With the adoption of remote and hybrid workplaces, the importance of effective internal communication best practices cannot be overstated.
"Only 7% of U.S. workers strongly agree that communication is accurate, timely and open where they work"
Enterprises now, more than ever, need to instill internal communications tactics to not only deliver messages to their far-flung employees but also make sure these messages truly resonate with them. Employees have come to expect real-time information, engaging experiences, and crystal-clear workplace communication. By adopting internal comms best practices, enterprises can tap into the potential of modern communication tools.
Utilizing technology will aid companies in fostering collaboration, maintaining transparency, and ultimately keeping their workforces well-informed and motivated for peak productivity and sustained success. However...
"69% of remote workers report increased burnout from digital communication tools"
Too much information at once can lead to mental fatigue, so it must be delivered in a more intelligent way that actively engages your employees.
This is where an internal communications strategy comes into play. It's the blueprint that ties everything together, seamlessly aligning with broader business objectives while incorporating those invaluable best practices. A strong strategy empowers an organization to navigate the dynamic digital communication landscape, ensuring its workforce stays engaged with content and remains a driving force behind the organization's overall success.
Accelerating employee engagement with technology
We partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytics Services to survey nearly 500 global executives to understand how they are using technology to accelerate employee engagement. Find out how leading enterprises are leaning into digital to get ahead.
Internal communications best practices are a set of fundamental principles that guide the way your enterprise communicates with your employees. These practices form the foundation of an effective internal communications strategy. Internal comms best practices include:
Clarity: Ensure that your messages are easy to understand and free of jargon or ambiguity. Remarkably, nearly 90% of people who use jargon only do so to cover up knowledge gaps - in other words, they use technical language to make it seem like they know what they are talking about, according to Enreach. Instead, use clear language to convey information effectively.
Consistency: Maintain uniformity in the language, tone, and branding across all communication channels. Consistency fosters trust and reinforces your organization's identity.
Segmentation: Recognize that different employee groups may have varying needs and preferences. Tailor messages and channels to suit these segments.
Feedback loop: Establish a feedback mechanism that allows employees to voice their concerns, suggestions, and questions. Act upon this feedback to demonstrate responsiveness. Ensure that employer feedback to employees is also regular and meaningful - when managers provide daily feedback, employees are 3.6 times more inclined to agree that they are motivated to excel in their role, according to Gallup.
Multichannel strategy: Employ a mix of communication channels, including broadcast emails, intranet, social channels, newsletters, and face-to-face interactions, to reach diverse audiences effectively.
Channel appropriateness: Choose the right channel for the type of information you want to convey. For instance, complex policy updates may require detailed emails, while quick announcements could be more suitable for social channels.
Dialogue promotion: Encourage open dialogue, both upward and downward, within the organization. Only 28% of workers believe that their supervisor keeps them up to date about their organization, according to Gallup. Create platforms or forums for employees to ask questions, share ideas, and provide input.
Act on feedback: Demonstrate the value of employee input by taking action based on feedback received. This helps build trust and a culture of transparency.
Visible leadership: Leaders should actively participate in communication efforts. When executives lead by example, it sets a positive tone for the entire organization. There is a definite link between how leaders behave, the culture they foster, and the level of engagement among team members, according to the People Survey.
Alignment: Ensure that leadership communications align with the organization's vision and strategy. This reinforces the company's direction to employees
Proactive communication: In times of change, crisis, or important developments, communicate promptly. Delayed or inadequate communication can lead to confusion and mistrust. Poor communication can be quite harmful - more than 40% of employees report that it erodes confidence in their leaders, according to Forbes.
Regular updates: Establish a communication cadence that suits your organization's needs. Regular updates keep employees informed and engaged.
With these internal comms best practices in mind, enterprises are better equipped to create an effective internal communications strategy.
Unite 23 - Ask an internal comms expert
Your questions answered by top internal communicators.
An internal communications strategy is a structured and comprehensive plan that enterprises can use to communicate effectively with their employees. It outlines the objectives, target audiences, key messages, communication channels, and responsibilities to ensure seamless communication throughout the organization.
