map out your internal communications and create a happy and productive workplace.

If you’d like to know more about how an intranet can support your newly formed internal communications plan, get in touch with a Unily employee experience expert!

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