It is especially important when you consider that nearly 50% of all workers say that they have experienced reduced productivity, in large part due to ineffective communication, according to Forbes.
An internal communications strategy serves as a roadmap for fostering employee engagement, aligning the workforce with organizational goals, and creating a culture of open and effective communication. In essence, it's a vital tool for organizations to keep their employees informed, motivated, and connected with the company's mission and values.
The best examples of internal communications strategy adopt an action-based approach. This is underpinned by concrete success metrics you can regularly review to evaluate your progress. Actionable strategies focus on not just conveying information but driving specific outcomes. To achieve this, consider the following steps:
Before you craft your strategy, you must have a clear understanding of the target audiences within your organization. Recognize that different employee groups may have varying needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Tailor your messaging and channels to suit these segments using a robust content management system (CMS) that can target the right audience in any language. This targeted approach enhances the relevance and impact of your communication efforts.
Your internal communications tactics should align seamlessly with your organization's overall business goals. Effective communication should not operate in isolation; it must support and reinforce the broader aims and values of your enterprise. When crafting your strategy, consider how your communication initiatives can contribute to your mission and values.
Following SMART logic is one of the most effective ways to ensure your communication goals are up to par:
7 steps to futureproof your IC 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.
An effective internal communications strategy evolves over time. Fine-tuning your strategy should involve several tactics that ensure there is always room to expand and optimize your processes. Here are some examples of how to refine your internal communications strategy:
Readers' preferences must be kept in mind for internal communications tactics to be effective. Every communication, whether it's a blog, a targeted newsletter, or a company-wide push notification, must consider its audience. Consider the type of content you are sending out and which departments, teams, or individuals your communications are targeting. If you are following internal comms best practices, you should be segmenting your employees by their roles and needs within the company. Employee experience platforms are useful for achieving this, and allow you to automate communications depending on the groups you designate.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, over 40% of employees feel more connected to their teams, according to Forbes. This is in large part due to the increase in the adoption of communication technology. Using more than one medium to send your communications across your enterprise allows you to engage your employees whether they’re working remotely, in the office, or on the front line. A multi-media approach lets you harness the portability of technology like native mobile apps to ensure your employees are kept up to date with information that matters to their role or geographical location. Social features can also be used to ensure peer-to-peer communication is easily accessible. To spread messages far and wide, opt to send push notifications and mobile alerts across a segmented deskless workforce.
To keep on top of your comms and ensure your strategy is working, you need to hear from your employees directly. Pulse surveys help you find out which tactics are working, and which need improvements. Enterprises can send short, anonymous, informal queries to various segments of the workforce, allowing you to evaluate engagement levels and identify potential challenges. These surveys should be 10 questions or less to encourage thoughtful and considered answers. To ensure every employee participates, use a company-wide newsletter to spread the word about upcoming surveys.
Combine analytics with your feedback methods, to refine and gain buy-in to your approach. Use this data to benchmark your progress and make informed adjustments. Consider metrics like the number of clicks, opens, and reads a survey or other communication has. In your investigations, be sure to find out how employees feel about the messaging approach itself.
One of the most critical aspects of your internal communications strategy is its capacity for agility. We saw it with the switch to home working during the COVID-19 pandemic: companies who modified their internal messaging to suit remote and hybrid work conditions adapted much more quickly than those reliant on in-person communication. This is one of the reasons that 47% of UK workers still prefer a hybrid model of work, according to Greenhouse. By ensuring your communication remains relevant to the audiences you have to reach, your enterprise can embrace any change that comes its way.
Effective internal communication is a cornerstone of organizational success. By adopting internal communications best practices and crafting actionable strategies aligned with business objectives, organizations can ensure that their messages resonate with employees.
Data-driven refinement, adaptability to change, and a commitment to continuous improvement are essential elements of effective internal communication. Internal communication isn't just a function; it's a strategic asset. Embrace it, refine it, and watch it propel your organization toward sustained success.
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.
Reinvent your intranet for the employee experience era.